Monday, July 18, 2011

Beauty from Ashes

When I decided to publish my glass heart story I thought it would be easy because I am so far removed from the events that inspired it. And I've told it to countless young women in ministry situations. But the truth is that I hesitated this time. Because while this story illustrates one of the most awe-inspiring works God has done in me to date, it is still deeply personal.

The Glass Heart parallels the story of my first broken heart. I gave my heart away to the first frog that crossed my path. Gratefully, I didn't have to kiss him to find out that he would never be the prince of my dreams. I walked away from that experience broken and fearful. It took me quite a while to trust the Lord with my heart, and even longer to trust any person.

Even once I learned to trust Him again, I believed that I'd destroyed my innocence forever. I accepted that I would have to live with the scars on my heart - for which I was ultimately responsible. I wasn't resentful about it. In my mind, I was damaged and there was nothing to be done. This was the consequence of my sin. I never expected to know innocence again. I'd made my bed and had to sleep in it.

All of that changed one morning in my high school chemistry class. Sunlight streamed in the window behind me, I sat down, and sighed. When I exhaled a lock of hair that was hanging in my face blew back into place. In that moment a childhood dream was fulfilled. As a little girl who adored "The Little Mermaid" I'd spent hours in front of the mirror attempting to imitate this sigh-hairflip-combo that was Ariel's trademark. I never got it right and resigned myself to never being a princess as a result. I'd completely forgotten about it until my hair serendipitously floated out of my eyes that morning. My excitement was unconstrained! Because that moment represented so much more. My childhood innocence was returned to me, symbolized by that "dream come true". A little wind whispered a truth that echoes in my soul, "The author of all true fairy-tales is writing yours... It can happen."

Let me speak for a moment to the girl, the woman, or even the man who has been broken. Your body, heart, and mind has been shattered. You may believe that you are beyond redemption. You may have resigned yourself to never being whole again. You think you are unworthy of healing and may even think it unnecessary. After all, you've adapted. Learned to live with the scars. But I am here to tell you that Jesus Christ is capable of restoring all things.

I know personally that nothing is so big or small that He cannot heal. I thought my broken heart was such a small matter that He couldn't bother with it. But now I know that if He cares to restore something as "small" as my innocence, He can restore anything. He can heal and bring full restoration, no matter what you think you've ruined. There is no detail He does not care intimately about.

His patience is never ending. He does not force Himself on us. The Lord never pushed me to give him my heart. He waited until I'd surrendered every piece to Him, holding nothing back, before He began His restoring work. Before He can begin healing you must trust Him with every part. His hand transforms. My life - my heart - is tangible evidence of His faithfulness. He has made beauty from the ashes.

A few years ago I purchased a glass heart pendant (pictured above) as a tangible reminder of the redemption of God in my life. It's one of my favorite pieces of jewelry, and I get compliments each time I wear it. I usually accept them with thanks, touch it, and remember how I have been made whole. I can never forget.

Have you ever been broken? Has He made you whole? Tell me your story. 


  1. I spent eight years being single after graduating high school, and claiming that I wouldn't be in a relationship ever again until she was the one I was going to marry. I met a girl and intended to marry her, then spent three months in a relationship (culminating in engagement) and was even planning the wedding when she gave my ring back.

    I had surrendered so much of my identity to this relationship that I was ashamed to identify myself to anyone else aside from that. The good news is my family helped me in the healing process:

  2. This is great. What a beautiful reminder that nothing is too big or too small for Him.

  3. ...and may even think it unnecessary. After all, you've adapted. Learned to live with the scars. But I am here to tell you that Jesus Christ is capable of restoring all things.

    I love this!! Thank you so much for this post, it made me smile so much!! I know that it's a deeply personal story but I truly hope that if there's more to come, you'll feel able to share it again :)

  4. Thanks Kelly! :)

    @Just Me (I really want to know your name!) I've still got a few stories coming. I'm praying I'm brave enough to post them. Thanks for the encouragement!