It has been a month since Denise last left her story. We were interuppted by Pennywise Presents. Here is her last installment and then we will have one more from Patrick. If you missed Denise’s story and want to start from the beginning it is right here.
“When suffering shatters the carefully kept vase that is our lives, God stoops to pick up the pieces. But he doesn’t put them back together as a restoration project patterned after our former selves. Instead, he sifts through the rubble and selects some of the shards as raw material for another project- a mosaic that tells the story of redemption.” (Ken Gire, The North Face of God)
That essentially is what He is doing with me. This journey has been hard, I still have hard days. I have learned a lot and I still have a lot of learning to do. I still struggle with trusting people and I really struggle with building walls in new relationships. Although I’ve had life altering circumstances, and I’ve got some rubble to work through, the shards of raw material and this new mosaic of Denise, Neese, D-Lo are indeed a story of redemption.
Patrick and I are working very hard to communicate better, prioritize each other, and meet each other’s needs daily. We don’t always get it right, but what married couple does? When I really sit and take inventory of all that has taken place in the last four years it’s rather mind blowing. Of all the brokenness, mourning, and despair and how my God reached down, saw all of that and met me/us right where we were. I just read this and I have to share it with you, I think it’s perfect…
“In the book of John, chapter 11, a man named Lazarus got sick and died. There is a story about the girl who wiped perfume on Jesus’ feet with her hair—this guy was her brother. He died, they buried him, and then Jesus showed up four days later.
And Mary, the sister said to him, “Why didn’t you prevent this? We’re in a lot of pain here, and if you’d been around this wouldn’t have happened.”
How many of us, in times of brokenness, have said that to Jesus? Or if not Jesus, then God, or whatever deity happened to be convenient? Why did you let this happen?
Regardless of the accusations leveled against him, Jesus doesn’t let it get to him. In fact, when he saw Mary crying he started crying too.
Jesus weeps with the broken, even when he knows things we don’t. He sees things from a different perspective, but he understands the perspective of the broken person, he knows how that feels, he weeps right along with them.
But he doesn’t address his accusers. He doesn’t defend himself. He just goes to the tomb, has them roll the stone away and hollers into the cave: “Lazarus! Get out here!”
And there he is: Lazarus, strolling forward, resurrected.
I’m simplifying things here, but in the midst of (Denise’s) brokenness, she felt dead. Then Jesus stepped in, wept with her, and called out to her heart: “Come back to life!” (Craig Gross, Jesus Loves You This I Know)
That’s what my God does… resurrects, rebuilds, restores, redeems!!
I am happy to report that my family has moved out of the basement and into a house of our own. That life group I was so scared to go to, has played an integral part of our growth, healing and making our new house a home. They’ve accepted, listened and prayed. On the practical end, they gave and recruited others to give, donate and bless us with furnishings from furniture, to kitchen items and even a dryer!! They helped paint and decorate. God’s provisions have been too incredibly numerous to count. I am eternally grateful for all the many blessings we have received. That too is mind blowing!!
Thank you, Beckie for allowing me the opportunity to heal through writing. Thank you readers, for following our story. Thank you to those who gave well wishes and encouragement along the way, it means so very much.
For those of you who read this and your stories haven’t ended as happily, I’m truly very sorry. I do know that on your journey my God wants to reach you where you are, and if you’ll let him, if you’ll trust him, He will invite you back to life as well!
So, as I write these final words my prayer is for each of you; those who have been betrayed and those who are the betrayer, those who have felt pain and suffering and those who know joy, and those who know Jesus and those who don’t…
Lord, may each pair of eyes that read this, see you for who you are. May they see your love, forgiveness and redemption story. May they want to know you more and allow you to guide their journeys. May you put people in their path to help along the way. Thank you for your grace and new beginnings. Thank you for calling us back to life. Without you Jesus, I’m lost. Amen