“But what do you think that line means? ‘If destruction’s what I need then I’ll receive it Lord from Thee…’ That sounds kind of scary.” She speculated at the thought of God allowing our lives to be destroyed.
I spouted off some kind of response with depth beyond my seventeen-year-old understanding, unaware of the foreshadowing laden in every word.
“If we are living outside of God’s will for our lives and our choices bring heavy consequences, I think He’ll allow us to experience those consequences. Because the destruction of whatever lifestyle we’ve chosen might just draw us closer to Him in our pain and confusion. And it might be what eventually leads us to walking in His better plan for our lives. God is good, so if He sees fit to allow my ways of doing things to come crashing down, even when it’s painful, I want to endure to find out what He has in store for me afterwards.”
Two years later I was single and pregnant, and every decision I had made leading me to pregnancy was twisted and rooted in lies. My life was in shambles and everything I thought I knew about relationships, being all grown up and making choices for myself led me straight to destruction. And, boy, was it excruciating. Processing my actions as I dug through the wreckage left my heart bruised and broken. But one thing, deep within my soul, I knew for certain: it wasn’t God who caused this pain, but my own doing led me to this place of painful exposure. I felt like every weakness, every vulnerable area in my life had been displayed for all to see.
What I had yet to realize is that in this season of sheer vulnerability, with every wall I’d built and perfectly crafted, deciding who to let in and who to shut out, smashed to bits around me, God scooped me up and cradled me in His mighty hand. And I chose to stay there. The pain remained, but within His grasp I felt unconditionally loved and protected; two things I could never, with the greatest effort, seek out for myself in any human. Within His embrace I felt I could heal and hope arose before my eyes, luring me to discover more of this Savior and more of what He had to offer. I could uncurl from the victimized, fetal position, and stand humbled before the God who called out brave potential in a weak, broken girl.
We often share with people inquiring about Embrace Grace that God will use all kinds of situations to draw his daughters’ hearts back to Him, and He just might use a baby to save a young girl’s life, as they gaze upon the sweetest face they’ve ever seen. And maybe then they’ll have an inkling of how much God loves them. While my unplanned pregnancy came as a surprise under unfavorable circumstances, I never would have identified all of the lies and manipulative ways the devil was using in his attempt to steal my destiny and derail my purpose on this earth, had I not been blessed with the precious life of my first daughter. Had life as I’d known it remained intact and not come crashing down around me, I would not have experienced the healing hands of God mend fragments of decency into a daughter of The King.
People say all the time if they could go back in time and redo some things they would, and for a time I would have jetted back to change some of my choices, too. But now, gleaning on agape love and scandalous grace and mercies afresh… Oh, you couldn’t drag me back to the past to change it. The transforming experience on this journey since the unexpected life developed within me was a mere foretaste of the character and capability of God, and I would not change a thing. I have been shaped by the presence of the Lord. And if ever destruction is what I need, then I stand with my arms stretched high and wide, surrendering all that I have tried to build on my own, to receive the wreck of glory in the aftermath.
With Thanksgiving only a day away, I am thankful for brokenness. I am thankful for a loving God taking delight in His creation of me. I am thankful for His healing hands turning my messes into wondrous miracles. I am thankful for my soon to be four year old daughter, Brinley, as she dances through life a shining symbol of redemption at its finest. I am thankful for a man who saw value in making me his bride and giving me another gleaming daughter to rejoice in. And truly I am thankful for destruction, because without it I would be an empty, barricaded shell in a downward spiral. But because of it I am a whole, humbled, worthy, purposed daughter of The King.
“Hurricane,” by Jimmy Needham is still one of my favorite songs of all time. And maybe it spurred this blog post and was on my heart for you today. Maybe it is time to stretch your arms to the heavens and bare your soul and all of its walls, to allow the most loving God to tear them down and repair your broken and bruised heart. There is pain in the downfall, but joy awaits you tomorrow. Maybe, just maybe destruction is the very best thing to ever come your way to reveal the face of a Father restoring life to His daughter.
by Jacqueline Fox