Damaged

damaged

I was excited to open the box of new pots and pans my mom sent us for Christmas a few years ago, but the largest glass lid had shattered and the pieces were scattered throughout the box like jagged diamonds.

I had no idea what happened to that box after the pans and their lids had been packed, the box taped up and sent on its way. I didn’t know how many trucks it had been loaded on or if someone had haphazardly tossed it or dropped it. I just knew it was damaged when it got to me.

Have you been damaged along the way to where you are now? Has someone carelessly hurt you or tossed you aside, discarding your heart as if it were made of stone and not a fragile part of who you are?

I’ve been there. Many times. Broken relationships, betrayal from those I trusted wholeheartedly. Those who tried to manipulate and control my life at a time when I didn’t fully trust God; a terrible consequence for looking to others instead of Him but a valuable lesson indeed.

I often wondered if I would ever “get back” to me. If I was too far gone, too broken, or too damaged. Maybe you’re there today, wondering if you’ll ever heal completely or if the wound will remain open and painful.

Or maybe you’re slowly recovering with God’s help. But every time you’re in a similar situation or a new relationship starts to develop, you can’t help but hold your breath as you anticipate the sting.

So you shrink back. You pull away. You withdraw and seek God, asking Him to help you as you bury yourself in His arms again.

But you hope others will understand, that they might consider what has happened to you along the way; what careless words cut you or toxic relationship left you scarred. You pray they won’t take it personally as you wait on God to tell you what to do and how to move forward.

You don’t want this to go on forever, and you know God is working on you. You’ve come so far, really. But others might not see that. They don’t know how many thousands of fragments God has already healed in your shattered heart, how many times He’s helped you to breathe during those situations that used to steal your breath.

You hope they know you’re trying.

You’re not trying to be the same person you once were but a better you. You want to learn from your past, grow from your mistakes. You want to be so on fire for God that those who try to control or manipulate you again will recoil from the heat.

You want more of God. More than anything.

And you find yourself hoping a few of those diamond-like shards of your shattered heart remain because now you understand how His love has strengthened you and how it reflects even brighter through such broken places to those who are also damaged.

Those who need to know God is totally trustworthy and so very close.

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” (Psalm 34:18 NLT.)

“I am forgotten by them as though I were dead; I have become like broken pottery. But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’” (Psalm 31:12,14 NIV.)

Who’s Pushing Your Buttons?

keyboard

Is someone pushing your buttons today?

You know, a certain person comes around and “pushes your buttons” and makes you lose control. You think it’s that person’s fault, right?  Or maybe you blame yourself for the whole mess, that you’ve allowed them to get under your skin.

But what if there’s more going on behind the scenes?  What if someone has been studying you; watching and listening to what drives you crazy, what gets on your nerves, what pushes you to the edge of yourself so you jump right over the line and stop being “you?”

It’s not just about the buttons that set you off, my friend, but the one pushing them.  And I’m not talking about the person you might be thinking about who can sometimes be difficult…we all can be a little rough around the edges at times.

Satan, however, loves to be sneaky. If he can hide behind a big keyboard full of keys and buttons, knowing which one will set you off at precisely the right moment, he will.  You see, when he does that he stops you from noticing whatever God had for you in that very moment or from being a part of God’s plan to bless someone else.  Either way, Satan just destroyed the moment.

I imagine him leaning over a keyboard, rubbing his hands together, watching you as you’re running late to a doctor’s appointment or work. Satan waits, deciding which button to push.  And when someone pulls out in front of you, drives dangerously slow, and then pulls off without a turn signal, he knows exactly which button to push:  Anger.  Oh he leans on it hard until it becomes this irritating, aggravating pitch in your head that lingers with you for the rest of the day.  See there, he has stolen your joy too.  Remember, Satan is also a thief.

Or maybe you’re struggling with money and after you pick up just a few essentials at the grocery store, your car won’t start. You didn’t even have enough money to buy a full gallon of milk and now this?  Discouragement.  That’s the label above the key Satan just pushed.  You see, if he can get you thinking thoughts like, “I will never get ahead” or “This is impossible” then Satan wins.  You break down worse than your car.  He just killed your hope and you become someone manipulated by your emotions instead of being led by God.  (Remember, God has a great plan for YOU and Satan does not want you to get anywhere near it.)

What do we do then? We go to God every time and ask Him to help us see behind the scenes; discernment.  We shine the light of God’s truth on Satan like Jesus did in the desert and watch as the enemy slinks out of the dark corner and away from that keyboard he’s been hiding behind.  And we refuse to be played by a liar, thief, and murderer.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”  (John 10:10 NIV.)