Every End Has a New Beginning

download (4)I thought my last post was going to be the end of my writing.  But since that time, God has been stirring up something new.  Although it won’t officially start until January 1, 2016…I would like to invite each of my subscribers to sign up for “Broken Can Be Beautiful.”  All you have to do is click on the link and once you’re on the page, click the “Follow” button.

Meanwhile, you can still join me on my new Facebook page, “Beautifully Broken.”  And if you would like a description of what “Broken Can Be Beautiful” is all about, check out my first post here.

Whether or not you decide to join me on this journey, my hope is that every single one of you comes to see the beauty in brokenness…how God can break a hardened heart and heal a broken one.

Breakthrough in the Midst of Brokenness

 Recently I discovered a new song by a group called Lifehouse.  The song is titled “Broken” and it contains a line that when I first heard it, well, it sort of caught my breath.  It so accurately captures what I’ve been living the past few months…

 

“I may have lost my way now, haven’t forgotten my way home.”

 

As a spiritually broken mom, I’ve definitely felt lost.  And that means I haven’t been able to provide any real direction for my children.  How can a lost person show someone else the way?  Well, they can’t…and let me tell you, that’s a scary place to be when you’re a parent.

 

Yet the hope in all this is that I never forgot my way home.  I may have taken some detours and I might still be groping my way through the fog…yet I DO know how to get home.  And guess what?  So do my children.

 

In fact, of all times to see spiritual breakthrough in one of my children, it occurred in the midst of my own brokenness.  In our earthly minds it doesn’t sense.  But you see, if the forming of our children’s lives was solely based on us…well, God would no longer be necessary.  We can only come to see how very much we need Him when there is nothing else left.

 

I’m no longer terrified that my spiritual brokenness is going to damage my children.  No matter how “whole” I am and how well I play the Christian mom role, it can NEVER replace the God who meets every need and fills every empty place.  In fact, the more I get out of the way and stop trying to play Savior, the better off for my children.

 

Here’s the thing…yes, my children have witnessed that I’ve lost my way.  It’s not something I can hide, no matter how much I think I can.  They see through it.  I could stay stuck on this reality.  Yet God has been reminding me that they have also seen something even more important—that I know my way home.  They know the Word of God is still important to me…that tears flow…that prayer is a part of my life…that God’s ways are questioned…that praise and worship music lifts my spirit…that doubts sometimes plague me and that faith restores me.

 

In our humanness this sounds so confusing.  But God helps the senseless to make sense.  Only He can do that.  How do I know?  Because I’ve seen Him move more in my children’s lives during this season of my spiritual brokenness than I’ve seen in a long, long time.

 

And once again I come to the cold, hard truth that my abilities as a parent reach a certain point in which they can do nothing.  That all my efforts and good works as a mom don’t equal (or even come close) to what God can do in my children’s lives.  When I’m unable, He is more than able.  When I’m at the end of my rope, He pulls me up.  When I’ve lost my way, He brings me home.

 

© 2015, Stephanie Romero

When Mom Is Spiritually Broken

 Although you’re never fully prepared when it happens, it’s certainly not uncommon to deal with spiritual brokenness in our children.  Sons and daughters who struggle with faith, who question truth or even walk away from God.  In some ways we almost expect it to happen when they hit the teen years or when they gain their first taste of independence as an adult.

 

But what if the spiritual brokenness isn’t an issue with your child?  What if it’s with you?

 

It’s not something we hear much about.  It’s not a common topic in Bible studies or even as a conversation piece.  And yet it happens.  Probably more often than we know.

 

One of the things I have been committed to in writing this blog is honesty.  At times it’s required more of me than I’ve wanted to give.  I’ve shared things that others would have kept in secret.  I’ve exposed parts of me that I’d preferred to have kept hidden.

 

I would have loved to know I wasn’t alone in my earlier years of parenting.  And so that’s just one of the reasons I’m willing to bare it all.  Even now, with older kids, I still know that I’m not alone.  I want to be a voice that speaks out hard truths.  And so with that, I take a risk in sharing some of my own spiritual brokenness.

 

It’s scary to be in that place.  Because it doesn’t just affect me.  It affects my children.  Therefore, I struggle not only with my personal issues but fears that it will negatively impact my children.

 

Although my brokenness probably started at a time I didn’t recognize its beginnings…it became much more obvious in the early months of 2015.  A variety of challenges seemed to hit at once.  One of the biggest was the death of my father, which hit me very hard.  On top of that was the birth of my granddaughter—although certainly a joyous occasion, the timing and circumstances surrounding it still created some stress.  In addition there were marital problems, financial difficulties, job insecurities and health issues.  But these were just the top six.  Let’s just say that 2015 hasn’t been one of the easier years for me or my family.

 

The impact hasn’t just been emotional and physical.  It’s affected me spiritually.  Not that I ever walked away from God or stopped believing.  However, my faith was shaken to its core.  Regaining ground has been slow moving but at least there’s been some progress.

 

I’ve written quite a bit about guilt and how it affects parents—moms in particular.  When you’re spiritually broken and children are watching, guilt can consume you.  Somehow I’ve managed to avoid that.  Not that I haven’t struggled with it…but I haven’t allowed it to become bigger than my God.  I’m learning that even in my weakness, His strength is enough not only for me but my children as well.

 

This post is just the start of what I hope becomes a conversation piece for others…or at least helps them to know they aren’t alone.  You see, sometimes life is messy and pretending otherwise is useless.  It’s what you do with it that will be the greatest lesson your children will ever learn.

 

Mom (or dad), when you’re spiritually broken the only One who can put you together again is God.  He is also looking out for your children, especially when your tank is running on empty.  Regardless of what comes your way, no matter how far you fall and despite the scars you wear from the battle…God will see you—AND YOUR CHILDREN—through it all.

 

© 2015, Stephanie Romero

 

The Brokenness That Doesn’t Last Forever

gg60985684Brokenness…

the baby that would never be after a miscarriage.

the unexplained illness of an 8-week old who had to be hospitalized.

the constant bullying, that occurred both at school and church.

the friend that suddenly turned and became the enemy.

the tears cried over a first love.

the moment of desperation that led to a life-changing decision.

These are all situations that I’ve experienced with my children or as a parent.  While there have been many times of brokenness as a mom, these are the ones that stand out most in my mind.

This past weekend I was able to add another moment to the list.  The brokenness of saying “see you later.”  Not knowing when that later will come.

The first time my oldest son left for overseas, it came unexpectedly.  I didn’t even get a chance to prepare.  He was stationed in Texas and our family was planning to come visit him before he was to leave (which wasn’t supposed to be for another month or two).  But then the phone call.  “Mom…”  I heard the hesitation in his voice.  He knew what he was about to say would hurt.  “I’m leaving tomorrow for Turkey.”  He was over 1,000 miles away.  There was no time to hop in the car or even to take a quick flight.  My “see you later” was over the phone.

You would think that would have been harder, for him to tell me over the phone that he was leaving the next day to go overseas.  But I learned this past weekend that the preparation, the looming knowledge of what’s ahead, is actually more difficult.  Because you know what to expect—even though you really don’t know what to expect when your child is in the military.  And so my heart broke as I got my last hug, as I watched him walk away until he became nothing more than a dot in the distance.

Brokenness.

It made me think about that scene in the “Passion of the Christ.”  The one where Jesus is a little boy and he falls down.  His mother comes running to his rescue.  He has scraped his knee and even though it’s nothing major, it still causes her heart to break.  Because no mother likes to see their child in pain.  I remember those days…when I came to my own son’s rescue.

And then there is the heart-wrenching scene where Jesus is on the cross.  And his mother is absolutely helpless.  She can’t bandage those wounds.  She can’t pick Him up in her arms.  There is absolutely nothing she can do.  That is the worst kind of brokenness to experience—when you have lost all control of a situation.

Yet with all the brokenness Mary experienced, beauty came from it.  It was a resurrected life.  Without the pain, there is no healing.  Without the anguish, there is no comfort.

And so I find a strange solace in my brokenness…an understanding that goes beyond knowing it will pass.  It’s recognizing there is another side to this hurt.  Because the tears will stop flowing and the ache in my heart will eventually dull.  And sooner rather than later I’ll find myself able to smile again.  I’ll go on living this beautiful life that God has given me.  Because brokenness doesn’t last forever.

© 2014, Stephanie Romero