Broken Things To Mend I Don't Trust God
Faith

Broken Pieces To Mend: I Don’t Trust God

December 8, 2017

Crackle.

Crack!

Crunch…

Shards of nut shell fall to the table as my child giggles in delight. He reaches through the broken pieces of shell to retrieve his reward–a round, crunchy hazelnut, perfectly-sized for his small mouth. Crunching the nutty morsel between his tiny teeth, he gives little thought to the broken pieces surrounding him as he reaches for another nut to crack.

Gathering around the table to crack fresh nuts has been a long-standing Christmas tradition in our home. Hazelnuts, almonds, pecans, walnuts–each unique; all delicious.

Our family has discovered that some nuts are hard and smooth and more difficult to crack, while others are large, more textured, with a softer shell to break through. If a nut seems impossible to crack open, there is always a family member sitting nearby to lend a hand. Whatever the nut, regardless of the hardness of the shell, the crunchy reward on the inside makes all the hard effort of “cracking” well worth it.

 

LIFE IS A HARD SHELL TO CRACK

 

November was a hard month.

My life is literally falling to pieces.

Surrounded by shards of brokenness, I wonder, “Why all the pain? Why does life have to be so difficult? Oh God, where art thou?”

I listen closely for an answer, seeking, searching, but the only sound is,

Crackle.

Crack!

Crunch…

as another piece falls to the floor.

 

ABIDING IN CHRIST

 

Trusting in God and his perfect timing brings peace and a stillness of heart. 

This level of complete trust is something I have not yet mastered.

How easily I forget that the reward He has in store for me, as part of His carefully-laid out plan for my life, will be worth the wait. It will be worth all the tears that have fallen, all the heartache that has been endured, all the brokenness that has resulted.

God’s way is always the right way.

Learning to abide in Christ, even as the storms of life rage on, will carry me through life’s perilous times. For who but God Himself knows how this stormy story will end?

 

I cling to Him, in all my weakness, and He shelters me with His protective arm.

I lie prostrate, unable to move, and He whispers, “Shhh…be still.”

I plead, “Don’t ever leave me,” and he promises, “I never will.”

 

“Be not afraid, only believe.” (Mark 5:36)

 

Little by little I give way and make room for the cracking open of my old life, pieces falling hard, echoing in the still, dark, coldness, as I search for signs of the new life God has in store for me.

Crack!

Another piece begins to crumble.

I take courage and, with a softened heart and a glimmer of trust growing inside, whisper, “I’m grateful for this trial for I know it will bless me in the end.”

I say the words, and I really mean them, but I know that I’ll soon forget.

 

TRUST TAKES TIME

 

This building of trust takes time. If all goes according to plan, this relentless ebb and flow of trust verses doubt will, in the end, result in my giving my whole heart to God.

I recently learned of a woman who never married or had children of her own. Around her neck she wore a silver locket. All who knew her longed to know whose picture she kept in this treasured locket. Could it be that she had a secret love? This mystery went unsolved until the day of the woman’s death. The locket was finally opened by loved ones to reveal the answer to their most puzzling question, “What secret love did this woman have?” Each person in the room caught their breath as their eyes beheld the image inside the locket, for it was a picture of Christ. The woman had chosen to give her whole heart to her God, the locket kept close to her heart to serve as a constant reminder of her unfailing loyalty.

One need not be single to give their lives over to God. Regardless of the circumstances of our lives, God desires that we put Him first.

 

PUTTING GOD FIRST

 

I believe in God.

I alway have.

But I don’t put Him first in my life.

I never have.

 

Family has always come first to me.

Family is my everything.

My life revolves around my family and my God. In that order.

 

As it turns out, Providence is stepping in and rearranging my priorities.

My family is falling apart, things are spinning out of control, and there is nothing I can do about it.

Or is there?

 

walk on water

But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.

 

And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.

 

And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.

 

But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.

 

And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him,

 

O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

 

(Matthew 14: 27-31)

 

 

GRIEF AND LOSS AND HEALING

 

The cold, hard truth is that I don’t trust God enough to put Him first.

I don’t trust Him, but I want to.

I suddenly find myself in a position of wanting to trust Him because I believe that the only hope for my family lies in Him. If I willingly put my family in His hands, we will have the strength to weather any storm, right? I ask that as a question because I’m still not 100% sure.

I still don’t fully trust God.

But I long to.

 

If you find yourself in this same predicament of not fully trusting God, but longing to, I invite you to join me on this journey of putting Him first in our lives.

Will you share your journey with me? Will you share your stories and experiences? I’d love to hear about your wins and your defeats. Let’s talk about the dark and broken times that come before the light appears. Let’s celebrate together as we learn to trust in the God who gave us life. Let’s walk this path together and live the extraordinary lives he has envisioned for us to live.

Sometimes life’s challenges are hard to crack alone.

It is so hard to be alone and broken.

Instead, let’s choose to crack our challenges together, allowing God, the ultimate carpenter, creator, healer, and restorer, to pick up the broken pieces, and mend them in His own way, in His own time.

 

I plan to share more of my story of grief and loss and healing in the days and months and years to come.

Will you share your story too? For God uses each of us as instruments of healing as we reach out to one another—one person, one story at a time.

 

In Nazareth, the narrow road,

That tires the feet and steals the breath,

Passes the place where once abode

The Carpenter of Nazareth.

 

And up and down the dusty way

The village folk would often wend;

And on the bench, beside Him, lay

Their broken things for Him to mend.

 

The maiden with the doll she broke,

The woman with the broken chair,

The man with broken plough, or yoke,

Said, “Can you mend it, Carpenter?”

 

And each received the thing he sought,

In yoke, or plough, or chair, or doll;

The broken thing which each had brought

Returned again a perfect whole.

 

So, up the hill the long years through,

With heavy step and wistful eye,

The burdened souls their way pursue,

Uttering each the plaintive cry:

 

“O Carpenter of Nazareth,

This heart, that’s broken past repair,

This life, that’s shattered nigh to death,

Oh, can You mend them, Carpenter?”

 

And by His kind and ready hand,

His own sweet life is woven through

Our broken lives, until they stand

A New Creation—“all things new.”

 

“The shattered [substance] of [the] heart,

Desire, ambition, hope, and faith,

Mould Thou into the perfect part,

O, Carpenter of Nazareth!”

(George Blair, “The Carpenter of Nazareth,” in Obert C. Tanner, Christ’s Ideals for Living (Sunday School manual, 1955), 22.)

 

In what ways is the Carpenter of Nazereth mending your brokenness?

 

Want more? Check out these inspiring posts:

HOPE FOR THE DOWNHEARTED: A STORY OF LIFE, LOSS, AND HOPE

GOD’S NOT DONE WITH YOU YET

 

 

 

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  1. Cari, I’m so sorry to hear that you’re going through a difficult time. 🙁
    I noticed that you seemed to fall off the face of the earth suddenly.
    (Yes, i did actually notice your silence). I’m sorry that I didn’t reach out earlier, if for nothing else, to say I notice, and I care, and “are you okay?”

    I appreciate your article.
    I appreciate your vulnerability while still in the midst of the storm. It is not easy to be so transparent. It takes courage and bravery to tell a story that’s not yet finished, when you don’t know how it will end.
    Even though you may not know the ending, at least you know the One who does! And He is good.

    If I’m honest, I don’t fully trust God either, (though I want to).
    I haven’t whispered a prayer of sheer surrender since my daughter died 12 years ago.
    Oh I want to! But I’ve been down that road before, and I’m not sure I can do it again.

    My only encouragement for you is to hold on to the anchor. The One who provides you with the only stability you may encounter through the treacherous storms.

    He is our hope, even when the world falls apart around us.
    Hold on. Hold on to Him. And don’t let go.
    He IS good. The world may not be good. Our circumstances may not be good. Our thoughts and feelings may not be good. But HE IS GOOD!!!

    I’m praying for you, friend.
    I really, truly am.

  2. I am so thankful I came across your post tonight. Thank you for your sweet honesty. Your words echo beautifully what has been in my heart for these past several months… and although I too have not yet mastered this level of complete trust, I’m experiencing a stillness… a peace… that can only be a gift from my gracious Father in heaven. Happy to join you on this journey as we open ourselves to the peace that only He can offer.

    1. The stillness and peace is such a gift, isn’t it?! Now, to find a way to increase it’s presence in our lives. I’m so glad to have connected with you, Carlie, and am happy you’ll be joining us on this journey.

  3. Wow! Your vulnerability is so powerful. I am sorry you are hurting. But I truly believe you will come out on the other side with a deeper trust in God.

    I have a grief story too. Grief is so interesting to me. At one point I referred to it as my unwelcome friend. Having grief as my friend meant that my dad was gone but at the same time it is oddly beautiful and so sacred. My grief is sacred. It was the most painful thing I had ever experienced but I didnt want it to go away-it kept me connected. It kept me connected to my dad. It kept me connected to Jesus. It was in those moments of paralyzing heartbreak that I felt the sweet tangible presence of God. I felt him hold me and comfort me. I heard him whisper “stay connected.”
    I trust God more because of my grief. The month after my dad died was the longest and darkest period I had ever experienced. I was in such pain that sometimes I could hardly walk. Sometimes the most victorious thing I had in a day was remembering to brush my teeth or making it from my bed to the couch by myself. I finally felt like I was coming up for air about 2 months later. I was mostly ok for the next 3 months. Then summer hit and various grief triggering events happened. I remember being so scared and telling the Lord “I dont want to go back. I dont want to go back to that same darkness of February” In the most gentle and kind voice He responded with “If we can make it through that, we will make it through this”
    That was my promise. He wasn’t leaving. He was with me every step. That summer ended up being worse than what I experienced before but Gods Presence was my anchor.
    My relationship and connection with God is now so much deeper. I know that no matter what life throws at me, I will make it. He is good. He is so good.

    My prayer for you is this: That you would tangibly feel the Presence of God like a blanket wrapped around you. That you would see his goodness even in the pain. That you have the community you need who will bring you to the feet of Jesus when the pain is to much to bare.

    1. Gabby, thank you for sharing such a heartfelt response, and for sharing the ups and downs you experienced with the death of your dad. I’m slowly but surely coming to realize that grief can be beautiful and sacred and transformative in all the right ways…bringing me one step closer to God. Thank you for sharing such powerful insights! I will be referring to your words often as they filled me with great hope for the future. Again, thank you!

  4. Oh, my heart! Praying for you. I can feel the pain, but I also can feel you turning your head toward Christ in fresh ways. This kind of vulnerability in sharing your journey builds people up and shows them the way to handle grief and mess and disappointment and loss. I’m so sorry you are going through this. I’ve been through my own rounds. But I know how much when He mended me together again, each time I was a better model and better representative of Him. The shards and the shrapnel can be used for His glory. Be encouraged that even in your breaking, you shine His light to many! I’ll be back to read more. Bless you! <3

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