Yearning To Be Whole

Solitude breeds thought which brings forth perspective. 

He is heard in a still small voice, a gentle whisper, yet we search for the audibly, louder signs. 

He is felt on the gentle caress of a breeze, the solstice of a nighttime walk, yet we pay no attention. 

All day long we run the rat-race chasing things of little importance in hopes of having these gaping holes inside of us filled. We want to know there is a purpose for us. We yearn to be whole. Complete.

All around us negativity and fear is blossoming like sunflowers in the fields too numerous to count. Our world has changed a lot. We are looking at things square in the eyes that we hoped we would never have to experience in our lifetime. Pandemics, self quarantine, riots, incredible storms, murder, and lack of morals seem at an all-time high and so close to home. We want peace. We want harmony. We want security. 

I sit here and this chapter comes to my mind. Slowly I read and reread its content. 

“As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”  Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you.  For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many.  You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.  Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.  All these are the beginning of birth pains.   “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.  At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other,  and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.  Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,  but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.  And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.   “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’   spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand—  then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.  Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house.  Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak.  How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers!  Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath.  For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.   “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.  At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it.  For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.  See, I have told you ahead of time.   “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it.  For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.  Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.   “Immediately after the distress of those days  “ ‘the sun will be darkened,  and the moon will not give its light;  the stars will fall from the sky,  and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’    “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth   will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.  And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.   “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near.  Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it  is near, right at the door.  Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.  Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.   “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,   but only the Father.  As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.  For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark;  and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.  Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left.  Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.   “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.  But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into.  So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”

Matthew 24:3‭-‬44 NIV”

I encourage you to seek comfort in these words, to rest assure that the world may be surprising us left and right but God is not surprised.

Hold on my brothers and sisters. Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes in the morning.

Suicide Is Not Normal

Your actions put you in the limelight.
My senses are heightened as
I recognize this behavior.
I try to offer a warm embrace instead you push me away.

Habitually, you run to isolation.
Chased there by fear of the light,
Not wanting any piece of you exposed,
As you cope through being scared and shaken,
Wondering how you can get through one more night.

Yet, in shadows I quietly pursue
Seeing that the temptation to self destruct is making you sway.
I want to be there to break the fall.
Actually, I want to keep you from falling at all.

You collapse into a dark corner’s embrace.
I see a familiar glint of silver.
My heart quickens.
Lunging from the darkness,
I grab your hand just as you start to bring crimson.

Suicide doesn’t take away your pain,
it gives it to someone else.
I know how you can be led here. To this place.
I know it’s not really what you want,
you just see no other way.

You run from the Light. However in this moment I will boldly show it.

James 4:2 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask.

It is not normal to want to kill yourself. 

Ephesians 5:29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church.

I think you’ve sat at all wrong campfires
Taking to heart all the wrong stories.
So much that you’ve let it wax your heart so cold.

One of the questions you must ask yourself, is suicide really enduring to the end?

Matthew 24:13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

I cannot complete you. I cannot make you see what you refuse to look at. I can’t reach in and take all the anger and hurt you carry and crush it in my hands. I wish. The important thing is I know someone who can. These are His words to us.

Matthew 11:28  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

Psalm 43:5 Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

Romans 15:13  May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Psalm 34:18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted, and he delivers those whose spirit has been crushed.

As I finish reading these to you, I notice around us, it seems that darkness is slowly stepping away.
Your tears begin to stop flowing.
And the glint first held in a blade is now seen as that start of a sparkle in your eyes.

Hope has arrived.

I step back to allow Him room.
As I do He takes her in His arms and begins loving her back to life.




An Era Of Brokenness

This song is one of my favorites and I found it fitting for this writing. Enjoy!

It is unique how a thought can seed in one’s heart and slowly start to arise creating a writing such as this. In all I write I know it is not of my ability as I am encouraged as well by its content. Many thoughts run in and out of my mind but it seems few take root like this one. Some create an atmosphere and family plan in raising and nurturing my family, in managing our business and farm; some become original quotes and even yet, some become much deeper than that. It is a thought that raises from my core. Something I’ve chewed on awhile.

Around me events continue to happen, summoning me to draw out this pen and paper and let this thought extend to a world of those willing to hear it.

I understand the process by which the Bible was written where a man’s heart was led and inspired to write God-ordained content. I am sure each one would comment on just a thought taking root and it growing through their core until it had to be let out. Spoken. Written. I wish I could sit and have coffee with them and talk.

Since March life has been full of brokenness. Now before one thinks I am writing some sad-poor-pitiful-me piece, bear with me. I did mention I am encouraged by it. Bear with me.

COVID-19 hit and our world reacted. My initial observation was the massive surge in fear leading to panic. I thought back to 9/11 and recall the same reactions yet with COVID being a global issue, fear tends to be breeding excessively; needlessly. Security is broken–yet have we truly ever been secure?

I am beyond blessed in my friendships. I love my friends deeply. An observation I have made of late is that all of them–and I mean all–are suffering trials of varying degrees. Job loss, health issues, relational struggles, supply shortages, isolation, depression, and tons of soul searching. They all have brokenness–yet have we truly ever been without blemish?

Our family has dealt with a lot of tangible brokenness. It has been nothing but repair after repair. As I shake my head, each thing we’ve fixed feels like it has led to three more breaking down.

It started with an oil leak in the Kia: a seal in the engine needed replaced. It was taken to a mechanic and fixed. Then the radiator started leaking and it got replaced.

Our home AC unit went out and we had to replace the motor and blower wheel–this fix was extensive. The humidity was not a kind helper. We were hot and in being amateurs, it took us a while. I can say should we have to do that again, we will be pros.

On the farm we had a cow bust out a tail-light with her head. Our hay isn’t getting cut in the timeframe we want it to as a major mechanical breakdown has hindered the process. It’ll get done, just not as soon as we had hoped.

The lever to the three-point hitch on the tractor busted and needed repair. The AC in the tractor went out. We were going to have our HVAC man come fix it but decided to buy the equipment and do it ourselves. Amidst brokenness we are learning self-sustaining skills.

There was a serious wreck on the highway that destroyed our mailbox. However, this repair is made with special prayers. We won’t be petty about replacing this nor will we complain as a young man almost lost his life. I wish the mailbox would have been the only damage rendered. Mailboxes in our area have a short lifespan. It’s annoying having to replace it often but it will never be superior to someone’s well-being.

We are still praying for this young man to make a full recovery. He has endured several surgeries and has a lot of therapy to handle, but given his outcome already it’s obvious he has the Higher Power by his side which brings comfort.

As if all of this was not enough, our cleaning in our facilities has gotten much more aggressive. Heavy sanitizing, masks, gloves. Harboring a little fear of catching COVID that seems to want to manifest itself but we won’t let it. Our cleaning business is our livelihood. It’s a business my husband and I manage well as it has allowed our family to be together and has always provided for us financially. It is a gift.

Perhaps our van was paying attention to all that was going on. Perhaps our vehicles aligned with each other in the parking lot and conspired to defeat the human race because the van has pitched a fit.

First, while taking the Kia to the shop the window fell in the door. The regulator broke. My husband called me to make an appointment to get it fixed and I did. We have also had issues with the van eating through fan belts and the light is on for the sensor in the tires so I thought I’d kill three birds with one stone.

We took our van to our mechanic and left it for the day. The receptionist called reporting the damage. The window repair would be $280. The reason for our belt-eating issue was a damaged harmonic balancer and was quoted $189. Then she mentioned the sensors in the tires. Now the only thing these sensors do is tell you your tires are low on pressure. I double-checked that I understood this correctly. So when she quoted me $522 with $98 for labor just for the sensors I declined. The van is a 2011 with over 170,000 miles. I was taught to use a tire gauge before sensors were such a big thing. It just didn’t make sense to get that repair. She said they’d get right on it. 

We picked up the van and by Thursday it was headed back on a tow truck. No, it was not our mechanic’s fault. On Wednesday night at 11:30 we were heading home from a cleaning job. When we turned the van on (I was driving) there was a high whine, then a low growl and a pop. We thought since the harmonic balancer was new, maybe it was adjusting. The van had made similar noises before and I felt no difference in its driving or steering. Coming to a stop at a stop sign, a horrible rubber smell was evident. An old truck had pulled off the highway besides us so that assumption was made that it was that truck since we didn’t smell it for long after. We pulled out on the highway and about one mile down the road, our van battery light comes on–and stays on. Usually it just flashes if the battery is low, but we just had a new battery put in. My husband looks it up on the phone as I am driving and says, “Don’t slow down; just get home.”

The driving of the van was fine. I turned off everything electronic I could; the AC and the radio. Nothing felt wrong. Yet. Everyone in that van was praying we’d get home safely. We were twenty minutes away. By God’s grace we got to our driveway and home. I turned the van off, popped the hood, and out billowed smoke. We were sure our alternator had just died. My husband couldn’t get the van to start back up. We were glad to be home. Tomorrow would be another day of repairs which seemed to be the case lately.

Early Thursday morning a tow truck was called (which our insurance covered 100%). Friday I get a call and the sweet receptionist seemed down. She confirmed it was the alternator but added, “That pop you heard was the computer system and fuse box, it fried. It will need fixed, and that’s $1,280.” Now I understood the tone of her voice.

We’ve been in a lot lately for repairs. The harmonic balancer that was fixed prior is not a usual failure. The guy that fixed it had only fixed one other in his nine years there and this situation she said was not usual as the van shouldn’t have run as long. I told her, “We know life works this way; God wanted us home. He got us home. All these repairs–well, they reek. But it is what it is.”

Nothing here lasts. It’s all temporal. We’re being reminded that our job amongst the brokenness is to stay focused upward, to have our hands and heart extended to lift those who fall down, and step by step press on through this boot-camp called life. Brokenness brings perspective. It humbles us. It also allows us to see the true soul in someone. Whether it’s in this life or eternity I cling to Psalms 71:20: “Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up.”

Since March God has been rebuilding me and my family. We have been worn down, tested, and scattered thin, but God is restoring us. He is making us better as a family, as friends, and as His children. We have made Him the cornerstone of our lives, and though we tend to avoid brokenness, it should instead be embraced. It’s not something to be ashamed of, like something is wrong with us. Exposing our hearts and admitting our vulnerabilities is nothing but humbling. Given these past circumstances, I see brokenness as beautiful. I see it as fertile soil. I see strength and I am encouraged.

How about you? Are you broken in any way? Care to share?

“But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’” – James 4:6 NIV