The word restore is most likely not the word I would have chosen for this year if left to myself. Not that I don’t long for restoration, I do. Oh, how I do! The thought of it, though, seemed elusive and far off. Almost two years ago, my husband went on to Glory unexpectedly. (Read about that here.) Two years we have suffered indescribable pain and still wrestle with God’s plans and purposes.
Honestly, when the word restore began to sift its way into the broken parts of my heart, I responded, “Now, Lord? I don’t know…It’s just too hard.”
But that’s the thing, when we think something is too painful, too much, or too far off, Jesus reminds us of his power. Ephesians 3:20NLT says:
“ Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.”
He is able to accomplish more than you and I can even think!
Restoration on our own is elusive, but not with Jesus.
So, let me share with you how the Lord stirred my heart to be ready for the blessings and restoration I believe he plans to bring into our lives this year.
I pray you will find encouragement here. If you have been holding back, sticking your feet in the sand, and refusing to move, remember! You do not go alone.
~Jesus goes before you.
~He makes the way.
~You need only be willing to trust Him.
Broken Tulips: How the glory of God brings beauty to our brokenness
As I researched the word restore and began creating the graphic for this post, I came across the most beautiful example of what restoration can look like in our lives, if only we allow it.
Grief feels like winter – dark and dreary with gusts of sorrow that knock the breath right out of you. Spring, on the other hand, is what I imagine restoration to feel like – warm, with a refreshing light breeze that brings new life and beauty to your world.
One of the first signs of spring is the tulip. It bravely emerges through the debris of what winter has destroyed, bringing the
As I learned, there is such a thing as a ‘broken’ tulip. According to the Amsterdam Tulip Museum, broken tulips are tulips that have contracted a virus. The virus causes a solid tulip to break its color which results in beautiful streaks along the petals, much like the tulips in the picture above.
The virus, however, passes onto the daughter plants and, eventually, the plantings die out due to the weakened state. Still, there are two cultivars that have learned to thrive with the virus and this is where my heart melts before the Lord.
First – The virus, that was meant to kill the tulip, made it beautiful.
I heard Pastor Tony Evans say in a video sermon once that Satan’s plan is to kill husbands and keep wives heartbroken forever. That statement has stuck with me as I have seen several husbands pass away over the past two years, leaving moms and kids devastated.
I have also watched those widows lean into the Lord for comfort, direction,
Those are the real-life examples of broken tulips that learned to thrive. And, it’s in those broken places of grief where the streaks of God’s glory shine brightly.
Second – If we choose to remain in our grief and not seek restoration, we choose death.
Proverbs 13:12NIV says:
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”
No one longs to be broken. We long to be healed – to be whole and full of joy.
Remember how only two types of tulips learned to thrive? I wonder what made the difference for those two. I may never know. But, I do know what, better yet, who makes the difference in our restoration.
It’s Jesus, along with our willingness to open our hearts to His plans.
He has planned our restoration – yours and mine- from the very beginning. He pursues us because He loves us too much to leave us where we are. Still, we have to be willing. When we ask the Lord to restore us, He is faithful beyond what we can even ask.
I am sure that I don’t even know how to ask God to heal all the things that are broken in my heart. So, how wonderful is it that He knows exactly what I need!
I recently shared with a friend of mine, this: “Each new step is hard, but also healing.” With each step I take, my heart comes alive again. Through the debris of heartbreak, joy begins to spring up where I thought it was lost.
So I encourage you today, take that first, difficult step to trust him to make your brokenness beautiful for His glory.
Choose healing and trust in Him to restore.