Broken and Beautiful

Whimsy is our latest creation within "More than a Mission Trip." Whimsy is a darling doll (being made in Belize as we speak) with a written story that every girl, young and old, can understand and relate to. Actually, we are all Whimsy. We will share more about our trip to Belize soon. We can't wait to share here update!

Whimsy's purpose is to remind us all we are created in His image, we are His chosen treasured possession, beloved and forgiven, and a child of the King......even when we aren't feeling so princess like. The very One who never leaves our side, no matter what is happening in and around us, or what gifts or talents we wish we had, has a beautiful plan and purpose for our lives.  

Our lives are complicated, aren't they? Sometimes the complication begins very early in our life. The beauty of being a little older and wiser is we are living our Whimsy-filled lives with some greater understanding and knowledge of who God says we are and we, in turn, can then speak this powerful life-changing truth with great confidence over every single little girl we know.

YOU, beloved one, are a child of the Most High King! No matter what!

Thank you Melissa for telling your story. 

Born to broken and beautiful people.

So beautiful, so very beautiful.  A hard working father who was a good man, a wonderful provider, a loyal friend, a veteran who served his country, an honest and extremely successful businessman, known for his generosity.  His workers were his extended family – promoting only from within his company, raises and responsibilities delegated to those who didn’t feel worthy of either, attending funerals, offering loans, never asking his workers to do an unsafe job, never purchasing unsafe equipment for his warehouse, always willing to be the first to learn how to use the equipment, treating others as his wanted to be treated.  A mother as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside, with radiant, unshakable faith.  Because of her near-death experience at age 15 she can share what it’s like to go through the dark tunnel that ends at the brightest, warmest light, and see the gates of heaven and experience first-hand what heaven’s atmosphere of love feels like as it touches your soul.  Untouchable faith.  A smile that lights up the room, a determination to love both the lovely and the unlovely and to serve others well.

So broken.  Such a paradox that the same hands that worked so hard could hit so hard, the same mouth that built up his workers could tear down his family, the same brilliant mind that built a successful business was a slave to alcohol.  The best of his friends to be my first real enemy as he took a part of me I would never really get back…  So heart-breaking that a woman with such strong faith can be so weak when it comes to protecting her daughters. 

Ultimately she was so hurt and broken that she got brave and formulated an evacuation plan.  Armed with only a high school education, enough gas money to get out of town, documents waiting to be signed and a 3 year old daughter, she was set to leave and start over.  “Flight day” was the day on the calendar that never happened and it was all my fault!  Really, that’s the day she found out she was pregnant with me.  And her entire pregnancy was no less traumatic than the day she discovered it.  She was so sick during her pregnancy with me that she couldn’t keep much of anything down.  She didn’t gain a single pound;  in fact, she lost 5 pounds.  She said I felt like a monster inside of her, kicking and pounding, desperate to make my entry into the world.  That rebellious, angry attitude that bucked all authority from conception would define me for my first 18 years.      

For I was born a sinner—yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.  Psalm 51:5

Broken from the very start.  Fractured, damaged, crushed, shattered, not in working order.  Rebellion and anger.  Unwanted yet loved, an inheritance of both beauty and brokenness. A child who threw tantrums and stayed in trouble both at home and school.  Smart as a whip yet disrespectful.  Always succeeding academically but a disciplinary problem.  Knowing right yet choosing wrong.  Brutally honest yet full of lies. 

But you desire honesty from the heart, so you can teach me to be wise in my inmost being.  Psalm 51:6

At age 13, a short breakthrough occurred.  God brought me on a journey to Jackson, Tennessee to Centrifuge to pray a prayer, sign a card, and make a promise to return there for college.  All three would quickly become denials as I turned away from God, took on the label of rebel, and took a path that took me to the darkest places.  I would soon turn to the same master my Father had chosen as I turned to alcohol.  It quickly enslaved me and lead me further away from truth and life toward a dark path of destruction and death.  The first few steps off the path of God seemed insignificant, small, harmless.  At first it was “just partying.”  And like an unbroken horse, I must have looked so beautiful and wild and free!  Running wild, a fire in my eyes, not a care in the world, no concern of others, no thought beyond the moment, a pace that could never last!  Faster is all I could think about.  More and more alcohol, then promiscuity, lies, drugs, stealing, pulling others down, destruction… The inevitable crash landing for me was a process.  Alcohol couldn’t last for me because it had consequences (a.k.a. hangovers).  Drugs took me further and worked faster.  Like a horse wearing blinders, I saw no consequences.  In one year, I went from experimenting with drugs, to using daily, to dating a drug dealer.  During one drug deal, I found myself in a trailer park waiting to sample a freshly arrived shipment.  The distributor invited his one and a half year old baby boy to come into the living room and roll the blunt for us to smoke.  This little boy was so willing to show off his skill, much to his Dad’s delight.  I sat on their filthy couch watching a baby wearing a diaper that was so full with urine that it was bloated to the point that I thought at any moment it would explode and those little plastic beads of diaper filling and urine would spill on the floor.  My soul was heaving.  What was this child being exposed to?  I could not believe I was sitting in that place participating in what was happening.  It was so wrong.  Everything good in me was screaming at me to do something, anything, to stop it all.  But the voice of addiction was stronger.  And I walked away from everything good I knew and did the worst thing ever – NOTHING.  I did nothing to help that baby boy.  I felt filthy and empty.  So as I breathed in my drug of choice I just turned away and refused to think and refused to do anything about that sweet little innocent baby.  Of all my regrets, I believe this is my biggest personal failure.  Something died inside of me that day.  My unbroken wild and free run didn’t look so pretty anymore.  I would get high and catch glimpses of myself in the bathroom mirror and the sight of myself disgusted me.  Thoughts of confusion and suicide began to twist and grow like kudzu in my mind.  I began to fear that every day was the end of the world, and my boyfriend dreamed that I was pregnant with twins and one of them was the Anti-Christ.  I could no longer separate lies from reality.  I couldn’t get high enough to even get back to normal.  I was roped and chained and lacked the strength to even try to break free.  To top things off I thought I was pregnant.  After a binge night of drugs and pills, I decided I would go home and use my Dad’s gun to end it all.  

Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.  Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me—now let me rejoice.  Don’t keep looking at my sins.  Remove the stain of my guilt.  Create in me a clean heart, O God.  Renew a right spirit within me.  Psalm 51:8-10

God spoke to me as I drove home that night.  He said, “I am very angry with you.  Go home and read your bible.”  I was instantly sober at the sound of His voice.  I went home and opened my bible to 2 Chronicles 30:6-9 to read a letter written to the Israelites who had been exiled because of their sin.  An invitation to return to the God of my ancestors.  A warning not to be “stubborn, as they were, but submit yourselves to the LORD.  Come to his Temple which he has set apart as holy forever.  Worship the LORD your God so that his fierce anger will turn away from you…”

I laid prostrate before the LORD on my bedroom floor.  I watched a video in my mind of all the horrible choices I had made and cried and howled and begged God for forgiveness.  God reminded me of my promise to attend Union University.  Then, with clarity of mind, I saw two things.  First, I saw a picture of a t-shirt that had a sign <-> where the road ends and you have to choose right or left.  And I heard a voice say, “Choose today whom you will serve.”  And I heard the answer, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”  Second, I saw myself standing on an outdoor stage with many other people in Jackson, Tennessee and we were giving our testimonies.  At the end, we were reaching into the crowd and grabbing people’s hands.  Then we were pulled up to heaven in a human chain, hand holding hand holding hand.  Then I heard it will begin in your heart.

Unseal my lips, O Lord, that I may praise you.  Psalm 51:15

The sacrifice you want is a broken spirit.  A broken and repentant heart, O God, you will not despise.  Psalm51:17

So at age 18, God reinstated me as his child, and kept His promises even though I had broken all of mine.  He assured me, a prodigal, that my name was written in His Lamb’s Book of Life.  He set me on a path to return to Jackson, Tennessee and attend Union University.  He taught me that even though I couldn’t keep my word, His Word, the Word, Jesus Christ never changes.  Jesus is God’s affirmation, the fulfillment of all of God’s promises.  I finally realized that it wasn’t about what I could give him.  It wasn’t about me at all or how badly I had messed up.  I realized the truth.  It is about God and the completed work of Jesus and the pouring out of the Holy Spirit.  Broken again.  Not the sort of fragmented, unusable kind of broken.  But the kind where the wild horse’s instinct to run free ends and its desire to trust and be loved begins.  This “broken” for a horse means they have their basic manners, they can be steered, stopped, and respond to commands.

Oh, how I long to be “Broken and Beautiful” before my LORD.  No longer desiring the envy of others as they gaze on an untamed spirit running alone, fast and furious, but leading to ultimate destruction and little or no value.  Instead to be trainable, safe, calm, useful by my master - able to be steered, stopped, responsive to His commands, and reined in easily. 

Thank you, Father, for beauty in brokenness.