God Is Not Finished With Your Story

2 Corinthians 4:8-9, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”

Are you feeling knocked down by disappointments or difficulties in your life?  Do you feel pressed on every side by the weight of your circumstances?  Are you confused and perplexed as to why God has you walking through this season of uncertainty right now?

I know how hard it can be, so let me encourage you with some truth I learned at church. As we studied these verses in 2 Corinthians 4:8-9, the pastor noticed there were commas after each descriptive word, not a period.

  • “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed;
  • Perplexed, but not in despair;
  • Persecuted, but not abandoned;
  • Struck down, but not destroyed.”

A period signifies the end of a sentence, but a comma shows that there is still more to come. It is important that we view our lives this same way. These feelings you are experiencing right now: hard pressed, grief, confusion….. they are real emotions that you will want to allow yourself time to process.  BUT they are not the end of your story. 

“Don’t put a period where God places a comma!”

I know someone needs to hear this message today.  This storm you have been facing has lasted longer than you thought.  The emotions are weighing on you and pressing you down.  You are struggling to see any light in the midst of the dark.   

If you are feeling hopeless, I want to encourage you today to exchange the period you placed at the end of your difficult circumstance with a comma. 

You may feel hard pressed on every side (comma), but you are not crushed, You may feel struck down (comma), but you are not destroyed.

God is not finished with your story.  He wants to give you beauty for your ashes and purpose for your pain.  

He has a plan bigger than you can even imagine, and He wants you to trust Him even when you cannot understand. Fall back into His loving arms today and ask Him to give you His strength as you walk through this difficult season.  

Remember this is not the end of your story, but the beginning of an even greater story.

Love, Jodi

The Blessings of Brokenness

For years, I struggled with vulnerability.  I did not want to admit my struggles to others. Instead, the perfectionist in me only wanted to share my successes.

But I am thankful that God changed my heart in the middle of my brokenness and taught me an important lesson about being vulnerable.

We connect with others more in our struggles than we ever could with our successes.

In his new book, Dangerous Prayers, Pastor Craig Groeschel says, “This is one of the blessings of brokenness. It’s easy to impress people with our strengths, but real connections are forged through our shared weaknesses.”

I love this: “one of the blessings in brokenness.”  This got me thinking, what are the blessings in brokenness?  Today I want to share with you some lessons I learned in the middle of my pain.

I use to think that our brokenness disqualified us, but now I know it is the very ingredient God uses to help another hurting heart.

What if the one thing you never thought God could use is the very thing God is asking you to share to help someone else?  Maybe you struggled in the past with an eating disorder or an addiction.  Perhaps you currently struggle with depression or anger.  Maybe you walked through a heartbreaking divorce like me and that is the last thing you want to share with others.

What if God wants to use you because of your brokenness, not in spite of it? 

Who better to help someone who is struggling with depression than someone who struggles with depression.  Who better to help someone who with an addiction than someone who has an addiction.   

I love what Craig says in his book, “Who does God most often use?  God uses those who are broken and dependent on him.”

Brokenness leads us to a place of dependency on God. 

I never felt closer to God that in the middle of my brokenness. Each day, He was comforting me, guiding me, and strengthening me as I ran to Him in my pain. 

What if one of the blessings of brokenness is deeper intimacy with God?

Friends, brokenness can be a gift if we use it to draw us closer to God.  You have a choice: run to God in your pain or run away.  I pray you will run to God and let Him use your brokenness in ways you never knew possible.

These are the blessings of brokenness.

Love, Jodi