Have you ever gotten in your car, started to drive, and the next thing you know you are asking yourself “how did I get here?” As if the last five miles didn’t exist or you just passed them by without any recollection. Far too many times we find ourselves in these “how did I get here” moments where we started at point A and somehow landed on point F wondering how in the world did I pass point B-E and we start asking the hard questions that sometimes never have answers. We all have these moments but some “How did I get here moments” don’t always have smiles, laughs and love but rather they have hurt, pain, and despair. I have had one of those “moments”.
In 2 Corinthians 4:7-9 scripture states “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” So basically we are all clay pots and when we accept Christ as our Savior we then have this amazing power inside of us like the old Sunday school song says, “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine”. This scripture also reassures us that God will always be by our side in every “moment” of our life. So picture with me a clay pot, it is beautiful and whole, smooth and perfect without blemish, this represents us. Now place a candle inside, this represents Christ in us and His light that shines in us. What a beautiful picture to draw of our life with Christ. So now comes the fun part…life and all its “moments”!!!
So there I was this beautiful clay pot shining Christ’s light for all to see when life happened… I was driving home and my phone rang and I noticed it was my husband so I proceeded to answer it. The next few minutes and words that were spoken and received on that phone that day would forever change the course of my life. The words that were spoken were words that no wife ever wants to hear, it went a little bit like this, “honey, I have something I need to tell you.” The tone in his voice was filled with fear and regret, yet with love and remorse. Before he could say another word I reassured him that I loved him and there wasn’t anything that would change that. There was an awkward silence and then the truth came, the words were spoken, he confessed that not only was he addicted to pornography but that he had been unfaithful in our marriage…
BAM…it was as if he had picked up a hammer and took a big ole slug at my clay pot and his clay pot. As I sat there in my car completely numb to what had just happened I thought to myself “How did I get here”? It had felt like just yesterday I was in high school dreaming about the beauties of my future and today I was literally trying to pick up the broken pieces of my life. What happened? How did I completely miss point B-E? What do I do now? In that moment I felt like Isaiah did, in Isaiah 45:9 it states “What sorrow awaits those who argue with its maker? Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying, ‘Stop, you’re doing it wrong!’ Does the pot exclaim, ‘How clumsy can you be?” I grew up in a Christian home, I was not only a pastor’s kid but I was a pastor’s wife as well and I felt betrayed but not only by my husband but by God. I began to question God, why God, why me, why are you letting this happen to me, what did I do wrong, I didn’t deserve this. I am your vessel, your clay pot and you are letting my pot get demolished. I was seriously questioning God and asking him “how clumsy can you be?” “STOP!!!” “You are doing it all wrong!” With every repercussion of my husband’s poor decisions came another slug of the hammer to my clay pot…BAM…to his clay pot…BAM…to our clay pot…BAM!!! Before we knew it we were sitting in a pile of broken pieces that could never be put back together.
What do I do now God? Where do I go from here? I am broken, hurt, lonely, full of pain and anger. I not only have myself to worry about but 4 little kids (at the time) who need me to be strong. I felt betrayed, used, ugly, and worthless. My husband felt ashamed, full of guilt and was hurting inside. How could God ever use me again, my husband again, us again? The Bible says I can leave him for what he has done. Lord what do I do, I put all my trust in you, please Lord show me the next step. In His gentle yet passionate voice he whispered to me “Danielle, DO NOT GIVE UP!”
So how do I not give up? Well I would love to say that it was as simple as just saying those simple words… “Ok God, I trust you, I am going to give you all these pieces, do with them what you will.” …but it was so much more than that. There were nights of crying myself to sleep, there were days where I was face down on the floor crying out to God, there were those moments where I found myself so desperate that I almost couldn’t move. Making that decision to “Not Give Up” took patience, time, energy, diving into the Word, praying when I didn’t feel like it, worshiping when I had nothing to give, but also yes to God, yes to His power, yes to His unfailing love. It took days, months, years of those daily little steps. I took little steps every day. One thing I learned is that it was ok to cry, it was ok to be angry, it was ok to not know what to do. God gave us tears to use, emotions to show our feelings and an innocence of not knowing what needs to happen next. The scripture I stood on every day was Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” I wanted that hope and future and I knew the first step I needed to do was forgive my husband. This was by far the hardest yet most rewarding and freeing experience of my life.
After I forgave my husband something magical happened not only to me, but to my husband, to our marriage, to our family, that only God could do; He began to put our clay pots together. I knew at this point that our clay pots would never look the same again but I was not ready for what the Master was preparing. My clay pot is no longer beautiful and smooth or without blemish, it now has ugly cracks and huge chunks that are missing. To be honest my clay pot is pretty ugly to say the least, but remember in 2 Corinthians 4:7 scripture states “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” When you place that candle in my clay pot now, His light shines through every crevasse, every crack, every huge chunk that is missing. In my brokenness, God’s all powerful, beautiful and perfect light can shine brighter than it ever could in that smooth, perfect clay pot without blemish. Through my brokenness came beauty. Through your brokenness comes beauty. You are beautifully and wonderfully made. God is not only there for every “moment” of your life but he is waiting for you to give Him ALL your broken pieces so he can make a masterpiece. Although it has been a road less traveled I never gave up on my husband, on our marriage, on our family or on me! God has restored what the enemy thought was his. Not only did God restore our marriage, our family and our ministry but he made it more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. Never Give UP! You are not alone, you never were and you never will be. Your beauty shines through your brokenness!
Lord, I pray right now for any woman out there who is struggling to figure out the “why” in their brokenness. Whether it be self-inflicted or hurts caused by others, Lord you see it all and you see every little broken piece. I pray right now for a healing to begin and restoration to begin and a faith to begin that can move mountains. By your grace we are saved and it is by grace and mercy and the untainted love you have for us that will make our clay pots beautiful. You are the Maker, the Potter, the Healer and the Restorer. I pray for your light to shine through every woman out there right now. Make our brokenness Your beauty. In your precious and holy name. Amen