If you came over from Encouragement for Today, welcome! I’m so glad you are here. In today’s devo we talked about those times we feel a little unfinished. Let’s take that a little deeper. ~ Suzie
My story is like a zig zag.
Third girl born to 21-year-old woman who fled abusive husband.
Daughter to Jim, who took on single mom and children.
Fractured, broken, angry teen.
Cancer at 31
Surgery. Chemo. Radiation. More surgery.
Leaves job to pursue dream.
Cancer survivor of 10 years.
Woman in love with husband–just diagnosed with cancer
If I had written my own story, I would have had a smoother beginning. None of the chaos. None of the secrets.
If I had written my own story, I would have been more confident. Sure of who I was, and whose I am.
I would have left the cancer part out. A young mom whose whole life was turned upside down by a diagnosis.
If I had written my own story, a shy girl would have never dreamed that she’d speak publicly . . .and love it. Because that wasn’t even on the radar.
And then there’s the part I wouldn’t write in the zig-zag story that’s new. It still takes my breath away. It’s the part where the guy I love has cancer. It’s the part where we face this one more time as a couple.
Oh, I’d put a big mark through that one if I could.
Maybe there’s parts you don’t like about your story.
Can I share something? Every part is valuable with God. I don’t know exactly how this works, but I know it’s true.
My angry, hurting chapters — in God’s hands — help me to never underestimate the depth of another woman’s pain.
They help me dream big about what any broken human being is going to look like in His hands.
They help me have patience for someone who is in the process of change.
There was even value in those chapters that had nothing to do with my past, but rather events or circumstances that whipped in like an Oklahoma tornado and unsettled everything.
When I look back at a young mom diagnosed with breast cancer that had spread, I wouldn’t want to go back there. . .
But I came out of those chapters stripped of priorities that used to take up more space then they should. In their place was the pursuit of laughter, family, faith, health. Because of cancer I now savored small things that I used to walk right by and not see their value.
There are other chapters.
Like discovering that a shy girl could be used by God to come alongside others who wanted more of Him, too.
Or moments when I held a grand baby for the first time, marveling at their innocent beauty, praising God because brokenness no longer held power over my family tree.
I didn’t care that photos were snapped of a “Gaga” without a stitch of makeup because they captured the joy I felt inside just nestling this precious gift on my chest.
And this new chapter?
I don’t know where cancer is going to lead Richard and me this time. . . but I know that God has the pencil.
I know it because I am handing it to Him.
I’m trusting that He sees something I don’t. I’m trusting in the truth of eternity. I’m trusting that He’s gonna show up big to wrap us up in peace through surgeries and treatment and bills that pile up in the mailbox.
The thing is, that for all of us our story is still unfolding.
We are all unfinished in some way, but. . .
Unfinished doesn’t equal unworthy.
It doesn’t mean “The End,” not when God still has things to say in you and through your life.
What it does mean is that we have a Savior that walks with us through each chapter. And that chapter becomes a story of relationship and reconciliation and restoration as He carefully writes upon our hearts through each day that passes.
And then that story spills out as others read His words through you.
Today I’m giving away one copy of The Mended Heart: God’s Healing for Your Broken Places.
Being hurt and heartbroken is a sad reality for most of us. But I’m so thankful for this treasure of a book written by my friend Suzie Eller. Page by page, Suzie will help you understand how God’s truth can heal your pain so you can move forward whole and healed.
– Lysa TerKeurst, New York Times Bestselling Author; President of Proverbs 31 Ministries