Brokenhearted but loved

Jun 9, 2024Archive, blog

“You are covered with the vastness of our Father. You are on my mind and in my prayers.” The words came to me today on a lazy Sunday afternoon–from Vonda, a friend and cheerleader whose connection to God in worship I deeply admire.

She didn’t know how much I needed those words.

I have felt very inadequate and small this week.

What I’ve learned: I cannot know all the mysteries, discern all the traumas, uncover all the hidden things. I know in part. But God, who is wholly whole, knows all parts; he knows the whole. And he best knows how to bring justice in perfect timing. He best knows how to uncover what lies in darkness. He is the best investigator.

I am terribly small, knocking on the doors of heaven with trepidation, well aware of my limitations.

I make mistakes.

I break.

I probably don’t even grieve correctly.

These past few months of leaving a church home I deeply loved and never thought I’d walk away from have skewered me. I am not the same person I was in November. I am more jaded, less trusting, more cynical. But the tender part of me still remains–the part of me longing to shoulder the stories of others, though I do it imperfectly.

Part of me wants to holler, “I am no advocate. I’m just someone who breaks under injustice.”

Friend, I am not brave. I’m mostly just angry.

And I walk with a limp because who can know the intricacies of every story?

But there are moments, hesitant and almost imperceptible, where I glimpse the glory of God. In the text of a friend worried for me. In the counsel of my closest friends. In the listening ear of my husband. In the cry of a broken survivor. In the song of an overcomer. Through the valley of death’s shadow (where there’s still a hint of light).

There is fellowship in suffering. There is a kinship when you ache with and for others. Colossians 1:24 makes it clearer. “I am glad when I suffer for you in my body, for I am participating in the sufferings of Christ that continue for his body, the church.” When we suffer, we understand Jesus better; it’s as if we’re in the quagmire together, longing for the Body of Christ to grow into itself, to be a beacon of truth and light in a world of shame, secrecy, and reputation management.

I won’t be the same after this season of advocacy. It has cost me. But my friend Vonda reminds me of what really matters: I am covered by the vastness of my Father.

To rest in the love of the Father is the best kind of warfare. To dare to believe it, the best kind of brokenhearted advocacy.

7 Comments

  1. Ralph Chen-Green

    I don’t have any clever words for this one. But to Just extend open ears that listen and a closed mouth that gives no advice. And a heart that extends long-distance hugs. You are heard. You are loved. You are valuable. I will hold you before the Father’s throne.
    Dr R

    Reply
    • Mary

      Thank you, Dr. Ralph.

      Reply
    • Lesa

      Mary,

      I am a CSA survivor and had to leave a church and ministry due to a conflict with an associate pastor’s wife. I felt orphaned by my family of origin because of CSA and then felt orphaned and rejected by my church family. At first I felt angry which later turned into depression. I felt so unloveable and that I didn’t have a place to belong. I had an expectation that the church should be a place to find healing and belonging, a “hospital for the broken.” Instead I found that the church sometimes looks just like the world. I identified with Jesus being rejected by the ones He came to deliver. That was His church family and they rejected Him. I struggled for a while to move past the hurt. I am glad to say that the experience made me stronger and prepared me for greater future hurts. I am finally confident in who I am, my faith, and my boundaries, all of which I will not compromise. My life is a testimony of what Jesus has done in my life. I share my faith and my testimony freely when I have “dinner with the tax collectors” and I do it without fear of judgement from the Pharisees. I thankful for the pain. It strengthened my faith and my understanding of God’s love. I am loved by Abba and I live daily in that understanding. With or without a church family, I am sustained by Jesus. “No turning back.” I pray for you to find rest from the pain while listening to Jesus sing you a sweet lullaby. Only God knows what He is preparing you for, and the journey to where He is leading can be so exhausting. I do know there is restoration and freedom in the waterfalls when you find your “Hinds Feet in High Places.” (Psalms 18:33). God Bless Mary.

      Reply
  2. Holly Schmidt

    Ahhh Mary. Thank you for being a voice, even when you feel small, unseen and not apprecaited; even when it hurts. My voice hasn’t been heard (except in Heaven) in these areas in March 2011 or in November 2023. . But your voice has made a ripple; has shines a light, even when you have been imperfect or you haven’t felt it. But I am deeply comforted knowing that you continue to speak, advocate and write for those that have been broken/abused/maligned by those in church. Praying for you, us and those who have been wounded in the name of Jesus.

    Reply
    • Mary

      Amen, dear friend.

      Reply
  3. Steven Sherwood

    Evelyn and I continue to pray for you dear sister. Thank you for sharing your heart honestly.

    Reply
    • Mary

      Thank you for praying.

      Reply

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