My hands were empty, and my heart was broken.

I sat at home on the 3-day leave from work after my miscarriage and blindly stared at the blinking computer screen in front of me. I’d tried reading my Bible, but was unable to focus past a verse or two. I wanted to hear from God, but my pain wailed doubt and despair.

I never heard His voice audibly that day, but looking back now seven years later, I know how He spoke clearly. He used Kelli.

Kelli was a former student who knew I was hurting. She decided to be brave and share her story with me. She sent me a short e-mail where she confessed that she and her hubby had struggled with infertility for several years. She’d started a blog to chronicle her story in hopes of encouraging women who were on the same journey.

“I don’t share this with many people,” she confessed. But, she invited me into her pain so that I would know that I was not alone.

I spent the next day voraciously reading. I’d never visited a blog before. From Kelli’s blog, I found many other spaces on the internet where women were welcoming me into their lives and letting me know that God was still at work. God was present. God was transforming brokenness into beauty. His glorious light was spilling out of their lives all over the internet.

Months later, I decided to start a blog. Perhaps I could encourage one person with my story. I also accepted an invitation from a friend to join her in online Bible study. She said we’d just be looking at a few verses a day.

I can do a few verses a day, I thought. I grabbed a notebook, and I wrote four letters across the top of the page that changed my life forever…

S.O.A.P.

I started writing out the Word of life, looking for hope in its depths and truly thinking about how living it out could impact my life. I prayed simple prayers. I cried out to God for hope and healing.

My hands were surrendered, and my heart was open.

It’s been 7 years since I decided to step into the Light and allow God to have His way in me. I’ve learned that God writes the best stories, but first we must hand Him the pen.

In 2 Corinthians 4, Paul is sharing his story with us in hopes of encouraging the weary hearted. He knows in this fallen world that we will experience:

  • External Chaos: We are afflicted in every way. The pressures of life are overwhelming.
  • Internal Confusion: We are perplexed. Sometimes circumstances just do not seem to make sense.
  • Undeserved Criticism: We are persecuted. We often face rejection, misunderstanding, and abuse.
  • Unexpected Catastrophe: We are struck down. This wicked world wounds us, and it’s hard to keep walking.

Paul wants us to know that brokenness is not the end of our story. My sister, God is not through with you yet. If you invite Him into your pain, He will step in and give you:

  • Help: Your Protector will never allow this world to crush you.
  • Hope: He will give you peace that surpasses understanding.
  • Healing: He will never leave you nor forsake you. He will restore you.
  • Heaven: This fallen world is just a temporary camp. He is preparing a permanent home for you with no more pain or sorrow.

God wants to strengthen you, shine His glory through you, and transform your mess into a ministry of encouragement to others. Just as He radiated through Kelli, He longs to use you as a light in a dark place.

With hands extended and hearts full, we will brightly display God’s redemption to the watching world.

Keeping the Faith,

Lyli

Lyli Dunbar enjoys karaoke in the car with her husband, digging into Bible study with the girls, and reading 12 books at a time. A writer, speaker, and mentor, her burning passion is to know Jesus and to make Him known. Join her at lylidunbar.com to find fuel for a wildfire faith. You may also connect with Lyli on Facebook, Instagram,Twitter, You Tube and Pinterest.

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We’re in Week 3 of our Broken & Redeemed study! Grab your favorite beverage, crack open your Bible, and together let’s rejoice with the broken and redeemed of God.

You can grab a copy of our Broken & Redeemed journal on Amazon here or download it at this location.

We also have a corresponding kid’s Broken & Redeemed journal geared for children in elementary grades. You can grab a copy on Amazon at this location. 

Broken & Redeemed Bible Study