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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Graber

I don't like being broken, but I love how Jesus heals.

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.

Psalm 139:23 (NIV)


A few years ago, I started attending church with my (now ex) boyfriend. During one of the sermons, Pastor's message centered around Psalm 139. I glommed on to the "test me" part and broke down--a full-on waterfall of tears gave a testimony about my anxiety about being tested. Broken, hurt, scarred, and scared, I confessed to my friend Julie, "I don't want to be tested. I'm tired, and I'm afraid of what God will find."


Moment of truth: I was in an unhealthy relationship with a man who also was not ready to commit. I still hadn't committed wholly to God or found a church home. Instead, I had one foot in front of the cross and the other foot was a twisted, gnarly thing dragging me down. Things looked good on the outside, but inside, hurt and shame worked overtime to ratchet up my fear. I felt broken and unworthy. My crown was slipping, and my smile wasn't staying in place. I needed God to do that search.


"Jesus loves you," Julie comforted. That's always been my favorite Sunday song; it has become my mantra. As I voiced my anxiety about Pastor's call for action, my friend in faith listened to me talk about my fears. Julie encouraged me to see the verse in a new way and have faith that God was not going to break me down but search my heart to weed out the bad things and make me whole. Now Julie was speaking a language I understood: Gardening.


Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? Psalm 139:&

God has been running after me for, well, most of my life. I guess I've been a bit of a handful. A few times, God has caught me and saved me, but I slipped away, again. Thankfully, I worship a God of second and third chances. He has let me stumble and fall, too--sometimes hard falls, with scrapes. Yet, God has and is always present in my circumstance. I took a long time to learn that God chooses imperfect people because nobody is perfect. I learn from failure, after all. Like any good father, God is there cheering me on, drying my tears, helping me up when I fall, and standing with me from the storm.


After a few weeks and a hurtful breakup, I gave in and surrendered. I prayed over this verse repeatedly, asking God to "See if there is any / offensive way in me, / and lead me in the way / everlasting" (Psalms 139:24). I read Psalm 139 several times, and I still open my Bible app read through the whole thing to remind myself how precious I am to God.


13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:13-14

I'm still not perfect, but I accept that Jesus loves me just as I am. I recommitted my life again, asking Jesus to come into my heart and save me from sin. God made me wonderfully. . . and sacrificed His son, Jesus, to save me from all of the things I felt broken about. God is working on making my crooked places straight. I keep asking God to search my heart, remove the offensive things, and lead me in His ways. I stumble, but I'm so much better knowing the one who goes before me is so bigger than anything that tries to stand against me.


I keep hearing this song on the radio: "Footprints" by Matt Hammitt. Hearing this song one morning on the way to work brought me back to that moment in church: "Been through some bitter times...And when I stop to look back / I can see your faithfulness." God has never been unfaithful; even when my faith has wavered, He has not forgotten me. God has not forgotten you, either. Friend, if any part of you feels broken, I encourage you find a good Bible-based church and reach out to ask for help. Jesus loves you!


Blessings for healing and strength,

Michelle




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