by Jill Murphy

How Badly Do You Want It?

Recently, I was working on an afghan for my granddaughter, and I was running into difficulty getting past the first ten rows. When I would get to the row that revealed the pattern, I discovered that either I had made a mistake or there was an error in the instructions (which happens often). I must’ve started over five or six times…I lost count! I didn’t know what I was doing wrong, but, every time I made adjustments, I was convinced it was going to work out. At one point, I felt like giving up and finding a different afghan to make. After all, no one would know what I had intended to make except me. I really liked this pattern, though, and there weren’t many options using this particular yarn because it was difficult to work with and see the individual stitches. So, this is when I had to decide, “How badly do I want it?” Am I willing to keep trying until I succeed and commit to doing what it takes to get it right, or am I going to accept that I’d failed and never get to see the finished product and the delight on my granddaughter’s face when she nuzzles into it for the first time? I determined that I did want it bad enough! Of course, I also prayed that my efforts would pay off, and I decided I was just going to do what I knew to do and hope that it didn’t take too many more attempts. I’m happy to report that I was finally rewarded with success after only a couple more times of starting over.

Are You Willing To Do What It Takes?

This experience made me think of what women go through as they contemplate seeking healing from childhood sexual abuse (CSA). Some are reluctant to let the emotions of that painful experience rise up again. Some are in denial or unwilling to accept that it still affects them, because, in their minds, they’ve managed just fine. Still others believe that they’ve already been healed, because they’ve since been saved and are serving in their church faithfully. From my perspective, I have yet to meet a woman who found true and permanent healing from CSA without going through some type of program or counseling. I believe those women who think they can avoid doing what it takes to get healed simply don’t understand all the ways in which it affects their minds, hearts, and souls; however, if they can trust the One who made them to know the ways in which they need to be healed, I know they will not regret it.

“Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” (Isaiah 64:8 – NIV)

We Are the Clay and He is the Potter

In Hearts Unveiled, I speak about when we were still clay in the Potter’s hands…”As He (God) is working with the clay (us) and the potter’s wheel spins around (our day to day lives), He makes adjustments to compensate for the faulty decisions and hurt that occur to reshape (redemption) and mold us back into the vessel He image-ined.” You see, He is the only one who knows what we were supposed to look like from the beginning and what our original purpose was supposed to be; however, it isn’t until the pot gets put in the kiln/fire (trials of this life) that weaknesses and impurities (the damaging effects from our sexual abuse) are revealed.

He Picks Up All the Pieces

Not too long ago, I heard a gentleman describing the Japanese art form of Kintsugi (“golden joinery”), also known as Kintsukuroi (“golden repair”), which consists of repairing broken pottery by mending the areas of breakage with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object rather than something to disguise. In Flickwerk:  The Aesthetics of Mended Japanese Ceramics, it is said that “the bowl has become more beautiful for having been broken.” I compared this to those of us who’ve been sexually abused and how similar this is to the healing journey God takes us through. As the song below illustrates, our Creator meets us where we are at now, picks up all the pieces from our childhood, and puts them back together to create something better. Just when we thought the little girl we were supposed to be was lost forever, God chooses to break us so that He can reintroduce us to His tender love for us, and His glory becomes the embellishment to reveal a more beautiful version of ourselves.

Defender

by Francesca Battistelli

You go before I know
that You’ve even gone to win my war.
You come back with the head of my enemy.
You come back, and You call it my victory.

You go before I know
that You’ve even gone to win my war.
Your love becomes my greatest defense.
It leads me from the dry wilderness.

You know before I do
where my heart can seek to find Your truth.
Your mercy is the shade I’m living in,
and You restore my faith and hope again.

When I thought I lost me,
You knew where I left me.
You reintroduced me to Your love.
You picked up all my pieces,
put me back together.
You are the defender of my heart.

Album:  Own It
Written by:  John-Paul Gentile, Steffany Gretzinger & Rita Springer
Release Date:  October 26, 2018
Artist’s website:  https://www.francescamusic.com