Yesterday I heard this song on my way to work.
Bless The Broken Road - Rascal Flatts
I was singing along when suddenly I was hit with this realization....that this was more than a love song from a man to woman, it was a love song from me to Jesus. It was a reminder message that God sent to me, a message to me that needed to be shared.
I had this image of a person singing this song with their arms stretched to heaven... singing it to the love of their life, Jesus. But also singing it to God as a way to say Thank You.
My life, like many people's, has been trial after trial. In my early years I struggled to find love, to be loved. I wanted to feel important to someone. I wanted someone to cherish me, to need me like I needed them. I struggled to know where I fit in within my family, community and social circles and I felt like having a guy in my life who said he loved me and did things to show that love would fill that void.
And time after time I would find myself disappointed or hurt. And I didn't get why it never seemed to work as I thought it should. And so I tried again...and repeated the same mistakes over and over again.
I just didn't see that the love I was looking for was there all the time. The love I sought was only a choice away, only a few heartfelt words away.
'I love you Jesus. I believe in you, I believe you came to set me free from my sin'
I mean there were obviously a few more things that needed to be said, a few more actions that needed to be done but the fact is that it really was there the entire time.
God brought me so many places in hopes I would see Jesus.
He brought me to choices in relationships that seemed so obvious to my needy heart. I thought the choice to love those guys, to give parts of my heart to them, was what would fill the void. But God wanted me to see that the void couldn't be filled by men on earth. He wanted me to choose Him.
He brought someone into my life that was facing the end of his so that I could see that I lived to legalistically and didn't take chances enough. That I lived to please others and didn't follow my own heart...He brought me someone who taught me that life is too short to worry about what others think or to take life too seriously. And then he brought me to a place where my heart felt broken by a loss my 17 year old heart and head couldn't handle in hopes I would choose to lean on Him to get through it. And once again, I choose a different road. It's actually the only time in my life that I consciously shut God out and wanted nothing to do with Him.
Patterns repeated for many years and every time I could not see that this broken road I traveled lead back to him.
Until my heart was so shattered by a loss that I had never dreamed would be mine. My road was so broken, the path so hard to find. I tripped and I stumbled on this dark road. I frequently turned my head to look behind me wondering what I did to earn a place on this horrible broken road. I looked back in hopes I could turn around and go back and make changes....ask more questions, educate myself more, insist on more ultrasounds, demand I be sent to a high risk specialist. But I learned that this road didn't lead that direction.
I looked down at my feet to help guide them. I tried to pick them up and avoid the cracks and crevices. I tried to run faster over them so that I could get past this pain faster. But I just tripped harder on the bumps and ruts. I went off the path to avoid the parts of the road that were hard to get over.
None of it worked.
And then I looked up and way up in the distance I could see a faint street light that I could just make out. It seemed out of my reach but I knew it was there. And then one day it suddenly seemed so close and I was able to stand under it, look up and realize this light would help me to look ahead. This light would help me to work my way through the ruts and bumps and would help me trudge through this brokenness. And when I finally escaped the darkness and accepted the light I found a love that made it all make sense. Not the journey and the reasons behind it but why the bumps and ruts needed to happen.
And like this song says, "Now I'm just rolling home Into my lover Jesus's arms and I know this much is true...That God blessed the broken road hat led me straight to Jesus".
I often wish "the years I spent just passing through" could be taken back...that I could have found Jesus sooner and that all this wasted time could have been given back to Him. But I know that he forgives all of the mistakes I've made. He knows that each step of my journey needed to happen so that I could believe in the miracle of his birth and his death. I needed to experience the pain of loss so I could appreciate heaven and eternal life. It really is all "part of a grander plan that is coming true."
Thank you God for knowing me so much better than I know myself. For leading me along the path and helping me to take each step forward. And thank you Jesus for waiting for me. I am so very glad that "That God blessed the broken road that led me straight to you."
I need to share something that just occurred to me as I began to write this. So often I struggle as I do devotions to remain focused and I struggle as I pray too. I feel like I am just going through the motions but even more so, I feel like I never connect to God this way. I beat myself up because I just don't ever seem to hear God's voice. And right now, in these very moments I realized that my language of love for God isn't in the form of prayer or scripture but instead it's in the form of music and writing. God speaks to me so often through a song. If you were to look through this blog you would find post after post with songs that have spoken to me and I've shared and reflected on them. I attended a session at church not that long ago that made me realize exactly this... that our relationship with Jesus is our own. It doesn't always fit what we think it should. We don't always connect the way we are 'told' we should connect or even the way we expect to connect. And that's ok....it's actually awesome! The key to this connection is sharing it with others because dollars to donuts someone else out there feels the same way.