Hi Sweet Friend,
Have you seen a mosaic before? I once watched a video about an artist who, over years and years, gathered broken pieces of glass to create a beautiful work of art. Each jagged piece fit perfectly into the next, all coming together to make something beautiful.
Today is all about the beauty of brokenness.
We all have our broken pieces within us, but they are nothing to be ashamed of. Gather them up, hand them over to the Master Artist, and allow Him to create something beautiful out of it.
Today’s devotional is one of my favorites about how far Jesus goes to gather the pieces of our hearts we’ve put to the side and whispers, “I want what no one wants. You are mine. I see the beauty of you. You are worth loving.”
Can you believe it? It’s the last week of Easter! Some of you have asked me what happened when I ran into my Mom at Costco, when I mentioned it in last week’s video. I will share vulnerably what happened in our LAST Lent Soul Care Video in our FB Group tomorrow Monday 4/15. Watch it here.
And if you’re reading along with me in the book Whispers of Rest, we finished Wk 5: Dare as the Beloved. Now read Week 6: Shine as the Beloved!
Remember: If you have the extra resources in my Soul Care Package, enjoy and watch this week’s new Podcast & Teaching Video #6: Shine as the Beloved. This last video was recorded by a flowing creek, to guide you to shine in who God made you to be, with beautiful music and scripture!
The Soul Care Package extra resources will help you really focus in close to God and explore, “How can I shine in my new life as God’s beloved?”
Open your heart. Let God whisper of rest touch you with His gentle Voice of love.Before we reflect, here are some reminders:
#1: Watch our last Lent video Monday Wk #6: Making All Things NEW Whispers of Rest Lent ” 4/15 9:00am PST
Go to our FB Group to watch it here. Replay available.
#3: Get a copy of Whispers of Rest to read along. This Lenten Retreat is most powerful if you read along with my 40-day book, using the hands-on soul care tips, Scripture, stories, scientific studies & prayers that helped me spark joy & experience God’s peace during a stressful time in my life. So get Whispers of Rest, if you don’t have one yet. (read reviews readers posted here!)
#4: Get the Whispers of Rest Soul Care Resources Package! *NEW!* I’d love to encourage you daily! For extra resources to refresh your soul and take better care of yourself, I created this powerful DAILY companion resource to Whispers of Rest. I’m SO excited to announce it ! a beautiful NEW 40day Soul Care Guide eBook called “You’re Worth Loving”, 6 teaching videos, 6 prayer podcasts, Scripture coloring pages – and access to a Self-Paced Online Book Club! Click here to get the Whispers of Rest Soul Care Resources Package!
4. ?Are you Following me on Instagram and Facebook Yet?
I love sharing encouraging quotes & photos to cheer and remind you how important it is practice soul care and hear God’s loving whispers of rest. I’ll help you by sharing what encourages me with you! So:
Click here to follow me on Instagram @thebonniegray right now.
Click here follow me on Facebook @thebonniegray right now!
Now, take a deep breath. Relax as we step into our Lent Reflection…
Our Lent Focus: Brokenness
Come into my arms. I will heal your brokenness into beauty.
“We are more than conquerors through him who loved us. I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love.”
“You see, there are two very different types of hope in this world. One is hoping for something, and the other is hoping in someone.” Pete Wilson
I don’t want to be one of those people.
Someone who is afraid. Someone who can’t deal with hard things. Someone who has failed to overcome the things that could make me fall down.
But, here I was, unable to deny that — I was afraid.
I was discouraged and I couldn’t find my way. What I’m really trying to say, what I was terrified to face is this — I couldn’t make my place in this world.
And I was afraid you, my readers, along with my family and friends, were going to walk away from me. You were going to turn your face away and shake your head. And leave me here. All alone.
Place of Empty
These were the words I found myself speaking in the dark room of my soul seven years ago. When my panic attacks first began.
You would’ve never known I truly felt this way. Because quite honestly, I never allowed myself to stay in this place of empty for very long.
All my life, I’ve nurtured a determination to never come close to this place of aloneness. I am a child of light. Why would I want to face into darkness?
I believed that faith was relegated to creating a safe place for myself in this world and for the ones I love. Yet, I never imagined that faith in Jesus is exactly what it takes to enter into a place of truth and vulnerability—a place of empty. Brokenness.
By the grace of God, Jesus gave me a growing faith to survive and empowered me to have great joy to do lots wonderful and beautiful things with Him — and for Him — a passion to serve others and love Him.
But it was time for deeper intimacy. He didn’t want me to do anything for him. Jesus wanted to love me deeper. Jesus knew I was strong enough to finally face the part of me he wanted to love back to life: my wounded self.
How about you? Could you or someone you love be standing at the doorway of something that feels hard, that renders you unable to do as you’ve always done? Are you feeling discouraged and alone?
You haven’t failed in your faith. Jesus wants to love you deeper.
Jesus knows when you find ourselves in a valley, you are no longer able to use the strength and hope you’ve always drawn from. Jesus will help and heal you with his love.
Jesus knows because he’s been there himself. This place of alone. This place of empty.
In the Garden of Gethsemane, we find Jesus:
“Being in agony . . . his sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground.” luke 22:44
Jesus escaped to a private place where he felt safe. It was there his disciple Matthew tells us, “Jesus fell on His face and prayed, saying, ‘My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me’ ” (Matthew 26:39).
The Gospel of Mark gives us a private glimpse into the Jesus we rarely talk about: “He began to be very distressed and troubled.” Overwhelmed by anxiety, Jesus confides to Peter, James, and John, “My soul is deeply grieved to the point of death” (Mark 14:- 33–34). Jesus is utterly heartsick, down where pain has never reached before.
Even though Jesus was in total control to become the scapegoat for sin, he cried out, “Abba! Father! All things are possible for You; Remove this cup from Me.” (Mark 14:36).
If there was any other way out, he wished for it then. But there wasn’t any other way. Jesus had to face the toughest journey head-on.
Jesus willingly placed himself in God’s rescue plan, yet he still stepped into the place of being utterly, forsakenly empty (see Philippians 2:5–8). We can imagine Jesus falling to the ground, choking back waves of tears, his body shaking, his chest hurting from the intensity of his emotions.
So whenever we ask, “Is there any beauty in brokenness?” Jesus points us to the healing beauty of his love for us that night in Gethsemane. Yes. There is beauty in brokenness—because I am right there with you.
Close Your Eyes. Imagine Yourself With Jesus Now
Draw near to Jesus to hear the most intimate words he once spoke in the dark.
“Yet not my will, but yours be done.” Luke 22:42
You can accept this—because I know how it feels when God’s plan leads the world to see you as wounded. Broken.
I will give you the courage. You don’t have to be strong. I will be strong for you.
Jesus points us to the scene of his betrayal, when Peter tried to stop him from walking down the path of weakness:
“Put the sword into the sheath; the cup which the Father has given me,
shall I not drink it?” John 18:11
You can swallow this cup of brokenness—because I drank from it myself. You can feel afraid with me. I will hold you and love you through it.
In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus said, “Not my will.” Jesus had a will—and it was contrary to God’s will in that moment of suffering (see Hebrews 5:7–10). This is comforting, because even as we take the cup of brokenness in our hands, we don’t want it. Jesus understands this place of painful tension.
Unlike me, Jesus did not give in to his temptation to avoid the place of empty. He surrenders:
“Yet not my will, but yours be done.” luke 22:42 In other words, absolutely nothing can separate God’s love
from us. Not even brokenness. I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from
Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus. romans 8:37–39
Listen. God’s Whispers of Rest To You
Beloved, Come here. Into my arms. There is nothing—absolutely nothing— that can tear me away from loving you. You are safe. I am your forever place.
I will never be parted from you. I will heal your brokenness into beauty,
because I am here loving you irrevocably. You are my Beloved. Today. As is.
Are you finding yourself holding a cup you don’t want to drink? You don’t have to want the cup in order to take and drink it—with Jesus. Jesus folds your hand into his today.
Pray. Our Prayer for Beauty in Brokenness
“In all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love.”
Give me courage to drink the cup that comes from letting you love me deeper.
Heal my brokenness into beauty.
This journey isn’t one I would choose for myself, so give me courage to share my broken moments with friends, just like you did.
Thank you for being brave and beautiful, baring your heart in your moment of greatest vulnerability.
I love you, Jesus.
No matter what is hurt or broken—whether it’s our childhood, a relationship, career, marriage, our children, health, finances, or ministry—our dreams or opportunities—your place of empty is never out of His reach. Brokenness isn’t the end of your story. God’s love is.
Everything broken leads us to everything beautiful. Because in everything broken, there stands Jesus. Healing you deeper with his love every day.
Where has the journey of faith led you today — what is the cup before you? What is Jesus saying to you in this place?
* Who can you share today’s encouragement with?
For more encouragement, get a copy of my soul care devotional Whispers of Rest.o
Enjoy reading about my journey to heal and find rest in my memoir driven book, Finding Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul to Rest.
Soul Care Challenge
(excerpted from Whispers of Rest)
Listen to Classical Music. Feed your soul with beautiful music. Let God begin to heal you. Classical music is proven to relieve stress, improve your mood, and boost creativity.
The Research behind It: Listening to Classical Music Heals the Soul
It’s amazing how our God designed our bodies to heal. Listening to beautiful classical music heals our souls too. Innumerable studies show the incredible men- tal and physical benefits of listening to classical music. Scien- tists found that simply playing classical music as background ambience significantly improves your mood and productivity.
Here are seven benefits of listening to classical music:
- Makes you happy: Releases dopamine, activating the brain’s pleasure center.
- Reduces stress and anxiety: Tempos resemble a restful human heartbeat.
- Fights depression: Eases and lifts depressive symptoms.
- Relieves pain: Patients used significantly less pain medication.
- Improves sleep: Listening for forty-five minutes prior to bed improves sleep quality.
- Boosts creativity, memory, and energizes: Infuses tasks with enjoyment.
- Lowers blood pressure.
There is never any brokenness
that my friend has experienced
or had to endure that you have not tasted yourself.
You lived through them as you watched
all the brokenness unfold as my friend
went through it the first time
and your heart breaks each time she relives it in her heart.
Turn her eyes towards you now,
so she can see the healing gaze of your eyes.
Take my friend’s hands now and
draw her to yourself, and let your healing embrace
turn brokenness into beauty.
How? Because when those broken pieces
are in your hands of love,
she is loved back into life.
Her heart is coming alive because
she is no longer forgotten.
She is no longer alone in this world
with her pain.
She is now beloved.
Her wound has become a sign of honor
because you choose her and you call her yours as is.
In your name, Amen.
How can you allow Jesus to love you, comfort you, or refresh you on your journey this week?
Give yourself permission to do this week’s daily soul care challenges in Whispers of Rest and take time to do practical things to return calm and refresh your soul this week, sweet friend. You’re worth it.
Pull up a chair. Click to comment. This is a quiet place to rest awhile. And stay.
* Who can you share today’s encouragement with?
Share with friends and your small group!
Do you know a friend who would love some rest and refreshment? Share this blog post with her. She can sign up for the newsletter here. And you can read Whispers of Rest together! Let’s gather as many women to enjoy this journey!