Break Me…To Restoration

Break Me…To Restoration

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. – 1 John 4:7-8 (ESV)

I’m “leading while bleeding” as Apostle Tabitha Vinson puts it.  I have been for some time.  Yeah, not many know the specifics.  I believe in being a “grown-up leader.” That means when something comes up, I don’t vomit it all over Facebook with status after status.  I don’t run to the phone every time I have an issue.  I keep a lot of it inside, to the point where it hurts me.  Years of telling things to the wrong people only to have it come back to haunt me have caused me to be guarded with what I divulge – almost to the point of going the other way.  I’m dealing with personal situations, ministerial issues, and physical discomforts that leave me voided and exhausted much of the time.  I have days when I don’t know what I think about any of it anymore.  I am so full of “word” that has been spoken, I can’t hear another one.  I don’t need another word telling me not to “give up,” “don’t be discouraged,” “be encouraged,” “God’s got a plan,” and the like.  I don’t care for these words because they actually make me feel more discouraged and more like giving up.  They make me feel like people do not take what I go through seriously, that I should just shut up and be the “good little soldier” all the time. And, when in a place like that, the worst part is feeling like way too many people just don’t care.

Someone always has a reason why they can’t sow a seed in the ministry.  When I say “always” I underline “always.”  There is always an excuse and always a reason.  They need to give it to their adult children. They want to buy something for themselves, whether they need it or not.  Giving to the ministry – the one that is always there for you, sits up nights, prays, intercedes, etc., is just not the priority – because as you walk away full, you forget the minister who sowed into you sits there empty, without something, because of the sacrifices they made to help you.  Someone always has a reason why they have an immediate “need” and why they need to talk or why their problem is always the priority.  I meet so many people that just randomly go from here to there and don’t have the first care about what someone else might need, let alone myself.  I’m so weary of ministry competitions, of how you can’t work with anyone anymore because everyone always needs to be in control, or somehow subtlety put down whatever it is you are doing in favor of their own.  I’m so tired of being treated as if there is something inherently wrong with me; of the ministers who “think” of me or regard me as their “spiritual daughter” when we have no such relationship, or who feel I should be beneficial to them rather than either we work together or maybe they make the sacrifice and be beneficial to this work…and just a general feeling of being used, unappreciated, and…just being generally irrelevant unless someone feels they want something.   

I am admitting this because I was looking for something else tonight.  I was looking one thing up and wound up finding a song I’d forgotten about, Jewel’s “Break Me.”  It was not a big hit, but had one of the most beautifully illustrated and powerful music videos I think I’ve ever seen.  The video perfectly represents what the song is about: restoration.  

Now before y’all start looking at me like I am crazy, yes, the song called “Break Me” is actually about restoration.  In its title, it tells us something key to restoration.  If we truly want to be a people who are able to be restored, we have to realize that when we get broken, we get jagged.  Pieces left to their own devices break and splinter more, crack and chip, and get more and more edges that cause us to hurt even further.  It gets harder and harder the more we jaded we become to restore because we reach a point where we just don’t expect people to care anymore.  We stop talking, we let ourselves bleed because we have no choice, but we cover the wound without letting it heal, and we just stop trying to be helped.  We let things go in our lives because it becomes too hard to keep pursuing them.  One by one…we become voided.

We talk a lot about restoration and wanting to be restored, but we don’t realize that in order to be restored, the isolation and alienation that results when we find ourselves in a voided place needs to first be broken before we are able to be restored.  In a broken state, we have to be broken further.  The only way that is achieved is when someone genuinely reaches out – and means it.  I think we have come to hide behind the clichés and cute little church sayings because we don’t want to reach out to others.  We don’t want to have to ‘get involved’ or maybe care about someone else more than ourselves.  We don’t want to put ourselves aside.  We think we have the major problem and that we need to receive…and in the meantime, we don’t offer people the very thing that shows them how much we love them and how much we want them to know God does, too.

But loving others is the only way that the edges and pains are “broken down” to the point where we are able to receive that restoration.  The love of God isn’t this big, mystical thing.  It doesn’t fall on our heads, out of the sky.  Love is an action.  God showed us His love through the sacrifice of Jesus.  God is love because it is Who He is; not because of anything we have done.  When we are in Christ, that is the essential nature that we are to take on for ourselves.  It is manifest in the lives of those who truly believe that being in Him merits we love because it is who we are, not because of what anyone else does or has done.  Every time we show someone we love them – take time with them, encourage them by action rather than just talking at them, giving them a hug, sitting and listening when they talk instead of talking about ourselves, sowing a seed into a ministry, telling someone you appreciate them – we are showing people that God loves them, too.  It may seem small, but that action of breaking through the pain, giving them something tangible, and showing them something deeper than mere words – helps them to break – break down – break through – to restoration.                      

I am saying all of this – and even related of myself – because I realize the longer we don’t reach out, the longer we don’t put ourselves aside and help someone else (and when I say “help” I don’t mean throw around more church phrases), the more difficult it becomes for someone to receive revelation.  It’s easy to assume nobody cares, everyone is uninterested or self-centered, and to retreat inward rather than reach out.  If we say we want people saved, healed, delivered, and restored, we have to get involved.  We have to show them somebody cares about them.  Restoration doesn’t just happen because we wiggle our noses or because we say “I speak restoration NOW!” in a big, loud, booming preacher voice.  Love requires us giving something of ourselves so someone else can live and can run farther, faster, and more powerfully in this life.  We have to break…through love…unto restoration.

If you can’t put yourself aside to help someone else break through to their restoration, then you aren’t really a follower of Christ, born of God and living in Him.  If that’s the case, then it’s time to take the word “Christian” off your identity, the formal title off your page, the empty words from your mouth…and let yourself begin again with Him, being broken and then restored to a place where you can.  It’s not hard…just vitally important so we can reach the lost and hurting world with the Gospel.

(c) 2014 Lee Ann B. Marino.  All rights reserved.       

“Break Me,” Jewel

I will meet you
In some place
Where the light lends itself
To soft repose
I will let you undress me
But I warn you
I have thorns
Like any rose

And you could hurt me
With your bare hands
You could hurt me
With with the sharp end
Of what you say
But I’m lost to you now
And there’s no
Amount of reason
That could save me

So break me
Take me
Just let me
Feel your arms again
Break me
I’ll let you make me
Just let me
Feel your love again

Feels like being underwater
Now that I’ve let go
And lost control
Water kisses fill my mouth
Water fills my soul

So break me
Take me
Just let me
Feel your arms again
Break me
Make me
Just let me
Feel your love again

Kiss me once
Well, maybe twice
Oh, it never felt so nice
So break me
Take me
Let me
Feel your arms again
Break me
Make me
Just let me
Feel your arms again
Just let me
Feel your love again

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