Monday, November 18, 2013

Brokenness made beautiful and the Soli Deo Gloria Party

Welcome to Soli Deo Gloria!  This group exists to empower women to authentically share their hearts.  Want to learn more?  Click here to find out ways you can be involved here.  Before you leave, take some time to visit a new friend.  If you decide to link up, be sure to stop by your neighbor's place.  We want to make sure everybody at this party feels a little love!
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Today, in my journal, I quoted David: "Who am I, Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that You have brought me so far?"  And I said this because I really think, "Who am I to be able to do this? To plan a retreat and have You show up like You did?  Who am I to hear Your voice so clearly and carry out Your works?  Who am I to be able to witness the miracles of your restoration in broken, shattered lives?  Who am I to be this blessed?  I am overwhelmed by Your goodness, Your presence, Your care, Your promises.  You are so faithful."

These are the only words I have for you tonight.  Because I haven't fully found the words (except for the ones that describe the video below) to describe what God did, what my sisters did.  The pictures paint a picture that words simply cannot touch.
email subscribers, please click here to view the video

Suffering is not fun, nor is it easy. When we hurt, we long for restoration. And this is what God promises us in 1 Peter 5: 9-11. And not just restoration, but confirmation, establishment, and strength. But this restorative process isn't meant for us to engage in alone. Instead, we can share our brokenness with others and through that, God uses us to help restore each other, even if we aren't fully healed or whole. But we must be brave, sisters, and share the pieces of our lives, whether they are still scattered on the floor or in the form of a new, beautiful creation.

Our activity was this: We broke our own individual pots, shattering them on the cold concrete floor and thought about those moments when we have broken.  And then, we compiled all our broken pieces in the middle of the table, sharing each other's brokenness, and asked the Holy Spirit, "What does my restoration look like?" And then, we created pictures of beauty, pictures of our individual restoration that would not have been the same without our fellow sisters' pieces.

At the closing of the retreat, we shared testimonies of what God had done that weekend.  And we watched our pot activity become lived out in the flesh.  We heard how one woman's story led to another woman's healing.  Who am I to be able to witness such glory?

Our stories matter.  Let us bear witness to His glory.  Let His light shine through our cracks. Let us put our pieces in the middle and see how He brings beauty from the dust.

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23 comments :

  1. These images convey glimpses of this beauty, Jen. . . and you were glorious in your beauty, in how you proclaimed His hope in the midst of trials and urged us on to SEE and claim it for ourselves. You are tremendous blessing, dear sister. What an honor and gift it was to my heart to spend this time with you and these amazing women. I cherish it.

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    1. Next week, I want to delve into what you conveyed to us. (I just talked about my piece because it took less time to write because I knew it!)

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  2. Such a beautiful exercise. Would loved to have been there to experience it for myself as well as watch others experience it. Thanks for sharing the video!

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  3. I like how you pointed out that we need to share our brokenness in order to find restoration. I'm in the middle of that process right now. It's hard, but I know that in the end it is going to be worth it.

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  4. Oh yes Jen...we must give him our ashes, for Him to give us back wholeness! Love your willingness to lay barren before Him...before others! Blessings as you continue to process all of what God has done! ! Jen

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  5. Beauty through brokenness? I know this one. What beauty...

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  6. Praising Him for all that He did at the retreat. The blessing of brokenness is never something easy to see through, yet walking with Jesus each and every day can turn that brokenness to beauty, I know. Thanks for sharing and looking forward to hearing more.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda

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  7. Love all the beauty made from broken pieces...so happy it was such a wonderful retreat...was praying for all of you, and for Jennifer and you as you taught, and thinking about you ...thanks for sharing the beauty with us :)

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  8. Awesome! So wished I could have been there my sister, I know you all had an awesome time! What a great exercise...I would love to do that with the women at our church. Congrats again my friend on a successful retreat!

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  9. Jen, what an inspiring video. It brought tears to my eyes. What a blessing for those that were there. Thank you for sharing some that love with us in the video :)

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  10. Jennifer, I am in awe at your vision and God's faithfulness--what beauty from brokenness. I am amazed at his love.

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  11. What beautiful, beautiful art! And what a fun activity. Thank you for sharing a bit of the retreat with us.

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  12. What a powerful video! There is a beauty & a preciousness that comes OUT OF our brokenness. Thank you for sharing this video with us all.

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  13. Love. Goosebumps. Tears.

    That is all. <3

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  14. Praise God that He can heal, and use the broken for His glory! Thanks for the beautiful post & for healing & God bless!

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  15. How I wish I could have experienced it all. But this broken part -- the song and video -- filled my heart. I'll be thinking about your words and activity for a while, I'm sure. Wondering about my own beauty from the brokenness.

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  16. Thanks so much for posting this--it gave me chills! Hope you are getting well rested after all you work serving others. And, who are you?

    A daughter of the King!

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  17. what a powerful image, Jen. Prayed for you and the retreat. I know God blessed you and all who came

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  18. What beautiful images, Jen. So glad it was a great experience for you and for all who came!

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  19. Oh, I have a broken little pot on the back patio...I saw the picture on FB and thought I would love to do that! So powerful and tender!

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  20. Thank you for sharing this! My church also uses concrete, hands on examples such as your clay pot activity to help us connect to the message and how God can work through us even our brokenness. Your retreat sounded like it was God-breathed and full of the healing Spirit. I enjoy stopping by for encouragement.
    Mary

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