Harvesting New Hope

Broken Things

When I think about broken things, I think…trash, not usable, toss it out. But then I think about my children. When something of theirs breaks, they come to me or Kevin and want it fixed. They don’t want to throw it out. It still has great value to them. God says come to him like little children. So many times when we see brokenness in our lives we start to believe that we are now trash. What we really need to be doing is taking it to our Father, giving it to Him and saying “Fix this….make it right.”

The pain and brokenness in our lives can cause us to believe that it defines us, that it controls who we are. I have operated out of this mindset for as long as I can remember and I still battle, on a daily basis, whether to believe who my brokenness says I am versus who God says I am. God doesn’t make mistakes and he did not make a mistake in me. Or you.  Romans 8 tells us that all who abide in Christ are children of God, therefore no more condemnation, no more brokenness!

So how do we battle our brokenness on a daily basis? How do we battle when we are so far down a path of feeling worthless and unimportant? When we believe those feelings to be true? When we are so weary, and confused, how do we begin to believe anything else? Do you ever feel like you are not worth someone stepping out of their routine for you, let alone God showing up? Sometimes just facing the day is walking head on into a battlefield alone, right?

Be the Church

We are made to share each other’s troubles and problems:

Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.  Romans 12:15.

When I was in the darkest places this past year, and I could not feel God or understand God’s truth or what He had to say, what I could understand were the ones who showed up and lived life along side of us. Sometimes it was just sitting in silence. Sometimes it was bringing over food, or doing laundry. Sometimes it was just a simple message saying, “I’m thinking of you and I don’t expect any response back.” Whatever it was, it spoke volumes that someone would be with me in the storm. In my storm.

When God, who is truth, and His word, which is truth, doesnt sound like truth yet, then those of us who are the church need to be that truth and show up. I and my family…we would not have made it through this past year without having people willing to show up and bear our burdens with us. I read a quote the other day that says,

“How we walk with the broken speaks louder than how we sit with the great.” -Bill Bennot

So, as I battled through this past year – my anxiety and fear, my irrational obsessions, and depression – I was tired and confused. I so longed for relief from the constant, tortuous thoughts in my head. And God, the church, (a church I had never known before) showed up.  Now, a year later, it brings to mind the story in Exodus when Isreal defeats Amalek. When Moses would hold up his arms, Isreal would prevail. When he put them down, Amalek would prevail.  But as he was holding up his hands, he got very tired. So his friends came alongside him and held up his arms when he couldn’t. And Isreal was victorious. What a picture this paints! If only we could all be so “lucky”. When life becomes so hard that we can’t hold up any longer, along comes our community of believers and holds us up. But is it really luck? Is that what it comes down to? I don’t think so. For those of us who are disciples of Jesus, it is what we are commanded to do.

For me, this past year was never about whether God exists, but more about is He really present with me and am I really important to Him?  What does God’s voice sound like when all I hear inside my head is confusion? Why is it so hard for me to hear, yet so easy for others to hear?  How ironic that we long, as little kids, to be adults and now, as we have experienced life’s hurts, and lies, and pain, we long for the innocence and dependence of childhood. When we lean into our hurts and pains with our own understanding, it naturally leads us to anger, bitterness, and unforgiveness. When we start to lean into those hurts and pain with God’s understanding, He slowly starts to show us the beauty that can come from our pain and broken hearts. Coming to terms with my own brokenness has made me more aware of the brokenness all around. What a privilege to now be able to offer the hope and peace of God to those in pain and in need of a harvest unlike any other.

New Hope

Back in 2013, when we started our adoption journey, I would not have guessed that my struggle with mental illness would collide with traumatized orphans. But it did. When we chose to go down the international adoption path, we learned about things that we can not turn a blind eye to. Even though we did not complete our adoption, we do not believe that God brought us down this path for no reason. Nor did He allow me to go down the path of abuse and mental illness for no reason. As our hope in The Lord grows stronger, so does the desire to plant His hope into the families in our local community and into the international orphan community.

Harvesting New Hope

So many communities around the world are nurtured and strengthened around the table, sharing food and sharing quality time. Unfortunately, though, so many international communities are struggling to feed themselves and their children. This often forces loving parents to make impossible choices, sending them to the doors of orphanages or even worse, traffickers. This is truly a tragedy.

We believe one way God can restore hope in our community, and restore hope in African communities too, is through gardening. This is a big deal for us, but it’s even bigger for many African communities where they lack food security. While this may seem like a daunting task, it doesn’t have to be. It can be as simple as getting your hands a little dirty in the garden with friends and family who enjoy sharing some food, sharing some stories, laughs, and tears right in your own neighborhood. I know for me, as God has begun to heal my heart and give my soul a renewed sense of hope, He is going to multiply that hope for others in communities far away who are praying for that exact same thing too.

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