I had an epiphany today.
The book, The Broken Way, by Ann Voskamp was in my Amazon shopping cart. Unpurchased. I was debating several things. First of all, I have 697 unread books on my nightstand. (I may or may not be exaggerating.) Second, after the year we have had, do I want to read another book about brokenness? (As in, life is hard but God is good…yada yada yada.)
So imagine my surprise when it showed up on my kitchen counter. My man had bought athletic wear for our oldest and didn’t take the book out of the cart so, there it was.
And here it is.
I spend too much time on social media (confession, here) and often have three or four books going at the same time so it takes me forever to get through a book these days. But this one kept calling my name, so to speak, and I began to read.
Six chapters in and I am just amazed at the depth in Ann’s words. I was a huge fan of One Thousand Gifts and have read it twice along with listening to it on Audible. I have a gratitude journal with entries topping four thousand and I believe with all of my heart in the power of giving thanks in all circumstances. The Broken Way is like a beautiful continuum, putting feet to faith and trusting God when everything within me screams “impossible” or “not enough!” As I have read her words and resonated with her struggles I realize that, for a very long time, I have believed a lie.
I have written blog posts for over ten years, but so many things I have wanted to share I have kept to myself because I felt that you, my dear reader, would think that I somehow have things figured out. Because of my struggles and nights of wrestling with God I felt unqualified to share my thoughts with you. It’s easy to write about kids. I did that faithfully for a long time and did it well. But I no longer have cute toddler stories to share, I have young adults who are on social media and are not ok with me using them to score readers.
So what’s left? Well…me. And what do I have to offer? The Liar has told me that I have very little. That until I have my act together I have no right to tell you anything. I’m an expert on nothing and an authority on little…or so I believed.
But today the story of Peter penetrated my heart. He is walking on water with the King of the Universe. He is standing because his eyes were fixed on his Messiah. Then his eyes shift…he looks around and doubt creeps in and the next thing he knows he is sucking seawater and screaming for help. Why? I always though it was because he didn’t believe in Jesus, but after today I think the problem was deeper. Peter did not believe in himself. (Page 85)
That is me. That is my struggle. Do I believe God can do great things in and though me? Yes, of course! But I have also, deep down in my spirit, believed that my flaws have held Him back, limited His power because I am so unfocused and inconsistent. But what if Ann’s theory is true? What if God believes…in me?
What if God still uses imperfect, cracked pots? Did He not choose twelve flawed men to bring about a revolution of Grace? Hasn’t every great hero of the Faith stumbled and fallen and still been used mightily by the King? When the voice sneers in my mind, “Who do you think you are? You are not qualified to do/say/write/teach anything. You are a mess,” does not God remind me that I am a daughter of the King, chosen to do good works before I was even born, qualified because He has called me and it is HE who qualifies the called?
I am enough. In and because of JESUS I am enough. Jesus is in me, therefore I am enough. He never asked me to have it all together. Like Peter, He simply wants my focus. If my eyes are on Him, He will keep me afloat.
I am most certainly an imperfect, cracked pot. But I do, with all that is in me, want to be bold for the Kingdom and make a difference in the sphere of influence in which God has placed me.
One of my favorite quotes is by Leonard Cohen:
There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.
Yes and amen. I am full of cracks so shine away, Lord. Shine away.