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rethinking pain...

As I walked down the beach recently, with the sound of the crashing waves permeating my entire being - I couldn't help but dig and collect all of the broken shells beneath my feet. And more importantly, examine how individually beautiful they were as I ran my hands over their designs, over the sharp edges, over the broken holes. What a journey they must have gone on to get to that one spot...weeks, months, days, years, decades, centuries old. And how many people never even stop to notice, or even really care. I mean, it is after all, only a shell right?

Maybe to most, and most will unfortunately go a lifetime never caring. So maybe it is a strange thing for me to see myself in those broken shells, but I do...and I bet if we all stopped to notice the shells beneath our feet - and if we were honest - we would all see ourselves. We have all been on journeys that have filed down pieces of our hearts, that have broken us down, that have made us far from perfect, but have made us beautiful.

Broken. We are all broken. Me. I am broken. You. You are broken. I - I have never been more broken than now. More often than not - instead of crying out to God, I cower and hide - afraid of what He will take or do next or better yet, allow to be taken. I don't pray like I should or desire to pray like I used to. I struggle to wake up in the morning and to want to get the day started. Because I fear that at the end of every day - my losses will grip my mind and body and force me to hide again the next.

I am not sure God will restore fully what He has taken...but somehow, I find strength in saying that's okay. My sufferings and losses increase, but my faith increases all the more. Even when I struggle to pray, even when I struggle to see Jesus, even when everything in me wants to give up - my faith abounds all the more. "...I will gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may reside in me. So I take pleasure in weaknesses, insults, catastrophes, persecutions, and in pressures, because of Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10


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