The opening chords of that song hit my ears and I can feel my throat starting to close up, the tears sneak up into the corners of my eyes…happens every time. I’ve thought about this often…what is it about that song that makes me emotional? What I’ve landed on is the fact that it speaks to our past but not just generally.
It’s our family, our childhood home, brokenness and healing.
The lyrics wrap around the bittersweet that envelopes many of our growing up years. Not too many of us would say we’ve made it this far unscathed. So what do we do with the memories, how does any hurt play out now, where are we finding healing?
This theme has popped up on my radar all week: God uses our broken pieces to birth areas where we can grow, gain strength and encourage and comfort others. I heard this song on the radio and thought of Nehemiah and a blog post I read earlier this week.
The post was by Jennie Allen and it talked about building from the rubble.
In the story of Nehemiah, he has returned to Jerusalem (and his people group) to rebuild the wall around the city. As in any great story, there was opposition to this plan and the people became afraid and discouraged.
- They complained that the workers were getting weak and there was too much rubble (v. 10)
- They were afraid of the threats from enemies (v. 11-12).
Nehemiah springs into action and takes charge.
- He stations families at low points in the wall to guard it (v. 13)
- He takes a look around to further assess the situation (v. 14)
- He speaks words of strength and encouragement.
Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes. Nehemiah 4:14
He took his people, a pile of rubble, heaps of brokenness and through prayer and elbow grease, with God’s help the wall was rebuilt.
We can apply the same principles to our lives as we travel in our hearts back to those places that were our foundations.
We return to the brokenness and rubble and pray…when God shows us how, we rebuild, perhaps something even stronger than what was originally there.
Like so many others, I am a child of divorced parents. In my life this has created an intentional and constant effort to build a strong marriage and therefore a strong family. That broken part of my childhood has proved to be a wonderful building block for the life I’m living now.
Just like Nehemiah (and Miranda Lambert!) I need to return to my roots, assess what’s there and work to move forward. I’ve had willing helpers just as in the story and the presence and love of God that has helped me face down fears and keep going. I’m reminded daily that God makes beauty from ashes and walls from rubble. And you don’t just have to take my word for it. Here’s what his word says:
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners….to comfort all who mourn…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning and a garment of praise instead of despair…They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated. Isaiah 61:2-4
What kind of rubble is in your past that God is building into something good?