Not Made To Be Broken – Part 2

To Read Not Made To Be Broken  – Part 1 Here

I am on my knees on a Monday afternoon. I kneel inside of a chapel with stained glass windows standing strangely dim in the dark of a bitter winter. There is no sunlight illuminating their colours today. No one else occupies this space with me. The room drips in silence. I can’t remember the last time I stood so strikingly still.

Lord, I feel so unworthy. Soul-heavy and asking God the hard questions.

A folded up note paper slips to the floor. I gently unfold it and my eyes read:
                My Child,
I created you.
I love you.
I forgive you.
Nothing can separate you from my love.

I don’t know who scribbled these words and truly, I may never know. But I wept.

————–

I was once told about the tradition of a particular African tribe. And it goes like this.
When a mother knows she is going to have a child, she goes off to sit beneath a tree, and she listens for the song of her child to come. Upon hearing the song of her child, she goes home and teaches it to her husband. When the child is born, she teaches the song to the midwives and older women of the village, and together, they sing the song over the child to welcome it into the world. As the child grows older, many people begin to learn the child’s song, until it is known to the majority of the village.

When the child falls or hurts its knee, someone picks it up and sings its song over it. Likewise, when the child does something wonderful or crosses a milestone in its life, such as puberty or schooling, the village gathers to its song over the individual as a way to honour the child.

If ever along the way the person commits a crime, or an aberrant social act, or simply loses their way, the village does not approach the person with punishment as we most typically do. Instead, the village recognizes that the solution is not punishment but a remembrance of true identity. The village recognizes that their behaviour has gone against their original design; that the person has strayed from their true nature. And so they approach the person with a deep love and they chooset to remind them of their true identity.

Gently, they call the person into the middle of the village. And there, in the midst of the richness of community, the entire village gathers to sing their song over the person. When the individual has forgotten their own song, forgotten who they really are – the village sings their song back to them. They remind the individual of who they are and why they were created. It is here, in the remembrance of identity, that the desire to hurt others fades slowly away.

————-

This, now this, is our calling as friends, family, spouses, lovers and the body of Christ – to constantly sing their song over the person when they have forgotten who they are. To remind each other time and time again, that we are not these broken creatures scrambling on hands and knees for purpose and joy, but we are Sons and Daughters of the King.

Often we spend a lot of time telling the people that we love them, but it is of far greater importance we tell people that the Creator of the world loves them.

Do not let them forget.
Do not let the people you love forget their true identity.

I’ll close with the lyrics of the song Remind Me Who I Am:
“When I lose my way,
and I forget my name,
Remind me who I am.
In the mirror when all I see,
is who I don’t want to be,
Remind me who I am.
In the loneliest places,
when I can’t remember what grace is.

Tell me once again who I am to You,
who I am to You.
Tell me lest I forget who I am to You,
that I belong to You.
To You.
I’m the one you love.”

love, mikayla

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Not Made To Be Broken – Part 1

To Read Not Made To Be Broken – Part 2 Here

I just feel broken all the time.

It’s 6:45 am on a Thursday morning and after fifteen minutes of staring blankly at the empty room around me, these are the only words I managed to write down. What more is there to say?

I am learning about the grandeur of grace and the flood of unconditional love, yet in the midst of it all I still feel so very broken. Everything is still messy. I can not escape it.

“It’s really hard to suck all the time.” I over hear these words coming from a girl a few tables away in my school cafeteria. Isn’t it though?

It’s hard to be messed up all the time. It’s hard when every day gives you a new list of the things you surly could have done better. It’s hard when you spent hours sifting through your Facebook news feed, seeing all the new relationships and budding friendships, and still you feel so desperately alone. It’s hard when all the little things seem like a constant reminder that you are not enough. It’s hard when you succumb to the same sin time and time again. It’s hard on those nights when you look at the face in the mirror and yell wildly (I know we’ve all done this): WILL YOU EVER GET IT RIGHT?  All those terribly unkind things we say to ourselves, the mistakes that pill up at the door and those things we swear no one will ever know – they weigh heavy.  These things are real and the brokenness you feel, that’s real too.

When I live in the middle of this torn-up and fragile world and I too, embody its brokenness, I begin to believe that this is all I will ever know. To me, flesh & bones & all, brokenness is my second nature. The dark places are comfortable, because this is where I’ve spent most of my life.

I know how easy it is to float through the days, believing the Lord is good and Jesus loves me, but all the while, stuffing all the hard things under the rug where they don’t have to be dealt with. We’ve danced around the tears, the loneliness, the addictions, the painful and ugly parts of us, because well, its easier that way. Facing your brokenness is the very definition of hard.

The thing is though- He loves you enough to work on you. To chip away the grim, the sin, and all the damaged parts of you. This is the part that hurts, because essentially when brokenness is our second nature, it feels like a necessary part of us. So that when God begins to carve into those fragile parts of us, it feels as though he is tearing into the very essence of who we are.

But really, who are you???

Why were you created? Why are you this package of flesh & bones, heart & soul? Why are you here on this earth? Why do you have two feet that walk this battered soil? Why are you here?

I am going to tell you a story. It is one you may have long forgotten, along the road of not enough or used or unlovable. But, it’s His story. It’s your story.

A carpenter sits in his workshop, together with his two counterparts. Laughter rings through the air and love spills over into every crevice of the shop. In their companionship, not one thing is amiss. It is the image of perfection and fullness and all things good, beautiful and true.

They have a desire to expand this perfect love, to reflect it in more places. The carpenter and his counterparts decide to create. And so, they spend endless days in that shop: building, carving, and painting. They begin with the form, splashing grandeurs of blue, green and yellow across the canvas- earth, sun and sky created. They build gigantic oceans, mountains and bodies of land. They dot those places with rivers, trees, valleys and caves. They add bright colours of yellow to paint flowers, red to paint berries, and orange to paint leaves. To bring all things together, they instil a divine order of time, measurement, constants of gravity and the charge of an electron – so much so that if one of these things had been altered in the slighted, the universe would not have been able to sustain any form of life.

All this they made- a place for their most prized creation to dwell. To explore, to wander, to marvel. Everything up until then had been a preparation for the crown of creation. On the final day, they created us.

In the workshop, hours were spent sculpting and carving you. The fullness of our triune God spilled over into the creation of you. Reflections of his being and character was built into you – your ability to love, create, have relationships and experience joy. In his workshop he painted your hair, your eyes, and the inner clockworks system of you. He put all the pieces of you together. From the pulse in your chest to the idiosyncratic habits that are unique to you. Like a giddy child creating their lego tower, he delighted in creating you. He instilled in you dreams, passions and talents of all kinds. When all was set in place, he breathed life into your bare bones and brought you into the world he created, all for you. Dancing, singing, clapping and laughing, He rejoiced over you with a joyful song. (Zephaniah 3:17)

Because he was so very pleased with the person he had made, he dusted his hands on his apron and declared it all good. On that day, the King of the world claimed us all as daughters and sons. And oh, the King is enthralled with your beauty.

And this is your original design. Nothing more, nothing less. You were created in the outpouring of love and in the hands of a creator God, who desired to reflect his fullness onto people he could call his children.

This is your true nature. Not all the brokenness of trying to measure up to this idea of beautiful, successful or important. But in Him you are declared: loved. worthy. beautiful. irreplaceable. redeemed. forgiven. wanted. chosen. valuable. daughter. son. healed. royalty. pursued. enough.

I believe in a God who says: I will paint sunsets for you. Everyday. To remind you that I love you.

God does not make junk. So I plead, be kind to yourself.

love, mikayla