Romans 15:13 “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
When we had first moved to Houston, I was struggling to adjust to my new normal and the Lord gave me a word picture of how He wanted me to live my life. It was a very broken and cracked vase, which had definitely seen and experienced a lot of life. It was so cracked that it could not hold water. As water was poured into the vase, it would begin trickling out of some smaller cracks and gushing out of the larger cracks. This vase appeared quite useless and without a real purpose, other than as a new décor piece for a mantle. This was not really the look I was aiming for however at this point, I definitely felt like that broken vase. I felt quite tired and useless being placed here in Houston far away from family and friends. The easiest thing would be to stay on the mantle and reflect on all the wonderful memories but the Lord wanted me off the shelf to be used once again. This is always easier said than done.
So I allowed the Lord to take me off that shelf and begin to use me in little ways as I stepped out here and there. The more the Lord chose to use me, the more water would leak from my cracks. So I found myself beginning to try to patch the cracks in my vase with various things. I felt like if I looked prettier on the outside, perhaps my cracks would not be noticed. New hairstyles, new outfits and a newly decorated house only ended up making me fall deeper into a pit of comparison and broke my vase in additional places. My increased insecurities welcomed in some emotional eating, where food became another coping mechanism to help distract me from the loneliness that was filling my heart. The additional pounds that I added to my waistline only created more cracks in my shell of insecurity, causing me to want to jump right back onto that shelf and hide. But the Lord kept pulling me off that shelf and showing me the things I had filled my life with in order to “fix my brokenness”.
Situation after situation came into my life, which brought additional brokenness into my heart. Emotions, which I thought were placed behind me, came reeling back to me again. A few dreams that I once held dear needed to be let go and grieved which required me to fully trust the Lord’s plans for me and my family. The only thing I could really do was spend extra time really filling myself with His truths. I prayed fervently, I read His Word voraciously and I cried out to the Lord for answers to how to walk in this brokenness, which I was feeling. Over time as I sought Him, I began to sense that He was not asking me to walk in brokenness but instead was showing me that He wanted me to walk in HOPE FILLED brokenness! Just two simple words with ten letters but that made all the difference.
When I walk in this type of brokenness, His hope is pouring out of me, rather than my emotions, my sadness or my despair. Jesus is my true and lasting hope. He is the One who shines in my life and enables me to love others despite how I may be feeling. I want my heart to overflow with the hope of His return, I want to cling loosely to the things of this world and I want to be filled with the hope of Christ and all that entails. When this hope is filling my heart, my focus is on Christ and not on myself. This is the hope He is asking to walk in and to be filled with so when He chooses to uses me, as I am … a broken and worn vase…. His hope would overflow from me by the power of His Holy Spirit.
Are you feeling broken and unable to be used by the Lord? Know that Jesus desires to shine His light brightly through your cracks as you cling tightly to Him and choose to walk in His hope. Christ is our lasting hope and He desires that we live our lives hope filled even on those days when we are feeling broken.
Mary and her college sweetheart, Matt, have been married 27 years, have lived in WI, VA, TX, and they currently live in Ann Arbor, MI. She is learning to embrace the “empty nest” years along with the travel which goes along with having her three grown children on both the east and west coasts. Mary enjoys spending time with her family, wherever and whenever they can gather, as well as reading, studying the Word, and spending time soaking in the beauty of God’s creation.