I am a Crackpot

You may be asking yourself if I completely have lost my mind with this title so let me be more clear. I am a cracked clay pot. In the Bible, it talks about God being the potter and we are the clay. Sometimes, in life our clay pots get cracked and chipped and even broken. This brokenness can be a result of someone hurting us, or our own sin in our life, or even circumstances beyond our control as we like in a broken world. Recently, I have a friend who just shared with me after years of infertility that they were finally able to get pregnant with their second child, but sadly, she miscarried the baby.   She is feeling broken. I have another friend whose father passed away recently and she is feeling broken. Perhaps you are struggling with a broken relationship or depression or the loss of a loved one … many things cause cracks in our pots.

I just recently started this new book called the Mended Heart: God’s Healing for Your Broken Places by Suzanne Eller. She talks about a friend of hers that was hurting over a broken relationship and it says, her friend “stills sees herself as broken but no longer feels like her life has been shattered. Rather, she is like a mosaic with a Light shining from the inside out. In fact, when she shares her testimony, she holds up a clay pot, broken and glued back together, for the audience to see. It’s not perfect- or even beautiful by most human standards- but the Light filtering through the cracks is.”

Well I just loved this illustration in the book; this visual of brokenness and the fact that God’s light shines brightest through our cracks and broken places. I started thinking more about it and realized that if a pot has no cracks, chips, or broken places then the light cannot shine through it. However, if a pot has many cracks and broken places but still shines bright for Jesus despite those circumstances, then that is a beautiful thing.

So, I decided that I was going to make my own cracked pot as a daily reminder that God can use my brokenness! I also wanted a visual reminder that God shines brightest through my hurts and pain if I let Him.

OK Ladies, let me be completely honest, this was so therapeutic. I learned so much through it but let me share with you my top 2 insights.

1) As I gathered up all the pieces to glue back the pot back together, I noticed that there were small pieces and even some dust that came off with the cracks that I could not restore.   This is so true in real life too- we will never be completely the same again. I use to think that this was a bad thing but now I have a different perspective. I know that God’s light can shine the brightest through our cracks. If we were completely whole, then His light could not shine through.

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2) It is beautiful to see His Light shine through the cracks and hard times of our life. It does not take away the pain or hurt but it does give them an even greater purpose. We can show God’s faithfulness and love in such a profound way!   This makes me thing of the story of Joseph when says to his brothers, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Gen 50:20. I truly believe that Satan intended to break you, to shatter you and harm you so you would think you are useless for God. However, God wants to use it for good, to make you stronger, and grow your faith like you have never experienced before so you shine brighter than you ever did before!

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I love this verse; I am going to print it out and put it on my computer as a reminder to me!

“We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.”

2 Corinthians 4:7-9 (NLT)

I hope this encourages you as much as it did me! Again, I am proud to be a crackpot! 🙂

Love, Jodi

Forgiveness Part 2

It is truly hard for me to not have my boys home; they have been up north with their dad for the last 3 days.   However, one of the positive things is that I get to read and journal without interruption. I truly embrace this alone time to dig deeper and God has been so faithful!

This morning, I have been reading Sheila Walsh’s book, ”The storm inside: Trade the Chaos of How You Feel for the Truth of Who You Are.” An amazing book and I highly recommend it! I read the chapter on forgiveness today and it was amazing! Here is something I wanted to share with you from that chapter:

“Forgiveness is not about removing someone else’s liability, but about setting your own hearts free. Did you hear that. It’s not about the other’s person’s sin; it’s about your freedom. Satan would love to keep each of us in a prison of unforgiveness, bound forever to the one who sinned against us. The enemy has many finely honed darts aimed at the hearts of all who love God- but hear this: he has nothing in his arsenal to combat forgiveness!”

Wow- this is powerful!! I love that Satan has no ways to combat forgiveness. So when we choose to forgive and give grace to someone that has wronged us and hurt us, Satan is at a loss.   Not only are we freeing ourselves from bitterness and resentment but we are sucker punching Satan at the same time! Now, that is amazing!

However, I know this act of forgiveness is not easy! In fact, it is truly hard to do it; we naturally want to hold onto the anger we feel from the hurt and pain and the thought of letting it go does not come naturally. I have been digging deeper into forgiveness lately. I just finished the book, “The Unburdened Heart: Finding the Freedom From Forgiveness” by Suzanne Eller; another great book which I totally recommend. One thing that I am coming to terms with is that this is not a one time thing.   I think forgiveness is a daily act of laying your hurt and pain at the feet of Jesus and asking for strength to relinquish it!   This is a very difficult thing and I don’t know if you are struggling with it too. I would like to encourage you and pray for you and me as we try to forgive someone that has hurt us.

God, you know the pain that we have experienced and you know the hurt we are still feeling. By your power and strength, help us move to a place of forgiveness where we lay these hurts and pains at the foot of the cross. I know it is not easy but I know that it is important. God, meet us where we are at- help us take the next step toward forgiveness whether it is to begin to entertain the thought that we can forgive or whether it is daily surrendering it to you. God, we can do ALL things through Christ that gives us strength and I honestly believe this statement to be true! Thank you for your unconditional love and comfort through these hard times!! In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Love you all,

Jodi