Cracked Vessels

“I have seen his ways, and will heal him; I will also lead him, And restore comforts to him And to his mourners.”

-‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭57:18‬

This is kind of an incredible verse!

Here God is saying He has seen my ways — all my ways. Even the not-so-great ones. But instead of washing His hands of me He tells me He will heal me. Because I’m broken. My wandering ways are a result of my brokenness, and God not only acknowledges that, but He takes the brokenness and says “I am going to heal it”.

He doesn’t just say He’s had enough of me or my mistakes and failures. He heals me. He leads me. He restores me.

God is ready to take the broken, shattered pieces of my faults, my failures, my mistakes, and put them together. Once I realize that and finally let go of the pieces He Will put me together so that His Love and His Light can dwell in me and others can see that light in the cracks that make up my vessel.

So I lay down my pieces. I am done trying to put them together myself in all the wrong ways. How about you?

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Justified

The last few months of my life have been an adjustment to say the least. I moved to a different state. I started a new job. Everything I had left behind and was coming back to was different. At one point it seemed that I was “finding myself” as they say. I was trying new things, meeting new people. I was gaining all this life experience that I had no interest in during medical school. But in all this “finding myself” all I found was that I lost my identity. I lost who I was, and I had no idea how to get back.
Over the last few months I have had wonderful, beautiful experiences, but I also got caught up in the whirlwind until I no longer had a leg to stand on. I compromised some of my standards. I made choices that I’m less than proud of. For the first time in my life I felt like I wasn’t just not right with God, but I was all wrong. I felt like I couldn’t even show Him my face. I knew that I had let Him down, but this time was worse than all the others. For the first time I couldn’t even talk with Him as I went about my day. I felt guilty asking Him for favors or sending up a little prayer. I avoided church on my one Sunday off because all I could think was that I didn’t deserve to be there.

All of these notions were wrong.

And He made sure to show me that.

You know how God protects you when you’re in tune with Him? You know that extra guarding you get when you run under His wing? Well, somehow I still felt that protection, even after running away from Him and betraying Him and disappointing Him. He was trying to make it clear that even though I ended up down this weird path that wasn’t consistent with who I am or who He intends for me to be, He wasn’t just going to give up and let me go. He made it abundantly clear that my mistakes don’t discount His love for me, and they don’t erase the fact that I am His daughter.

So finally I started to get the message, and I made my way to church, where I do belong, because I am a sinner. And that’s where He sealed the deal with the message from Acts that day: 

Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses. (13:38-39)

He has justified me through His love and through His blood. Nothing I try to do on my own can do that. No law gives me that. Only the blood and the love of the Savior can justify me, can purify me, can give me redemption, can make me new once more.

I walked into church that day beaten down, broken, ashamed. I walked out ready to be renewed. And with that I ended up in Abouna’s office pouring out my heart, pouring out my shame and my mistakes. And I walked out redeemed. The thoughts of my shortcomings, the images of my sin, the voice in my head telling me I am worthless and terrible were finally gone. All that was left was the knowledge that I truly had been made pure again.


So here I am, once again, in a coffee shop, trying to put into words my experiences with the hope that maybe one person will read my thoughts and realize that you are royalty. Your Father won’t just leave you when you’re down for the count. He didn’t for me, and I guarantee He won’t for you.

Just remember, no matter what you do He could not love you any more or any less.

Taylor Swift, You’ve Gone Too Far

Have you heard Taylor Swift’s new song, “Blank Space”? I came across it on my newsfeed today, and I have to say, even 1 minute into the song it made me so sad–sad for our society, sad for the lessons we are teaching our young women, sad for what we now think is acceptable.

Here are some of the lyrics from her song:

Saw you there and I thought oh my god
Look at that face, you look like my next mistake
Love’s a game, wanna play…

Cause we’re young and we’re reckless
We’ll take this way too far
It’ll leave you breathless
Or with a nasty scar
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane
But I got a blank space baby
And I’ll write your name

I’m sorry, but when did this become okay? Since when are hearts and love something to play with? Since when do we look for our “next mistake” like giving parts of ourselves to other people is no big deal?

Our hearts are precious. They are so valuable. They are not something to be toyed with or something to just throw away to anyone who walks by.

According to Proverbs 4:23, Solomon advises us, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (NIV). Above all else! Not as an after thought, not as a yeah-it-might-be-good-if-you-did-it kind of thing! Above anything else, he instructs us to guard our hearts! They are so valuable and everything we say and do and think comes from what is inside our hearts! When we throw our hearts away to any passerby, we begin to view ourselves as worthless, whether on a conscious or subconscious level. When we break our hearts with each “mistake”, we find ourselves broken, and everything we do and think stems from that brokenness.

Why not instead take care of our hearts? Guard them, as Solomon says? Why not teach ourselves, our sisters, our daughters, that our hearts are so precious, so valuable, instead of teaching them that their hearts are worthless and nothing more than a play-thing?

Normally I am a Taylor Swift fan, without any shame in admitting it, but today? Today I found myself unbelievably disappointed and disturbed by the message she is sharing with the girls and young women of the world.

Let us use our words and our influence over others to lift them up and help make them whole instead of breaking them down and telling them they have no value.