Sunday, October 2, 2016

Broken and Beautiful

We traveled to Florida recently and were able to stay in the beach condo we did this summer.  Which was a huge blessing as we were there for the funeral service of my father in law, and this place reminded us of the happy times we shared together just a few months prior.  There's nothing like sitting out on the balcony there.  It doesn't matter if it's first thing in the morning watching the sun rise, in the middle of the day able to see the vast beauty of the ocean and its surroundings, or at night listening to the ocean and seeing the faint glow of the moon reflecting on the water.  

For me, it simply brings some quiet time.
And quiet time for me generally means thoughts rolling around in my head and me wanting somehow, someway to make sense of it and share.

Want to know a secret?
I had made it a mission to find *the* perfect sand dollar. 
When we were down there this summer I was walking early one morning and this guy, literally, had his hands filled with perfect sand dollars.
And I just knew if I got up early enough that I, too, would be able to find one.

Well, I was instead taught a lesson.
I took multiple walks on this trip and these are just a few shells I collected one evening...
Every single one is broken.

And you know what?
They are beautiful!

And quite honestly, my favorites out of the bunch we collected.

No, I didn't find the perfect sand dollar.
Probably enough broken pieces to put together a handful of them though!

And I knew that it was a reminder that, more often that not, we're searching for perfection in all the wrong places.  
Or rather, trying to be perfect in a world that is so not.

In the collection of shells, these broken ones, the ones some may have rejected and quite possibly skipped over or passed by, stood out the most to me!

We have been given all the pieces to make something beautiful!

Friends, let me remind you that you don't have to have it all together. You don't have to be the prettiest, funniest, smartest, most financially secure, best girlfriend/wife/mom/friend, (insert whatever you are trying to obtain here).

It's ok to not have it all together.
It's ok to be broken.

[Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. 
-Galatians 6:9-10]

I've been focused on this scripture a lot this week.
And my thoughts are this...

I think the majority of us want to help people.  We generally want what's best for others.  However, I think it's human nature to get frustrated sometimes when people don't fit into the "boxes" we create.  Or, maybe it seems like they want to "stay" in their place of brokenness and we become frustrated.  Or when they don't meet that perfect representation of what we need, it's easy to give up on them.  It's easy to just stop trying.  

I think that's where that second part becomes so important...
Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.  

Whether you are a believer or not, I hope you see the bigger picture.
Our "family" can sometimes be the harder ones for us to show good to.
But guess what?!?

People aren't perfect.
Family isn't perfect.
Friends aren't perfect. 

Quite honestly, there are things that people are going through that we cannot even fathom.  
And they hide it because of this fear of showing their imperfections. 
And maybe they'll be overlooked or tossed back into the ocean.
And why is this?
Because we expect them to just have it all together?
To be perfect?
To not be another person who needs our help?

There is a lot of brokenness in our world right now.  
In the country we live in.  
The State.  
The City.  
Probably right where you work.

People are broken and we need to recognize this and help them see their beauty despite their brokenness.  God will use you to help someone along...he reminds us in 2 Corinthians...

We faced conflict from every direction, with battles on the outside and fear on the inside.
But God, who encourages those who are discouraged, encouraged us by the arrival of Titus.
His presence was a joy...

It's ok to be broken.  
But let others come alongside you ... 
Because more often than not, we need someone to be broken with, too.
We may not have it all together, but together we can have it all!
And we need to recognize that broken can still be used.
Broken IS beautiful!

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