Tag Archives: As I Am

A Closer Walk: Beauty In The Brokenness

We all have something, don’t we? Some fear, or flaw, or brokenness; some insecurity or sense of inferiority that we desperately want to overcome.

(Whether we admit it or not, we all do.)

Sometimes it’s a glaring and obvious failure; something that we believe everyone can see. Sometimes it’s our blind spot; something everyone, but us, can see. And sometimes it is a hidden something, we struggle with all alone, stumbling, falling, getting up again, hoping to conquer it, yet continually falling short of our goal.

We are all of us only human after all, and our weaknesses are ever present, daily reminding us of that fact.

Being weak is rarely admired in our society. We admire the strong. The brave. The people who are considered conquerors. Victorious overcomers. The winners. People who habitually “look and act” successful, and are always, always, admired by the crowd. And let’s face it, we admire them, too.

Yet every “winner” has that something… just ask them (in a transparent moment) they will confess to struggling, too.

We’re all flawed.

Doubt it for even a moment and your weakness will usually pop up somewhere, somehow, to remind you (and everyone else) that you are so much less than what the world admires the most.

the weak things

So why is it, “the strong” that the world lifts up, God looks down on?

The Bible says, “But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty.” 1 Corinthians 1:271 Corinthians 1:27
English: World English Bible - WEB

27 but God chose the foolish things of the world that he might put to shame those who are wise. God chose the weak things of the world, that he might put to shame the things that are strong;

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Why do we tend to think of brokenness as bad?

It has taken me almost a lifetime to come around to God’s way of thinking about weakness. He seems to specialize in choosing the people we would never think of. And then, to make His point, He sends them off on some monumentally heroic or difficult assignment.

Almost without fail God picks the last guy we would pick.

(Someone like me… or you!)

God just loves showing off through the weak and helpless people of this world.

Beauty shines through

Don’t be surprised if God puts His finger right on that “something” you have, that ONE THING that makes you cringe in fear, or embarrassment, or frustration… that weakness or brokenness that you long to keep hidden, to conquer… yet always seems to be conquering you.

Yeah, don’t be surprised if THAT THING, is “the thing” that He calls you to do.

Someday when you least expect it you may hear God whisper, “Right here, in your greatest weakness and brokenness… this, is where you will serve Me and honor Me the most.”

A Closer Walk

“I CAN’T!”

My child…

I know how difficult and crazy your life has become. You are to press through these difficulties until you get to the heart of the matter.

There will I be.

I AM always with you Sweet Heart no matter what the problem. But you will not discover My presence in your outer stress.

No, My place is in the center of your storm. That is the place of peace. That is were you will find Me and My strength to go on.

You can do this thing you keep saying, “I can’t!” to.

(Press in. I’m there.)

It is your fear that immobilizes—your anger that paralyzes!

Your peace is not in the absence of conflict—it is in Me.

(You know this.)

Arise, My BelovedCome, I AM all you need.

I will bring you through.

Don’t focus on what you can’t do.

Focus on Me.

Did I not create you?

Who knows better than I? Your strengths, your gifts… even your weaknesses are from Me.

(Ah, you thought you were the source?)

I AM a God of balance.

I create the light and the dark.

Your weaknesses gift you.

Beauty in the broken

(Now that one surprised you!)

It’s true!

Listen, I’ll ask you again, “Where does true power come from?”

(… of course.)

And would you come to Me if you were nothing but “strength and gift”?

(We both know that independent streak you have.)

So… the storm and difficulty are for revealing you to you.

And as you see yourself, as you really are, you run to Me!

(I like that.)

a closer walk

“…keep on doing what is right and trust yourself to the God who made you…”

1 Peter 4:191 Peter 4:19
English: World English Bible - WEB

19 Therefore let them also who suffer according to the will of God in doing good entrust their souls to him, as to a faithful Creator.

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Real Short Book Review: Long Way Gone, by Charles Martin

Book of Year Winner 2017 Christy AwardI don’t just love Charles Martin’s stories—I LOVE his stories! Long Way Gone is one of his best.

As a once Prodigal I should know.

But I’ll let Charles tell you in his own words.

Here is his latest email from his website, charlesmartinbooks.com.


Halfway through the writing of “Long Way Gone,” I discovered I’d written myself into what looked like a dead end.  Or a black hole.  It’d happened years before so I tried to press in and listen for the story to bubble up.  Crickets.  I’ve heard it called writer’s block.  It’s the second time in my career I’d come to a stand-still with no way around. The first time ended badly.  That memory echoed.

In desperation, I got up out of my chair, grabbed my Bible and walked out onto the pool deck where I began circling, reading the Psalms out loud.  When I tired of this, I set down my Bible, raised my hands and continued circling.  Christy thought I was losing it.  “Honey do you have a plan B?”

No, I’ve never had a plan B.

Long Way Gone, Charles MartinI don’t know how many times I walked around our pool but the words I kept repeating were, “Lord, Your word is true.  More true than my circumstances.  My circumstances don’t dictate my reality or Yours.  Your Word reveals it.  Help…Please help.”

This continued everyday.  For three weeks.

On normal days, I write anywhere from 500-1000 words.  I used to set lofty goals of 2500 but discovered I prefer quality over quantity so while I can write more, I’d rather write less better.  Somewhere in my fourth week, with a worried wife inside, I had an idea.  Just a glimmer.  I thought, “What have I got to lose?” So, I walked inside sat down and started writing.

An hour in, I had to stop typing because I couldn’t see the screen. Tears make things blurry.  The solution, the work-around, had been there all along.  Hidden. It was as if The Lord had led me by the hand around a blind corner.  “See?”

Ten thousand words later, I closed my laptop.  It’s the most I’ve ever written in a single day.  My fingers sounded like hummingbird wings.

Readers say a lot of praise-worthy stuff when it comes to my stories and my abilities as a writer.  Truth is, I probably sweat and pray my stories more than anything else.  Somewhere in my many laps around the pool, I landed on Psalm 45.  It was true then. It’s true now.  I pray that my pen is used to tell His story and that I am somehow able to make His Great Name known to the nations — so that He might receive praise.

The Christy Awards graciously declared Long Way Gone their “2017 Book of the Year.” When my editor called with the news, I scratched my head and I thought, “Look what God did.”  I certainly did not.  I had nothing.  Saw no daylight.  But then He pulled back a curtain and shared with me the beauty of the love of the father for the son and how, no matter what any of us do, no matter what sin and shame we wrap ourselves in, there is no place on planet earth where the Blood of Jesus can’t reach us.  Nothing disqualifies us.  No gone is too far gone.  He’s still standing on the porch, eyes staring down the road.  All we need do is turn around.  Put one foot in front of the other.  He’s already made a way.  And when He sees us, He comes flying off the porch as if shot out of a canon and smothers our face in kisses.  That picture just shreds me.  Every time.  The God of the Universe kissing my face, the son of squalor, who betrayed Him, rejected Him and said, “You’re dead to me.”  When I see this in my mind’s eye, I come undone.

After the soul-deep pain and doubt I’d experienced in writing “Long Way Gone,” I took a short break and then set about writing a story I’d been thinking of for some time.  It’s the story of a Vietnam veteran with a 45-yr secret.  Circumstances surface which bring him out of hiding and force him to wrestle with whether or not to reveal the truth.  Problem is, if he does, somebody dies.  And if he doesn’t, somebody dies.  It’s a tough place.

I thought that writing it would be easier given the sweat-equity I’d earned in “Long Way Gone.”  That maybe I’d pushed through the blockage.  That the words would flow.

They did not.

What I experienced was twice as bad.  Twice as dark.  Twice as quiet.  I had no words.

To make matters worse, we had moved into a new house — with no pool.

Then The Lord led me to Psalm 84 and, “Blessed is the man who’s strength is in You, who’s heart is set on pilgrimage.”  So, I set down my computer and lifted my arms.  “Lord my circumstances don’t dictate You, Your reality or Your love for me.  Your Word reveals it.  But…I got nothing.  Help.  Please help.”

Time passed.

Then He pulled back the curtain and I cried like a baby.

“Send Down the Rain” releases May of 2018.  

Let me end with this — with pulling back my own curtain and allowing you to hear what really matters.  My conversations with the Lord:  Lord, God in Heaven, I don’t know what you’ll do with me or my stories, but I’m available.  Selfishly, I’d like to ask that the writing of the next not be as tough as the last two.  I could use a little boost.  Either way, I’ll still be here.  Longing for You.  Crying out to You.  From strength to strength — I will appear before You in Zion.  You tell us that if You are lifted up that You will draw all men to Yourself.  I pray my stories lift You up. I pray You increase and I decrease.  And I pray that somehow, through whatever way I am able to string words together, that I might make Your Great Name known to the nations — so that You alone might receive glory and honor.  I ask this in the matchless and undefeated name of Jesus.