a word to the broken

Dear broken heart; broken by the words someone said. Broken by someone’s opinion. Broken because someone who was close isn’t close anymore.

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Broken because that loved one who in your mind had 50 years left to live–

broken cause they’re gone.

Broken because turning on the news today can break you down like that.

Broken for the families who won’t see their brothers or sisters or sons or daughters again because they were in Orlando that day.

Broken because you were betrayed by a friend.

Broken because someone was chosen over you.

Broken because no matter how hard you try, you never measure up.

so. many. broken. people.

& we are broken for so many reasons.

But broken heart, you are welcomed here.

Hurting soul who has lost hope, you are welcomed here.

I don’t think it’s ok to pretend we’re ok and whole and strong when we aren’t. In fact, I think the most courageous thing we can do in a world of people trying hard to be “the strongest” is to own our brokenness and bring it to the Healer.

Because your broken heart might just be the means through which God brings about His purpose in the world.Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

I’ve struggled these past two years. There have been a lot of mornings I didn’t want to get out of bed. A lot of depression I’ve tried to fight off. A lot of brokenness I’ve tried to hide because I thought it would make me look weak. There have been a lot of days I’ve lived completely bound by insecurity and afraid that if people saw who I really was, they’d see that I wasn’t enough. I’ve felt like I shouldn’t share it because I’ve convinced myself that it’s really not that big of a deal, and that people are going through harder trials than mine.

I know there are hearts reading this who have been through a lot more than what I’ve been through–or will ever experience. But I am convinced that it is a bad idea to minimize our pain and tell ourselves we’re silly for feeling a certain way about something that is “so small.” I’m convinced it’s a bad idea to beat ourselves up for the way we feel instead of casting all of our emotions and feelings and pain at the feet of our King.

I also share this because God has brought me an incredible freedom in the past two months as He’s made my soul come alive to its purpose. To His purpose in me. You see, we can worry about how people perceive our brokenness and try to please everyone, or we can be raw and honest. God has called us to honesty, even when it’s not glamorous. Even when others see us as being too much to handle. He never sees us as too much to handle, and He always sees us as enough.

Please be honest with your brokenness. Don’t try to hide it. After all, you can’t hide it from the One who sees and knows all things.

Maybe you’re broken heart is what will one day heal another person’s brokenness.

We have to look beyond what we see today. How we feel today. What we think. We have to look to the hope of the beautiful things God does with broken people.

When you uncover your purpose, you can own your brokenness, because you are given eyes to see that your broken heart today is part of His story for your tomorrow. We can’t listen to the lies that tell us our brokenness defines us. We have to own it-and bring all of that cutting pain and deep weakness to our Savior. We have to trust, and to wait.

Because when we pour out our weakness at His feet it becomes a catalyst for the river of His strength to flow through us and consume all that we are in His love. Processed with VSCO with a9 preset

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& we can do this.

We can lay down our inadequacies, our depression, our pain, our weakness, our addictions, our sins, our struggles, our failures, our mistakes, and our regrets.

There is an abundance of room at the feet of Jesus for your mess. But there is an even greater abundance of grace to turn that mess into a miracle.

& after all, maybe we should praise Him for the fact that we are even broken–because when we experience brokenness, we know the beauty of being made whole by a Savior who holds this world. Let His love pour through you today.

Dear broken heart, entrust all that you are to your Savior. Only He can bind up your brokenness and make you whole.

& watch as He makes a beautiful story of your brokenness.

the beautiful is coming

Maybe you’re in the ugly today.

An ugly situation that you wish you could change. A heart you want God to revive. You just want flowers and spring but your heart is caught in the dead of winter.

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Deuteronomy 8 doesn’t just promise that God has a purpose in the unexpected, it promises even more. { read part one here }

This has unexpectedly become one of my favorite chapters in Scripture. Let me tell you, that once you begin to study God’s Word, once the Holy Spirit begins to speak to you and come alive through the pages of The Word, you get hooked. It’s become this way with the chapter I’m reading, I can’t put it down. I can’t rush through it because I don’t want to. I think there is enough truth and promises in this chapter to read it every day and never get tired of it.

So here’s part two.

For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing out in the valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper. And you shall eat and be full, and you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land he has given you.

Take care lest you forget the LORD your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today, lest, when you have eaten and are full and have built good houses and live in them, and when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied and all that you have is multiplied, then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. -Deuteronomy 8:7-14

After the promise of holy in the hard at the beginning of the chapter, God promises to bring His people to a beautiful season.

If I had to guess I would imagine that you’re either walking through a season that is difficult, or have at some point in your life.

The beautiful thing about our God is that He promises redemption for every season. Although your heart has been bowed low in this valley, God is redeeming that unexpected challenge, and bringing you up to a good place. A full place. A satisfying place.

This land he is bringing you into-it is not mediocre. It is no less than the most glorious season you could imagine. Because in your darkness He is bringing the incredible light of His goodness. A rich land. Where your soul’s joy will abound. A land where you will be given diamonds-the good things you longed for and thought you could manufacture up on your own.

The rubble will be exchanged for rubies.

The dirty pebbles you held onto and thought so beautiful-the ones who didn’t want to let go-they’ll fall from your hands as Jesus places in your palms the most beautiful pearls. This place and this new season of beauty will still hold hard days and confusing emotions, but you will be satisfied.

Trust that Jesus is bringing a beautiful season in your life, even if you are in the dark today. Trust that His light will come bursting forth. Trust that He hasn’t given up on you, even if you feel like giving up, or even if you have. You may be finished, you may be tired, you may be bored of who you are and where you are but He is not.

You will come to be satisfied because of where you have been, and where you have walked. Because you will have learned that any hint of goodness is from the Lord, and is a gift. You will have learned that apart from His strength you can’t put your feet on the floor and get out of bed each morning.

 

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nicaragua mission bracelet // purchase H E R E

Because of where you have been, you will bless the Lord for where He is bringing you.

You shall eat and be full because you have been brought to the place where you know who gives the food and His face is the only face you see.

This doesn’t promise that you will be brought by the Lord to the scenario in your life you’ve always wanted. Often King Jesus loves us far too much to give us what we want. He gives us what He wants and slowly tunes our hearts until His will is our fullest, most vibrant desire.

When you have been brought to this season of joy, don’t make the mistake of thinking once again that you can do it on your own. Don’t look back constantly, but when you do, do it to remember how faithful God has been. Do it to surrender the future because you know God has brought you this far.

Unless you are continually fighting to find your joy in Jesus Christ alone, you will always be pulled back to wandering in the wilderness, no matter what season God brings you to.

So when this season comes and the blessings come, don’t set your heart on the given, but on the Giver. The beautiful is coming-even if you don’t see it today. The greatest thing about our Jesus is the hope that He gives us, that even if the beautiful never comes in this life, it will be full and complete when we are with our Savior together.

insecurity and I broke up

Insecurity and I broke up last night.

April 13, 2016–

been there. over. done.

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I never thought of myself as being held captive by insecurity.

I never thought it was the source of so much hurt and hindrance.

I never thought it was the breeding ground of the fear and lack of confidence in my life.

I never thought it was the thief that was robbing me of my God-given joy.

But my eyes-oh were they opened.

It’s been keeping me back from who I was created to be.

and now I see my pride,

and now I see my self-obsession,

and now I see my desperate need to be free.

I didn’t realize I have been held captive by insecurity for so long because I didn’t realize what insecurity truly was. Little did I know it was the source of what has been pulling my heart apart.

It’s time it is long gone from this girl’s heart. This heart that’s ready to be set free to run wild with God-exalting dreams. This heart that’s ready to explode with a love so vibrant and leave all of herself behind in the pursuit of Her God.

& so we’ve broken up.

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It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. -Galatians 5:1

Insecurity tends to be defined as a generalized, vague notion in our minds. We might say insecurity is “not being content with how we were made” or “wishing we looked different.”

But oh it is so much more than that.

I opened Beth Moore’s book, So Long Insecurity, and I’ll never be the same. Let me pause right here and say that if you haven’t read it–please pick it up. So much of what is on my heart to share with you has its roots in her words and reflections ( I owe that woman some serious gratitude).

Every insecure heart pulsates reverberations of one thing:

doubt.

doubt in self & the beautiful person you were created to be.

doubt in God & the unfathomable worth He has placed within you.

Insecurity refers to a profound sense of self-doubt–a deep feeling of uncertainty about our basic worth and our place in the world. Insecurity is associated with chronic self-consciousness, along with a chronic lack of confidence in ourselves and anxiety about our relationships. The insecure man or woman lives in constant fear of rejection and a deep uncertainty about whether his or her own feelings and desires are legitimate. -Joseph Nowinski

The insecure heart places unrealistic expectations on other people to fill what only God was made to fill, and runs on to the next thing if those expectations aren’t met, breaking down friendships and relationships and asking broken people to be its god.

The insecure heart weeps at the very thought of rejection. It is overly sensitive to every little thing someone else says or does. It lives in constant fear that someone will disapprove.

The insecure heart breaks the moment someone else does better. It wants to be a “the” instead of an “a.”

The insecure heart is not content with being average, but wants to soar higher, just to be better than someone else. Everything is a competition. Everything is a fight to be best.

The insecure heart wants to be the highest priority to their friend, boyfriend, family, or boss. It wants constant affirmation from these people that

And yet in all of this mess of an insecure heart–the most insecure person will often appear some level of perfect. Because perfection is what a diseased heart will use to patch the pain of insecurity.

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As I read through the pages of Beth Moore’s book, every word pressed into my heart and echoed,

Madyson: this is you.

This is you because all of this insecurity that is weighing you down is rooted in pride, self-centeredness, and self-obsession.

This is you because insecurity has made you do some stupid things. Insecurity has made you sit quiet and not speak for fear of saying something stupid. Insecurity has made you tell people you’re “quiet” as a cover up-as a lame excuse that disguises the real you. Insecurity has made a fool out of you. It’s stolen your life, and it’s held you back.

This is you, Madyson. Because you’ve placed your security in the hands of other people. When you do that, when you give your security and purpose to another person or people or friends to hold–they drop it every time.

This is you, Madyson. Because you’ve doubted yourself so much it’s pathetic. Truly sad. You’ve doubted so much the beautiful person God has made you to be. You’ve doubted your potential. You’ve kept dreams hidden too far inside.

This is you, Madyson. Because you’ve felt yourself so inferior to everyone else. Because you’ve let yourself be held captive by a lie for way too long.

I’ve spent hours telling God I am done with this. Begging forgiveness. Seeking to understanding what it truly is. But I know that it will not be over in an instant. It takes time to heal a heart that has been bruised.

But when those thoughts of self-doubt, inferiority, and fear arise I am standing up and recognizing them for what they are. I’m calling my enemy out, he’s had enough time to mess with me. I’m claiming the truth and promises of God’s Word over my heart. I’m posting sticky notes in places I see them to remind me of this truth.

It may be a battle to overcome this,

I say bring it on. I have the power of Christ in me.

Slowly, little by little, God’s truth will begin to erase those lies I have believed for so long. As I feed my heart and soul with that truth, I pray it fills my spirit, until all of me knows the perfect fullness of resting secure in who I was made to be. Of reaching my fullest potential in Him.

I was made to do hard and holy things. Insecurity will no longer keep me back from living a full life of joy and peace in my Savior. I will listen to His voice, His opinion of me, and His words alone.

Since the night I decided I’d had enough-and the next morning after that spent with Jesus-I have never known so much freedom in my heart. 

It is a beautiful thing.

Next time insecurity calls- I’m not picking up.

I’ve moved on, I’ve had enough, and #IamSECURE

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p.s. this is just part one of me sharing my journey through insecurity. please follow along as I share more of my heart with you in the next few weeks and months, and ways through which I am seeking to overcome it.  Sisters, in the Lord #weareSECURE.

enough + enough

she sat down and breathed deep. her heart and mind needed clarity, a place of quiet, peace.

she felt the trap of comparison slowly pulling the life out of her, and she was tired. after all, it’s exhausting work trying to be someone you’re not. It’s exhausting work placing a standard upon yourself you weren’t even made to match. It’s hard to pretend to be someone you’re not. It feels impossible to breathe when you’ve convinced yourself you have to fit the mold that squeezes who you are out of you.

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she let her head rest agains the grass and looked up. there are times in our lives when we feel incredibly small and insignificant; this was one. so many things had begun to feel empty in her life and her heart, unclear and confusing. the enemy had begun to tell her that if something in her life was not as clear as day it was wrong– when really she needed to see that Jesus trumps clarity.

Jesus trumps confusion.

Jesus trumps suffering.

Jesus trumps feelings of worthlessness.

Not because he removes confusion and suffering and feelings of worthlessness but because He is greater than them.

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I want to plead with this girl–because it’s me. yet lately in my soul there seems to be no greater distance between what I know and what I feel. but girl, if this is you, keep seeking Jesus. keep pressing into him on the days and throughout the weeks when you don’t feel like it. seek first his kingdom, his righteousness, his glory. seek to serve and realize it’s not about you, and your feelings of emptiness will fade.

I’d tell her that if you are not living as the person King Jesus created you to be, no one else will do it for you. you are small, but so far from worthless. your heart and your story are completely unique to you, no one else can take your place. don’t despise openness, honesty, and vulnerability. It may be hard, but learning to be open is one of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself. let the world see your brokenness, and in your weakness, let the world see the greatness of your God.

and that other girl who seems to have everything together–she’s hurting too. we’re all broken, and to pretend we don’t face struggles each day is to miss out on knowing the great strength of our God. If you could do it all, you wouldn’t know the joy of prayer and the presence of God. If you had everything perfectly together the sweetness of surrender would be distant from your heart. you were made for purpose, not perfection.

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change comes softly and slowly. stop trying to be someone you’re not and stop wearing yourself out because you haven’t grown to be the person you long to be. you are enough. let his song of pleasure over you delight your heart. you are held.

she looked up into the clear night and pulled the blanket around her. and slowly she began to whisper to her own heart that the One who hung the stars holds her tight. she didn’t have to fight who she was and wish she was someone else, she was free. and in freedom we find the joy of surrender, of giving all of our heart to Jesus. whisper it to your heart, “you are enough.

because you are truly enough.

far too easily pleased

fall“Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak…we are far too easily pleased

-C.S. Lewis

chasing glory. running down happiness. seeking pleasure. yearning to delight.

we’re human and we’re broken and we’re trying to find something.

you’d be a fool if you wouldn’t admit that it’s in you. this yearning, this seeking for something greater.

John Piper adds, “We have accustomed ourselves to such meager, short-lived pleasures that our capacity for joy has shriveled. And so our worship has shriveled.”

we’ve lost sight of our purpose in settling for less, in refusing to wait, we’ve been feeding off of that which does not fill and drinking what doesn’t quench.

our thirst-our thirst has been artificially “quenched” by rivers from the world. we have not chased the glory we ought. instead of being pleased in rest, we busy ourselves running around to accomplish more vanity and puff our lives up to look bigger than they are to the rest of the world who is hurting just like us.

we’ve become far too easily pleased in that we’ll spend four hours in front of the television, but won’t discipline ourselves to spend 60 glorious minutes in the presence of King Jesus.

Isaiah has been my resting place these past few weeks.

For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and in trust shall be your strength. Isaiah 30:15

I’m on a quest to rest. to learn just to sit in His presence and know his love. I’m on a quest to live Isaiah 40.

Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name,by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing. Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, ‘My way is hidden from the Lord and my right is disregarded by my God’?

…but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:26-7, 31

I don’t want to settle for anything less than the beautiful presence and glory and true beauty of Christ. I have far to go, but it is oh so amazing that this is just the beginning. the beginning of His peace. the beginning of surrender. the beginning of refusing to be far too easily pleased.

oswald chambers put it beautifully when he said, “but as soon as we do totally surrender, abandoning ourselves to Jesus, the Holy Spirit gives us a taste of His joy…beware of letting your natural desires hinder your walk in love before God.”

(( taste of His joy ))

I’ve tasted it in His presence and now it’s all that I can seek. I’ve felt His power through my weakness and now it’s all that I can long for. I’ve known His touch when my heart hurts and now it’s my truest desire.

He will enlarge this heart by His grace, He will consume my soul with longing, He will give a deeper love, a mind at rest in His plan, and eyes that don’t gaze at worthless things.

eyes and heart and being that are not too easily pleased.

and He will lift up the heart of the one who asks, and cause it to seek something greater. He will delight this heart in Him alone. He will remove anything He sees fit to be sure that this heart chases nothing but Him. because the heart that He has bought with His blood, must be made to beat to one rhythm. the rhythm of grace. the rhythm of satisfaction in a God who is all-satisfying. because as our delight in Him increases, we will not be too easily pleased with the things that are passing.

it amazes me how often “Christians” look exactly like the world-chasing the same things of the world. oh, dear soul, come out from them. chase Christ. chase something purer, higher. don’t settle for what fills the unbeliever when you are a believer. don’t rest until you rest in Him.

I fall and I fall again and again. I break I hurt, I crack I bend. but there’s a relentless hand that keeps picking me up-urging to love, pushing to trust.

and this hand is my God who knows what is best-He promises peace, if I would just rest.

If I would just fall, and think on His might. His mercy so great, His love ever bright.

I need only release my grasp on this life, to know He draws closer through this time of strife.

to know He is always pursuing my heart-and that was His purpose from the very start.

to make me more like Him, to cleanse me of self. to honor and serve Him, in sickness and health.

on good days and bad days, to shout forth His praise. to sing and proclaim His merciful ways.

this comfort remains-sure hope for my soul-that Jesus is chasing, the sheep in His fold.

love,

m a d y s o n

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on “s e l f – e s t e e m”

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from the song lyrics to the t-shirts, from books to billboards, this world is successful in captivating and controlling and conforming so. many. minds.

the world out there-which perhaps you’ve let inside-is charging the platforms with command after command to love yourself. to embrace who you are just where you are and for what you are. to never change. to stay true to the inmost heart of your being because you shouldn’t be anything else. and yet it portrays images of unattainable perfection and beauty and allure. it magnifies the impossible. and it shouldn’t come as a surprise-the world and the devil and the flesh are the greatest champions of whispering roaring lies.

and the church-we’ve retaliated with broken bullets. with nothing. the message of the “church” is now seeking to persuade and attaining to convince you that you must love yourself because you are beautiful, and you don’t need a change. but they leave out the part that you are nothing

that is, apart from Christ. and soul, you need a radical change.

in this generation of insecurity and impossible standards and painful soul confusion, the solution to our problem is not self-esteem. it is not an improved body image and a growing flaunt of self-confidence. it is not becoming fully persuaded of our own beauty that will heal our broken souls and our insecure longings.

oh this church-this church of America-needs to see that there is nothing to praise of self. there is no confidence to be gained in exuding your true personality-because your true personality is deceitfully wicked and desperately depraved above all else.

but there is a beauty in surrender to a King who is most beautiful. and the heart that bows its knees to receive His gift is the most secure of all. resting, trusting, beautiful.

such a heart does not radiate a show of self-confidence and self-love, but rather becomes a reservoir for the love of Christ which is broad and wide and full. and as His love fills this heart, this heart overflows. onto every soul this love pours out, in words that make stronger and actions that give recklessly.

and such a heart is so captivated by its Lover, that it looses time to think of what it wants to gain. this heart is not consumed with looking good, and appealing to others while in this breath of a life-but doing good, and serving others.

you will have no peace in striving to love yourself-because honestly, the problem is that we love ourselves too much. the problem is that we’re even concerned about our confidence-instead of radiating His. the problem is that we want to be esteemed, when truly and really we should be like Him-

“esteemed not”

oh look to The Cross to find your beauty. lose yourself, oh soul-in Him. fall madly in love with the breather of the existence of stars and galaxies and oceans. surrender yourself and forget all your insecurities.

because at the feet of our King, we can forget who we have been. at the feet of our King we can find His glorious confidence-that we are the Beloved of God. get alone and spend hours with the God of all existence, and you will not be the same. because His story and His plan and His glorious unfolding is so much greater than you.

and when you forget yourself-the world will blink and stare, wide-eyed with wonder at such a confidence, because you will have the confidence of Christ.

love,

(( mm ))

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