Thursday, July 24, 2008

Broken into Beautiful

Isn't the Bible an amazing thing? I've read it through 3 times, and yet I still come across verses that aren't at all familiar. It's like the true meaning of certain portions are veiled from my eyes until I need them. While reading Gwen Smith's Broken into Beautiful, I found Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing. That verse stopped me in my tracks and I don't know how many times I read it over and over again. I wrote it in my journal and shared it with Jesse that night. Think on it for a moment: the Lord rejoices over you with singing. What does it sound like when God sings for joy? Whatever it sounds like, he does it for me and for you. And did you read the rest? He takes delight in you. The depth of love in that single verse has brought me to my knees repeatedly this week. When I'm starting to stress out about life, I focus on the idea that he will quiet me with his love. And it works.

The Lord has given me a deep peace within my soul from this verse. I've never felt anything quite like it. The pain has been awful, and Molly and I are accruing quite a few medical bills. Jesse's a bit stressed, and both older kids are doing the standard teenager sulk. But there's a place in my heart that is unshaken, and there's a joy that isn't quenched. God sings for me, for me!

Broken into Beautiful by Gwen Smith is a courageous devotional about what God can do with our broken pieces. Smith, a Christian singer and speaker, exposes her deepest secret so that the reader can come to understand the depth of God's love. When Smith was in college, she had an abortion. She knew it was wrong and deplored her own decision, but couldn't figure out any other option to get her life back. The pain and shame haunted her for years, even after she started speaking at Christian conferences, she still kept it secret until God spoke to her heart and told her of the healing he would provide her and that she could provide others if she opened up. I don't have an abortion in my past, but I have plenty of my own broken pieces, and Smith helped me to see how God can use them to create a beautiful new work in me. Smith is humble and honest, and her book is a balm to the soul.

I got some exciting news this week: I've been asked to participate in a blogger conference call with William P. Young, the writer of the incredibly popular book The Shack, next week Wednesday! Very cool!