I've never really written anything about how my heart was broken two and a half years ago. Nothing intended to be seen by anyone but me and God, anyway. However, God spoke some very clear things to me tonight as I laid down to sleep, and I couldn't quiet my mind long enough to rest until I got it out on paper. I feel very deeply that this message is intended for someone, and so... I will write. And I will be vulnerable. Much more vulnerable than I am comfortable with. But God can work through vulnerability. When I stay silent is when my pain becomes nothing more than pain. The following is a story about how I found God's grace in the midst of a broken heart.
Like many women, I've always desired a big kind of love. The kind of love you read about in books and see in movies. The kind of love that is willing to make "the big gesture" for me - the kind of love that is willing to risk everything. I think that's what most little girls dream of. We dream of a man who would give it all up just to be with us; a man who would move mountains to win our affection.
I thought I found that kind of love. In fact, in July 2014, I was picking out engagement rings with the man I thought God had for me. By August of 2014, our relationship had ended. (Cue Anchorman Meme: "Well that escalated quickly!") In a matter of a few weeks, all of the hopes and dreams I had for the future crumbled, and I was left with the deepest pain I have ever felt and memories that would haunt me for the next two years.
It wasn't just a break up, though. It wasn't just words that were exchanged and a simple parting of ways. It was a break of my soul. Because although there were many reasons for this relationship to end, the day that it all came crashing down was the day that this man said he did not want to marry me because of who I believed God was calling me to be: a pastor. It wasn't that he didn't believe in women pastors; although, perhaps that would have been easier to digest. No. The reason it all came apart was simply: He wasn't willing to risk it all.
The day we broke up was the day that I told him that I wasn't sure what my future would look like - I wasn't sure where God would call me in my lifetime. I couldn't give him a firm assurance that I would be planted somewhere for the rest of my life and he wasn't willing to have that kind of instability in his life. Ministry is anything but stable. And I came to realize the greatest fear in my heart: I wasn't worth risking everything for.
It wasn't until a couple nights ago that I was really able to voice this deep desire in my heart for love that would risk everything. It wasn't until I was deep in prayer that the words poured from my lips to my Heavenly Father, "God, I just want to be worth it. I want to be someone who is worth risking everything for." I was a little bit shocked as those words came out of my mouth, but once they did, it was almost a relief. It was an "Aha!" moment that helped me realize one of the deepest desires of my heart. Little did I know that God would bring this desire full circle the very next night.
Tonight I read these words from The Greatest Gift by Ann Voscamp and they leapt off the page and into my spirit:
God can't stay away. This is the love story that has been coming for you since the beginning. The God who walked with us in the Garden in the cool of the evening, before the Fall shattered our closeness with Him, is the God who came after His people in the pillar of cloud, of fire, because He couldn't bear to let His people wander alone. He is the God who came to grieving Job as a whirlwind, a tornado, a hurricane, who covenanted to Abraham as a smoking furnace, who wildly pitched His tent with the Holy of Holies so somehow, in all His holy Shekinah glory, He could get close enough again to live amid His people. He is the God who is so for us that He can't stay away from us.
"He is the God who is so for us that He can't stay away from us."
I closed the book, turned the light off, and laid my head down on my pillow. I let that truth wash over me as tears leaked from my eyes. He can't stay away from me. God, my precious Father, cannot stay away from me. In a world full of people who sometimes would do anything in order to get away - it is impossible for Him to ever leave. That is who He is. That is His promise.
He is the one who would risk it all - He did risk it all for me. He is the one who says I am worthy - who says I am worth it. And when my heart cries out, "I just want to be worth risking it all for, God," He whispers sweetly, "You are worth it and I risked everything for you."
And so whoever you are, whatever your story reads, I implore you to remember that there is One who looks upon you and sees nothing but worthiness. There is One who sees only value and beauty. There is One who says, "I gave it all up just to be with you, just to be near you, just to have you close to my heart." And when the world gets hard and when hearts are in broken pieces and scattered on the ground, may we remember the Truth of this precious Father: You are worth it. You are mine.
Hi! My name is Stephanie, and I'm the girl behind this blog! I'm a pastor and a writer and a lover of all things chocolate. As you browse the content on this page, I hope you find yourself encouraged and smiling. At some moments, perhaps you would even shed a tear or two. Most importantly, I pray you find hope in whatever season you're walking through. We are in this journey together, and my calling is to encourage you along the way!