dear overwhelmed heart

It takes a great deal of grit to keep going in the face of things that feel like a fast closing tsunami on a flat plain with no higher ground in sight.

It takes courage to look past the comparison of your real life when you’re constantly thinking other people’s ‘show reels’ are their real life.

It take determination to face another day of the same challenges, the same demands, the same brokenness.

I’m thinking of you today and praying a safe space for you to lower your guard, to lay down this load of perfection, to come out from behind the screen and allow yourself to be really seen.

100 percent

The internet has its wonderful graces but it has helped us all to live under the sin of covetousness and comparison.

It’s made us look at our ‘neighbour’s’ (aren’t we all neighbours now?) parenting skills, slim thighs, attractive partner, exotic holiday locations, pin worthy bedroom makeover and let our hearts be dismayed.

Covetousness is a robber. God knew when we went down that path – the path that makes us focus on our flaws, our lack, our disappointments – we were never going to return healthier, more motivated, more gracious to ourselves, quicker to forgive the less than perfect people we share our lives with.

To a people just delivered from slavery we see God establishing a set of safeguards to keep them again from self-inflicted slavery.

Because, dear heart, when you start to focus on how everyone else is getting it right, how their load is easier, how their grass is greener you have entangled yourself again in slavery. You have become a slave to an ideal that not only is impossible to meet, but an ideal that isn’t true.

Your imagination is making more of the greener grass than reality would suggest.

Jesus says, come to me you who are burdened and I will give you rest.

He invites us to unburden ourselves and be clothed in something that doesn’t require us to get it right. It requires us to admit we can’t.

When we start living free we release others to do the same. When we lower our guard and admit friend to friend, heart to heart, face to face that we are struggling we will either find that we have freed someone else to admit the same, or, we will find a safe place to be loved despite it all. Surely either of those are a better offer than the struggle of trying so hard to be all we cannot be.

Today instead of looking at someone’s perfect life online how about taking time to connect with someone offline?

How about we all ask to be delivered from the trap of covetousness and instead see ourselves for what we are – the radically loved, forgiven, cherished children of the Most High. Because that is what we are.

belonging

See how safe you are to be imperfect? We are all imperfect and any who present as less than are probably drowning in a terrible tide of overwhelming pressure to continue the facade.

Let’s use our determination, our grit, our courage to hold onto our freedom in Christ and certainly not let ourselves be burdened with a yoke of slavery that demands perfection.

Instead, we rest in the Grace of the One who knows us as imperfect and loves us all the same.

Be loved beautiful ones.

Father let us rest today in your care, unburdened and free from comparison, covetousness, and perfectionism. Let us be found secure in you, becoming whole and fully rescued. Give us strength to face the battles in our lives knowing we are not alone, nor will we ever be. You have promised to be with us always, and you always deliver on your promises.

Why So Downcast Oh My Soul?

The Psalmist sings,

Day and night my tears

    are my only food,

    as everyone keeps asking,

    “Where is your God?”

Sorrow floods my heart,

    when I remember

leading the worshipers

    to your house.

    I can still hear them shout

    their joyful praises.

Why am I discouraged?

Why am I restless?

David sings –
anointed to be a king and inherit a kingdom and legacy,
loved by God
gifted by God
worshipper

yet broken hearted, downcast, distracted by the troubles that loomed large – how can that David be downcast?

Just the same way you are downcast

You
anointed to be a co-heir of a kingdom that will rule all kingdoms
loved by God
gifted by God
worshipper

just the way you too can be downcast.

Sometimes it doesn’t matter how great the promises, we can still be all broken to pieces with nothing to fix us.

So do not be dismayed that you are downcast – because even those with the surest of promises wobble in the present from time to time.

Re-align your Hope and do not berate yourself. Being downcast by circumstance is not a sign you are a loser. You are in the company of King David and you dear one are loved just the same.

Put you Hope in Him for you will yet Praise.

God would you meet us at the intersect of our downcast soul and speak promises to the hopeless emotion, speak life to the broken dreams, speak truth to the passing circumstance.

When You Feel Like a Skeleton Leaf

When Autumn turns to Winter and sometimes-sun shines hot, leaves dry to crunchy underfoot. Those leaves once glorious shades of rich are now brittle, dry, broken.

So far gone, a gentle touch might be enough to break the leaf beyond repair.

I am reminded of skeleton leaves – so fine and dry there is nothing to them.

This picture came to me and I wondered if it were for you.

And maybe you feel guilty for sitting in your ‘comfort’ and your home when babes are washed up on shores in distant lands. Guilty that for all you have your heart still feels like it might disintegrate within you.

The mocking voice of how lucky you should feel, how happy you ought to be, how everyone else is managing, is like the hand that might crush you down beyond repair – like you might turn to dust and be borne away on the wind.

Because you feel bad for feeling bad and you feel like you are trapped in some cycle that will wear you down until you are no more than an invisible set of threads, that show the pattern of what was once a green leaf attached to the vine.

These are the verses I feel for you today,
“there is hope for a tree:
    If it is cut down, it will sprout again,
    and its new shoots will not fail.
Its roots may grow old in the ground
    and its stump die in the soil,
yet at the scent of water it will bud
    and put forth shoots like a plant.” 

Job 14

and maybe we don’t know each other, and maybe we do, but I wonder if this whisper from heaven is for you today.

Because you matter. We all matter – and that is the long and short and confusing and overwhelming truth of it all.

the ones who ignore
the ones who stand up and take action
the ones who kneel down and win unseen wars
the ones who are self-obsessed
the ones who are self-loathing

all matter.

Today you matter. Through the throngs of crowds, the crush, the voices – a single trembling hand that reached out just to touch the hem of His garment. That one mattered.

In the empty, broken silence can you smell the scent of water?
Just the smallest of trickles that might bring life to an empty shell.

Can you believe you might see green shoots come in your life again? Is it too great a thing for God to achieve in you?

“Though you were ruined and made desolate
    and your land laid waste,
now you will be too small for your people,
    and those who devoured you will be far away.
20 The children born during your bereavement
    will yet say in your hearing,
‘This place is too small for us;
    give us more space to live in.’
21 Then you will say in your heart,
    ‘Who bore me these?
I was bereaved and barren;
    I was exiled and rejected.
    Who brought these up?
I was left
    but these—where have they come from?’”
Isaiah 49

Because that’s the Hope I feel for you too, little, broken, dry, skeleton leaf…. that it’s not just a scent of water that will Save you – it’s that there is more for you. There is life in you, and that life will give life, and you will not be sentenced to being barren and neglected.

You will be a life-giver.

Read these words today and let them settle deep down in your dry bones. Dare to let your mind, your heart, your faith, wander again to the promises you have been given. The One who promises you is faithful.

May you know today the scent of water.

You are loved. You matter. You are noticed and heaven whispers your name. There is life for you yet.

Spirit, I am dry, crushed and broken. Help me know the scent of life. Let me live to see your promises realised.


You shall be called by a new name,
Which the mouth of the Lord will name.
You shall also be a crown of glory
In the hand of the Lord,
And a royal diadem
In the hand of your God.
You shall no longer be termed Forsaken,
Nor shall your land any more be termed Desolate;
But you shall be called Hephzibah(my delight is in her), and your land Beulah(married);
For the Lord delights in you.

Isaiah 62

When Today Isn’t Going to be Awesome

Aren’t those days great when you rise to sunshine and hope in the air and the promise of something new and special right around the corner?

Isn’t it wonderful when the season is a promising one and we can see everywhere the signs of spring?

But there are days when we wake knowing today isn’t going to be awesome.

The days we face a conflict that must be resolved,

the days we know there are apologies we must give and forgiveness to be asked for,

the days of sickness and tiredness rolled into one,

the days of disappointments and rejections….

The days that feel like a every breath is a fight, and the pit of your stomach weighs heavy in your body.

The days that only promise a long winter ahead.

These are the days I come to remember again how much I need the One, the source, the place of eternal rest.

The invitation calls more strongly in the place of distress – come to me you who are burdened and weary and I will give you rest.

The bible is not a collection of promises that today will be awesome.
It is a promise, written in the blood of my Saviour, that I AM will be with me in non-awesome, in the desperation, in the carnage of the mess of my own bad decisions.

The bible is a promise of never being alone in triumph or disaster.

Jesus… the one who walked in distress, who wept, who raged, who offended, who comforted, who understood, who reached out to the rejected, who was himself rejected, who suffered the physical pain of death… this is the Voice who said…

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

Maybe you face a day, or a week, or a season that feels like even the whisper of wonderful is impossible – in the midst of all of that may you know what it is to rest right next to the heartbeat of God.

May you find yourself safely in the arms that never grow tired or weak or restless.

Because the fact that today isn’t going to be awesome doesn’t mean you are abandoned.

You dear one, beloved, are not alone.

May you cast yourself bone-weary and broken, fearful and needing forgiveness at the place where all of it is swallowed up into the broken body of Jesus as he wins your peace, as he wins your rest, as he wins Hope beyond the borders of our mess, and forever.

Be loved today xxx

beauty in brokeness

In Japan they have a style of mending called Kintsugi

instead of trying to disguise the cracks when they put something back together they fill the cracks with gold and something very ordinary, some mundane vessel, is transformed into something interesting, and beautiful, and lovely.

I am taken by this idea,

that in the process of acknowledging my brokenness I allow myself to be put back together,

and then I can be filled with gold,

and the pieces of me that once disqualified me from usefulness can now be the best parts.

The parts of the story with sharp edges that wounded are now the parts that reflect God’s glory.

The shameful parts that point to my failure, to moments of recklessness, to the fallenness of others are now the parts where his grace is given full measure,

where the mendingness of his love shine and tell the world

I am broken but I am mended

I am no longer just mundane and ordinary now in my brokenness I am transformed to display his glory, for his honour and his delight.

There have been times in my life where I have tried with desperate efforts to conceal the broken edges, to try to perform my function whilst hiding my difficulties…. and I had it all wrong, so wrong.

It is when I share my brokenness that I can be fixed not to be what I once was but to be more than I was

so that in the fixing I am enlarged, I am repurposed for a much greater purpose.

Because gold shines, gold reflects, gold is precious and rare and beautiful – and it is the work of the trinity in me that makes the broken beautiful.

Maybe when we start to allow the veins of gold to be part of the beautiful story we will, without realising, allow others to acknowledge their broken pieces too. The fear of letting people see the brokenness might become truly overcome by the hope that transformation is so much better than an image that is built on hiding ourselves.

Today I want to walk up the hill of vulnerability, to bring my sharp and wounding edges to the cross and to allow the cracks to be filled with the love that poured out from the place of death and sacrifice.

I want to go through the process of kintsugi

I want to be a work of art fashioned by God

Miriam xx