“Blessed are the ones who understand;
They’ve got nothing to bring
but empty hands;
Nothing to hide and nothing to prove;
Our heartbreak brings us back to you.”
~ Lyrics to Fall Apart by Josh Wilson
It was the moment of truth.
You know what I’m talking about.
When you can’t stop thinking about what you have to do. What you need to do. What you want to do.
But, you’re afraid.
Of falling apart.
Your Everyday Tent
People might tell you, Don’t worry. Things will work out right.
But, you know. You’ve walked through the desert. You know not everything goes as planned.
You’ve learned to put the pieces back together, living in make-shift shelter, doing your best and pitching up your everyday tent.
I got used to living out in the desert. It’s where life as I knew it fell apart.
It’s where I fell apart.
I knew in my head, God had a plan. In my heart, I wished He chose a different one for me.
If you’re reached a point in your journey of faith, where you’re in between where you’ve been — and where you need to go next — you might be tempted to stay where you are at.
Where things are known and certain.
Where you are safe from falling apart.
Where you stop dreaming, so they can never be shattered.
I was standing at this very decision a month ago.
I was afraid to move forward. For over a year. But, it seemed the place where God had once led me to rest in, Jesus was now saying, Bonnie. It’s time to get up and go.
I know what may be in store.
Letting go and leaving behind.
Walking forward, without knowing where it would lead.
I could fall apart.
He once allowed me to walk into a season of darkness, where I could not see.
Do I have what it takes to take this next leg of the journey?
What makes me think this time will be different?
Pros and Cons
As I struggled with starting over, with no promise of safety, I drew up a list of pros and cons.
On one side, I tallied all the reasons why I was afraid, filling the page from top to bottom. On the other side, I scrawled out a few lingering reasons, dwarfed by it’s neighboring objections.
Parked on the side of the road one morning, I hung my head wearied by the inner debate.
Jesus, I can’t do this. I don’t want to fall apart again.
A song came on the radio just then. I knew it was meant for me.
I realized I had what it takes to move forward.
Not because everything will work out right.
I can take the next step ahead — because with Jesus, I can fall apart.
Underneath the Rubble
We view falling apart as a deficit, but Jesus finds great value in our faith.
Underneath the rubble of a broken heart, He cherishes what no one sees.
* I am treasured for who I belong to, not who I can be.
Your right hand has held me up, Your gentleness has made me great.” Psalm 18:35
* Even if what’s ahead turns out to be nothing, nothingness is where God works best.
~ In the beginning, there was nothing.
It was in nothing, the Holy Spirit hovered, where God created something.
~ Mary’s empty womb. How can this be? she asked.
It was in nothing, the Holy Spirit hovered again, where Jesus became flesh.
The place inside where I fell apart was the perfect place for Jesus to enter and rest.
A More Precious Treasure
You and I can get up and go, friends.
Not because we’re guaranteed success.
We carry a far more precious treasure inside us.
That treasure is Jesus.
If you are like me, standing at the crossroads between the desert and the Promised Land, remember once again why we are making this journey.
It isn’t just for the milk and honey on this side of the cross.
It’s for the Person who is calling us there.
He is lovingly taking everything that has happened, creating something of great worth.
In the void of our lives, Jesus does His best work, faithful to bring order out of chaos, beauty out of darkness.
No matter how our list of pros and cons stack up, we can move forward because of what we find when we fall apart.
We may not be holding onto anything, except the very prize that is worth winning.
“What is more, I consider everything a loss
compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord…
One thing I do:
Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,
I press on toward the goal to win the prize…
* Are you afraid to fall apart?
* How is God encouraging you to move forward anyway?
Pull up a chair. Let’s swap stories. Share a comment.
By Bonnie Gray, the Faith Barista, sharing shots of faith for everyday life.
For more shots of faith, join Bonnie and the Faith Fresh community as they explore ways to “Keep Faith Fresh” this month.
Photo courtesy of Milli-Vinilly via Photobucket.Leave a Comment
afraid that if i let this painful situation go, i’ll be lost in a sea of insignificance. that it will mean that my deepest fears are confirmed and i really don’t matter.
thank you, bonnie, for writing this piece…it’s been a theme that He has been gently whispering; that it’s time to let go and move forward and He will take care of the loose ends.
i just needed that final push 🙂
Bonnie Gray | FaithBarista says
I know what you’re describing. The fear of insignificance can nip at us when we’re led to take that next step. Jesus, thank you for your whispers to Kimberley. Please continue to encourage and guide my friend.
Amy Hunt says
We really don’t matter, but He wants to use us as part of His Story. Thank you, Jesus, for how each of us, including your sweet-Kimberley, DO matter. Help us to know our significance in you, Father.
Moving Forward When You’re Afraid To Fall Apart | Faith Barista says
[…] …To read the rest of the story – click here and join me at DaySpring’s (in)courage website, where today’s post is published. […]
Lisa H says
I am the Queen of Fear of falling apart! With even more fear of letting others see me fall apart! But God knows that and I believe that when you hit rock bottom and feel there is nothing else left in your life, Jesus is the one thing left standing! When the dust settles as you sit on the bottom of whatever pit you are in, look up. You will see Him waiting for you to hold out your hand to him so he can help. I’ve been on many levels of ‘rock bottom’. My fears are gone for the most part, they flare up every now and again. I feel as if I am now at a place of experiencing normal everyday life-normal ups and downs.
My current fear is that I will be alone, without a companion, a husband. I will be a divorced single mom the rest of my life when I want so badly to be married again. To a godly man, a loving, caring and respectful man.
How is God encouraging me in my faith? Everyday he shows me something either through reading, songs, people. This morning in my email, my daily devotional was titled “Remember to say everyday: God is good and He is in control” Rick Warren. Giving up control has been tough for me. Its all I had left or so I thought. But I am giving him control, I am now the passenger and not the driver of this wild ride called life. I’m beginning to look all around me and see what I have been missing for so many years while I was driving. What I see now isn’t always pretty and unscathed but I am starting to see the beauty in what isn’t beautiful….
Bonnie Gray | FaithBarista says
Lisa, thanks for stopping to take time to share such a vulnerable spot in your story. It’s a wonderful picture to encourage us of what faith looks like, trusting in God, in our everyday shape. Your faith is of great value!
I am always afraid of falling apart, especially now that I live alone, far from family. Sometimes, it makes me afraid of admitting that I need help or asking for it. But I can also feel that things cannot remain the same. It is time for something new.
The place in between the desert and the Promised Land is exactly where I feel I am. Thank you for the words to keep me going.
Bonnie Gray | FaithBarista says
Kristine, this is one thing I have learned to do — although it felt terrifying at first — reach out to someone and ask for help. Most times, that help is simply listening, without giving advice, praying and encouraging each other to let Jesus into the whitespaces. xxoo
I just found this song too! I am falling apart my husband just deployed and left me in charge of the home front and 2 little girls. I am so thankful to have Jesus to fall into.
Bonnie Gray | FaithBarista says
Isn’t it such an incredibly AWESOME song, Christy? Jesus, take care of Christy and her little girls, while she serves alongside her husband stateside for our country! Please protect her husband and keep the whole family safe!
Holley Gerth says
It has been a JOY to share this journey with you, my friend! I think holding tougher to what He’s promised is one of the most beautiful ways He keeps us from falling apart. Thank you for all the ways you remind my heart (and many others) of truth!
Bonnie Gray | FaithBarista says
The prayers of a faithful friend can do miracles. Thank you Holley for the JOY of friendship along this journey of birthing a God-sized dream! ooxx
Bonnie, thank you for this post. I believe it’s another message from God for me to push forward and step out of this situation I’m in. I’ve been agonizing over staying in my marriage of 35 years or step out in faith and leave. It has been a very depressing, violent 35 years. I stayed to raise my children and keep us together and fought to work things out and make them better. All my kids are on their own now, and God keeps throwing these boulder-sized things in my path to push me out of this. I truly believe God wants me to be safe and have peace so I can do what He has planned for me. I have to move forward in Faith! Your post today just feels like another push. I will listen. : )
Casey- I completely understand what you are saying….praying for you.
Thank you, Beth. I know prayer works ALWAYS!
Bonnie Gray | FaithBarista says
Dear Casey, what a hard and honest place you’re in. May God speak straight into this moment and surround you with His guidance and love. Jesus, may you bring faith friends into Casey’s life, to encourage her at this point. Thank you for sharing, friend!
Thank you, Bonnie. I love your posts and always receive such a blessing from them. God bless you.
I can identify with this: I’ve learned to put the pieces back together, living in make-shift shelter, doing my best … and I’m not tempted to stay where I am. I’d love to move into the next season, but God hasn’t given me anything else to move into. He gives me the everyday and I want to be thankful for the good things and the gifts He’s given me and being able to use them, and that’s it. I know it will be better in heaven; I know it could be better on earth, and I know God could make it better, but He isn’t. So thanks for the encouragement that He has created something from nothing, but I don’t see it happening for me right now. Please pray it will soon.
Bonnie, I think I came upon these words today for a reason. Not only moved by what you wrote here but also by the thoughts behind the comments. Casey’s words particularly touched me. Let’s find strength also in the shared experience of finding our way, a better way than we have now.
Trusting God as we face a MAJOR life change in our business when the world says the economy is HORRIBLE but God is moving us forward…..it’s hard only when I look at the world, what the media is saying, what bankers are saying. A nagging fear trying to tag along is that everything will get worse and WHAT IF?
But when I remind myself of how God has worked in our lives in the past….read of His faithfulness in others lives….it lifts my faith. That’s why its SO IMPORTANT that we share our stories with others….then write them down to remind ourselves. The book of Hebrews talks about a great cloud of witnesses….we are all part of that as we testify to God’s work in our lives……how He makes a way when I can’t even imagine. Because of what I have learned of Him in my own life and have seen in others lives reminds me that I CAN TRUST HIM….so I choose to set my gaze to Him.
Leslie Knight says
I’m not just afraid. I’m terrified. Absolutely terrified to move forward and absolutely terrified to fall apart again.
It’s been a journey these past few years. Lots of ups and even more downs. And I retreat so often because it hurts to not retreat. And I feel like such a fake because I talk like I won’t retreat. I feel like such a fake because God has shown up when I needed Him. I feel like such a fake because I have had prophetic words spoken over me.
It should be enough, right? All of that should excite me into moving forward, but I remain frozen and afraid and upset at myself for being frozen and afraid.
Sometimes I try to move forward. One step at a time. But something happens, always, and I take at least one step back.
Thank you for sharing the words and the song. I needed them this morning.
Leslie, I so relate to what you said here . .. sometimes, I’m afraid if I move forward something else will happen that I won’t be able to handle . . . so, if I stay in this place at least I know what to expect. It may not be a “comfort” zone, but it is a place where I have figured out how to handle things . ..
Just wanted you to know you are not alone and that I prayed for you this morning.
Thanks for your post. Somehow, I feel like perhaps I’m caught between the desert, or somewhere and the promised land. I’m not sure but I believe I would get up and go to the promised land, if only I knew which way to go. For me, it’s not so much the letting go but what’s next, where to go? How do I get the leading?
I have been keeping up a brave front, trying to keep it together. All I’ve wanted to do for the past 6 weeks is fall apart, but the fear of not looking strong has kept me standing still. Life, decisions, responsibilities can be so overwhelming. Thank you for the encouragement, and for putting into words exactly where I’m at right now. God bless you, Bonnie!
Felipe Neumann says
Things have been so hard on me since my girlfriend broke up with me…
Sometimes I feel like everyday’s a losing battle, I love her and I’m being tempted, daily, to stay where I’m at… it’s funny because even though I’m aware I’m totally falling apart, I don’t want to leave this place, it feels like I have to reach the bottom of the well before I’m ready to move on.
Your post was incredibly enlightening though and for a few minutes, when I was reading it, it made me feel different… it made me feel better.
Thank you Bonnie for this post. Just six months ago I too was at a place of an important, life changing crossroads. Couldn’t stay where I was, yet I knew that if I moved forward, the potential for fall apart could have disastrous consequences. The amazing thing was that I wasn’t really afraid to move forward, and I experienced something similar to Casey – “God keeps throwing these boulder-sized things in my path to push me out of this. ” I had held so much inside for so long because I felt it wasn’t “right” or “Christian” to confront or demand change. I was so wrong.
It has turned out to be the most incredible time in my journey of faith as I watched God work more mightily and definitively than I have ever seen Him do before. Things kept falling apart around me (things that needed to, in order to be reborn) without any help from me – it was like watching a house of cards fall down that someone else bumped and set in motion. This was actually a relief – God did the heavy lifting to address issues with others and spared me from being the confronter (which I hate to be).
I’m blessed that so far, my story has a good ending – altho it is still unfolding. May I just encourage each of us to rest in the fact that God is in control, to let Him be in control, and to realize, as I finally did, that sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same (as The Fray so wisely said in their lyrics…).
Beth, you are so inspiring to me! I know God is in control and HE only wants to lead me exactly where I need to be. I just need to let go of the worldly worries, take a breath, and see what God has for me. Funny thing, I’ve been listening to that song by The Fray everyday on my MP3 player. : )
Casey- thanks! I want to be faithful to pass on, by way of encouragement, what God did for me and for/ through my family. It’s been a miraculous time. I’m praying the same for you!
That you would write this today seems incredible. My husband and I left vocational ministry 4 yrs ago. Disappointed, failed, rejected, brokenhearted. It wouldn’t be the end of our wilderness. Over the next 2 yrs our financial world would crumble. We were in the wilderness, broken, dreams shattered. God had given us a God size dream and we had failed.
We started going to this amazing church and piece by piece God came along side us and began putting our hearts back together. And now that God size dream is alive again. But you get use to the wilderness. It becomes familiar. But God is telling us its time. Time to leave the wilderness. Time to enter the promised land. Time to step out and trust him. To take the risk. To believe that he began a good work in us and he’s not finished.
Thank you for writing this piece today. I have been afraid to move forward for a number of reason. In the past week, I have made the decision to move forward, and am taking the steps toward what I think I’m being led to do. Your words today give me encouragement. Even if I fall apart, it is important that I do what I need to do, which is what I want to do, and what I feel He is leading me to.
I was raised to be a pew warmer (by those around me). Yet my life has been full of situations that lead me to not fit into that mold. I have experiences that don’t get talked about in these types of forums. That keep me from fitting in with people in these types of forums. Not that that is bad. God is pushing me to go minister to a different audience, a very disenfranchised audience. I have experiences they might relate to, but I don’t have any training for that. My upbringing as a pew warmer did not prepare me for any of this. Yet God is pushing me. The Spirit keeps stirring within me and I keep holding back. I don’t want to go alone. Yet I don’t even know where to find somebody else who is the middle like this – not like the people around me but not like the people God is sending me to. The disciples often went out two by two. Yet I am one. My husband will keep the home fires burning, but God doesn’t seem to be pushing him like this. So I am one. Very scary.
Bonne, I cannot begin to tell you the blessing this is to me and how timely it is.
All I can say is, as always, it is very clear how personal God is with His children. And if we seek Him, He will be found.
I’ve been crying, pouting, refusing, controlling, kicking, screaming, bickering and complaining … until it simply wore me out and now that I’m resting in God’s promises and using the light needed for the step I’ on, He’s using people like you to show me He is there and haven’t forgotten.
My fear is that my desires are not his and I am spending me time focusing on the wrong things in life. I don’t know where to begin in my walk with him to step out and let go. Thank you for your words this morning. I am reflecting on them.
Amy Hunt says
And here’s the celebration–how one only really, truly *gets* this until they’ve walked it, and lived so close to His heart; feeling His breath. Knowing the blessing in “falling apart” comes with maturity in our relationship with Him. It’s hard, yes, but our Father knows how we need Him–more of Him and less of us.
I am excited for how God is making less of me and more of Him, and how Who I was created to be is blossoming…when I let Him move.
I appreciate your truth-speaking today, Bonnie. More than java, He fills me today.
I am in the same boat as you re as I await for my divorce to become final. I have moments of waking up in tears, discouraged about being a 25-year old single mom about to embark in new territory and the uncertainty of unemployment while I finish my RN program. But our God has continually shown Himself strong and capable, ever faithful and present in times of need. No, I do not know the future that awaits me but I know that He has planned something absolutely amazing.
Rachell Henderson says
You have no idea how this has spoken to me this morning. I have battled infertility for 20+ years now. I know God gave me a vision back in 1993, showing me that I would have a baby from my body. After years & years, infertility treatments all the way up to 2 failed IVF cycles, the doctor said that biological children for me would be impossible. My eggs are no good. That’s where I feel apart–Jan.2006. A family member offered to get pregnant with the sole purpose of giving us the baby. She did just that. By March of ’06, we found out that she was expecting. Our son was born @ 29 weeks and was in the NICU for a little over 6 weeks. Because he was born so early, nothing legal had been done yet. We got to bring him home, but a month later-on Christmas Day’06- she took him away from us. I went beyond falling apart. I sank into the darkest well of hatred-none like I’ve never known. In fact, I never even dreamed for a second that I would ever have the thoughts I had. It was a lonely, scary place to be. But I dwelt there for 6 weeks. The good news is that she gave him back and we were able to proceed with the adoption. Our son will be 5 in October.
But here’s the catch..lol.. I have come back to God over the past couple of years. I was so angry with Him for everything. I never stopped believing in Him, I just wanted Him to leave me alone. Of course, He doesn’t work that way:-)
I’m 39 years old. Every woman in my family had already had to have their hysterectomy long before my age. I started having major troubles with my cycles last year-to the point that my GYN and I agreed that it’s time for it all to come out. My husband completely disagreed. He has always kept the faith that I would get pregnant. My surgery was scheduled for July 19th. A couple of months ago while visiting my friend in Texas, I went to a revival at their church. The evangelist whom I’ve never met looked at me during prayer one night and told me that I am not to give up on the promise that God has made me. I will admit that I had been feeling that old familiar tug again. I am terrified of taking that leap again. TERRIFIED of the ‘what if’s’. Terrified that this may be a repeat of the past 20 years of crying, hoping, depression… I really feel like I’m on a boat in the middle of the sea with no paddles or sails…just bouncing along. Some days I feel like ‘this could really happen’…other days I feel like ‘I don’t know if I want to go through this at my age ‘(I know that sounds ungrateful, especially for any other believer’s who are facing IF) but the biggest thing is, “what if I invest myself in believing in this miracle only to be crushed again?’ I just don’t know what to do sometimes. I am afraid of falling apart-again.
Thank you for this post. Awesome words from God. Completely awesome.
God bless you sis….I know about the cycles of falling apart. He is strong in our weaknesses! 5 years and 3 months of marriage and I still have pain…we cannot be intimate right now, and haven’t been able to most of our marriage. I’ve fallen apart more than I’ve held it together. God has met me in the brokenness with comfort, but gosh it hurts. Sometimes I can’t cry the pain out, no matter how hard I try. We long for a family, but first for the ability to be one and try without pain.
I guess I too fear going forward…more pain? More disappointment? More anxiety and depression?
We must keep walking in faith, trusting Him and offering our lives as living sacrifices.
Thank you Bonnie for the encouragement!! I NEEDED THIS TODAY!
Theresa Hartman says
Thank you for sharing this post. It is amazing to me how God can use others to voice exactly where we are at and have been. The Holy Spirit has touched and encouraged me beyond words through this.
Even as I write this, a sense of panic rises within me… I know and love the truth of your words Bonnie, and yet I’m terrified. For a while now God has been calling me to step out in faith, and although i’ve made little steps like signing up for a mission trip, trying new things etc, there is still part of me which is clinging to the place i’m in right now, a place where i’m reluctant to move from. It’s hard to describe and put this in to words… basically i’m scared of potential, of what God has for me in this next season of my life, i’m overwhelmed by the weight and responsibility and so I stick my head in the sand and then try to ignore it. I am burdened for victims of human trafficking, for social injustice, for integrity and for worship. I don’t know how all that fits together – but I see the need in this world and panic and then i’m useful to no-one. The main message that I took from your word today is trust – to trust Jesus no matter what. It reminded me of the words of a song ‘Press On’ by Selah, which never fail to bless my socks, and so I share these words with the rest of you ladies so that you know that you are NEVER going through this alone:
“When the choices are hard, when we’re battered and scarred. When we spent our resources, when we’ve given our all.
In Jesus name, we press on. In Jesus name, we press on. Dear Lord with the prize, clear before our eyes, we find the strength to press on”
Nicole Smith says
Wow, Bonnie! I have no words – other than saying thank you for writing what’s been on my heart in this post. I couldn’t fathom the words to explain the current state of my heart, and now I understand. I’m afraid to fall apart. He’s allowed me to walk into the darkness, and I’m afraid to press on for fear that I will again fall apart. I’m bookmarking this post, as I know it will help my spirit in the days ahead.
Thank you for your faithfulness. It spoke directly to me!
Incredible! I’m saving these words on my hard drive for my next season of life. It’s in the falling apart that it is so very evident He is making us new.
It is the early hours of a new day and I have hardly slept all night. I have been sick with asthma the last few days and the medication often keeps me awake. Today is the start of a new school term and I am one of the leaders in the school. Yesterday several things happened that will make my day very difficult and I ws lying in bed just worrying about today and really wanting to fall apart and run away because it all seems too hard.
I decided it was time to take my mind off me and do some reading and there was your blog – written just for me. We live on different sides of the world but I felt so encouraged to know someone understood. Thankyou for sharing your journey.
It’s like you wrote this for me! It’s encouraging that more people reach this crossroad and are able to move forward. It’s what I will need to do too! So much. I pray God will continue to work on us and encourage us with His Holy Spirit, I know I need it!
sweet Bonnie-girl. have i remembered to tell you how proud i am of you for getting up and moving forward? it’s such an honor to pray through your walking journey with you. i face this every day… each step forward i lose more and more ability and energy and i wonder if it’s time for me to just sit and rest. because i don’t have anything left, it seems. but i keep getting the whispers to keep walking. so i’m up and willing to fall apart right with you, friend.
Heather P says
How can one “fall-apart” and still maintain the authority of being a parent, spouse and leader in the church? “The Warrior is a Child” by Twila Paris can be my theme song at times. The only one that sees me “fall-apart” in God! Not everyone sees the things that lay me at God’s feet in order to be who He wants me to be! That is my prayer!!
He is calling me, (me, a wife and mother of 2 a 17 yr old and an 11 yr old) to go back to college, switch majors from accounting to TEACHING (of all the porfessions in the world THIS would be the last I would choose or would think would be chosen for me), meaning I go from 46 hrs to 17 hrs and pretty much am starting over…
Begging for there to be something else…some other way…something other than this. I can’t I say, but *I* can, He says. I’m not equipped, I say. *I* don’t call the equipped, *I* equip the called, He says. I am so far behind…only a few hours into this major, I am 36, I say. He says ALL in my timing. We don’t the money, I say. He says I own the cattle on a thousand hills, nothing is too hard for me! Why me Lord, I say. Why not, He says! This is beyond my capability though…I’m not enough, I say…He says I AM!
For every argument I had…He had a word of comfort and encouragement.
For I walk by faith, not by sight.
Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect says
Letting go and leaving behind…why is that so hard? Why is it so tempting to stay in our muck and mud, just because it’s comfortable? Great post, Bonnie. Thank you.
The very best thing about this is that it can be anything, and it can be about anyone at any time in their life. Thank you so much for posting this, as I really, really needed it. I feel like this is the last ‘missing’ piece that I needed to set in my head.
Yes, it is hard to go on. I am still trying to find the way to live without our Prodigal daughter. She left us 2 1/2 yrs ago and it is as if she died or was kidnapped.
It is hard to go on and live a normal life when you are watching the road daily for her return.
God is healing our broken hearts but the pain , the hurt is ALWAYS THERE.
It is hard to go on without a family member. She was a part of all the fellowships , the fun, the Holidays, etc.
She made us smile, and encouraged us daily in our walk with God, etc.
Now she lives a different life with different people and TOTALLY without us. No contact at all. We miss her so much. We have fell more and more in Love with Jesus Christ and HOPE and TRUST in His promises.
It is a bit frightening to go on , or figure out how to go on.
Bonnie these words hit my soul in a way you couldn’t imagine. It’s been three years in November since my daughter died and each day I feel like im about to fall apart. A song a smell and I’m struggling to hold on. Yet I pretend to be brave moving forward but the truth is I’m on the edge. Xx
I’m not an incredibly faithful or religious person- I believe in God, that He is love, and that there are reasons for everything. I would never have thought to follow your blog- until one day when I found one of your pieces featured on Revelife.
Since then, I’ve realized more and more that really trusting and putting my faith in God does wonders- for my life and my sanity. This piece was particularly relevant. I’d recently quit my job, and was freaking out about finding another job. I needed a job that would move me forward to law school, my ultimate goal. What if I couldn’t get in, even if I got the job? What if I failed? What if I was making the wrong decision? Should I have chosen the safer option of the two? But I figured I would never know unless I made the effort- and amazingly enough, I got the job I wanted that would help me go to law school for almost free, and would take me to the other side of the country. The moving details freaked me out at first. But I’ve made it a habit to really put my faith in God- things will work out, so long as I make the effort. I can’t be afraid of hypotheticals. I’ll cross the bridge when I get to it, and I figure God will be there to guide me across it.
After 20+ years of wandering in the wilderness of depression resulting from an abusive upbringing, and feeling “once-bitten; twice shy” after my husband’s affair in 2000, my pain became almost unbearable when he tried again to leave after 14 years of marriage. Thankfully, God placed in my path a wonderful pastor’s wife who would not turn me loose, and sent me to a counselor who worked with both of us for a year. Now, I can say that though the depression threatens me at times, and the doubts still come back, the desert has started to bloom because God has sent the soothing, life-giving rain. Now, even though he is deployed on the far-side of the world, our marriage (and my life) has been reborn, and we are seeing God directing us in unexpected and exciting new ways.
M. Louise says
Twelve years ago when I married a minister, I thought I married a really good man. Perhaps I did. But something happened into our journey together and he spiraled away from me. From God. He possessed an intellectual faith, but would not pray with me. And didn’t want to stick it out. My two girls are the product of our time together. I am a single mom and I do not yet date. I feel God’s presence every single day and it gets me through everything. One day at a time. Stronger than ever. Sometimes when I feel the most alone, I really do “see” into the lens of my faith that He is right there beside me. Taking care of me. Never letting me fall.
And His plan is unfolding exactly as it should. Trusting and believing in myself again.
I wish there were more support groups for single Christian mothers. I really don’t know of any. I find myself drawn to this blog and Ann Voskamp’s blog for daily manna.
Thank you for this brave piece of writing Bonnie.
love your heart so much and always enjoy your posts, bonnie! and ha i feel like sometimes falling apart is my specialty just have to make sure to take that next leap and trust.
Carole in the UK says
Thank you for this, it has helped me to realise that whenever I feel as though I want to fall apart and just collapse in a heap, when I feel overwhelmed with life, I just focus on the situations and challenges that the Lord has previously taken me through and that is what keeps me stepping forwards.
Mary Kay says
Thank you, Bonnie. Like rain in the desert, you have refreshed and encouraged, and all I can say in “thank you,” and “thank, God!” Blessings to you, sister.
God has gifted you with such insight and a talent for sharing it through your writing.
Fear is so pervasive in every area of our lives, and it is all too easy to just go hide in a corner and hope everything will turn out for the best.
Ah, but generally that is not what God has planned. He wants to grow us, to have us lean on Him and trust Him, to have us walk in faith, not by sight, to have us walk in the path of the strengths and gifts with which He has blessed us, and which He wishes us to bless others.
Prayer-and lots of listening-that’s what I have been doing lately, and I believe your post is just one more nod from God that I do not need to be afraid, that He is with me and He is guiding me.
Thanks for these words today. They have been a blessing to me.
Betty Draper says
Your post spoke volumes to me since the next step in our life hold so many unknowns. Today a dear friend ask me how I was doing and all I could do was cry, I am not doing so well, I said. In a month and half we are leaving the ministry we have loved for years, God is using our health to dictate this move. My mother is dying, our son is getting a divorce in the middle of all this is a huge change without any future direction YET. As my friend listen to my tearful concern for our future she being so young said, I guess things don’t get easier when you get older. It was easy to answer no, HE just gets sweeter. Life is not always sweeter, sometimes its just plain tough with no relief in sight. thanks for the reminder He is the mender of broken pieces.
Rhondi Mullins says
Thank you for the encouragement. I am about to step out into the darkness AGAIN and I am scared.
Monica Smith says
I have been reading your posts for several weeks now and you seem to be writing what I am currently living. I am a full-time seminary student and have finally started the women’s ministry that during the day I feel confident to promote and do, but in the evening struggle and wonder what on earth I am doing.
Yesterday, my pastor taught that we cannot bury our giftings because we believe we don’t measure up to others, we’re not qualified even though we have years of experience or because we believe the devil’s lie that what we are gifted to do is shallow and has little to no value or worth.
I am at the crossroads of longing to be used by God and staying stuck in the desert. Stepping out in faith is frightening, but you wrote that we can fail in Jesus. That makes a big difference compared to failing in the eyes of others.
Thank you for writing what some of us, if not many of us, are living through. May God meet each one of us and carry us through with never-ending grace and love.
Wow! Have you been reading my journal?? I know you haven’t because these are the thoughts I can’t even get myself to write down. I know it is time to step out in faith and I have even committed to stepping out but actually placing my toes across the line is VERY scary! I have told the Lord over and over I can’t do this…..I don’t know how. Some how His answer is go anyway. Jesus says, “I can …..I know how.” FAITH……it is necessary to this journey. Lord I believe; help my unbelief!
I had to read over this a second time to really let it sink in……I am really not alone in this.
Bonnie, THANK YOU for your obedience in writing this (and walking it out!). I’ve been in a this place for years now, paralyzed by a fear that has gripped me so hard that I’ve struggled to believe I could move again. He’s been calling me to TRUST Him again and I’ve refused. The pain was more than I could bear…..oh, but the pain HE bore for me!! The enemy has SOO wanted to keep me condemned and bound here, but I CHOOSE to move forward. Regardless of where He may take me, I MUST MOVE. The truth is I CAN trust Him. He is the only One worthy of my trust! Even as I type this, I am fearful, but I cannot stay here any longer.
Oh Jesus, help us as we inch our way out of this place into the unknown where You are. Help us to see that we move towards YOU and that the unknown is of little or no significance. YOU are what truly matters.
Bonnie, look at how your sharing your vulnerability has touched so many of us. As I read each woman’s story I prayed for them, and I selfishly admit kind of enjoyed the “misery loves company” feeling. (forgive me for feeling that, but it is the truth – it helps to not feel so alone) It is so good to know that as I struggle to try to “hold together” so many other faithful women struggle, too. (their testimonies tell me that if they can do it – -so can I) . . I have been trying to get through a hard trial – – – and have been terrified that I would fall apart. Then today as I read your post, one thing in particular jumped out at me . .Because of Jesus, I can fall apart. maybe I need to fall apart , so He can put me back together again. I am exhausted in this journey. I am afraid that I won’t get through this. I am ashamed my faith isn’t stronger. . . .it is Hope that keeps me going . . .. and today, you gave me a little more hope. and a lot of encouragement. Thank you for sharing and touching our hearts,
Leigh Kay says
“maybe I need to fall apart, so He can put me back together again” Oh Susan, how stunningly beautiful and true! Find a quiet space, and unfurl yourself before His feet. For He is kind, He is merciful, and He can take every millimeter of hurt, pain, confusion, loss, fear, doubt, ache you could possibly bundle. The most amazing characteristic about our Father (as I often think, at least in seasons such as this), is not only His absolute ability to carry and take away ALL of that weight (without a sliver left over for you!), but that He ASKS us, implores us, WANTS us to let it all out. He won’t think “uh, you’re oversharing” or “this is a bit crazy, you know that, right” or “you are just too messed up dear, my, my”. Oh NO!! Never. He thinks “How BEAUTIFUL, my daughter, who comes to me with her very self. All the fabrics of her life, she brings to me, that I may mend a perfect tapestry – cloaking her to become the original masterpieces I HAVE made her to be. I have called you Susan, you have come. Well done, good and faithful daughter. Give everything to me. I am the architect who specializes in constructing the most breath-taking beauty from ashes. Allow me.”
I will say prayers and give thanks for you today Susan. For sharing your heart, for knowing that because of Jesus, because of the cross, because of the absolute VICTORY, you can fall helplessly apart, spilling over into His living waters. Finding refreshment for your soul. There is no shame, no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus sweet sister of mine. Your faith is renewed daily by His Spirit. Fall apart, that you might know true wholeness in Him.
Leigh Kay says
Even among a body of believers, it is enormously terrifying to fall apart, and to let the loosening leak out into the open. We are a fallible, imperfect race, and on too many occasions than I’d like to recount, there have been abandonments, desertions, and fed-up people numerous enough to form a sports team.
There have also been countless lies, deceivers of the enemy who spew venom and spread layers over the already festering wounds. The prince of the world lavishes the downfall of God’s redeemed children. I wish being His meant we were never again subjected to attacks – but the truth is, the war can become even more heated and heartless because we have pledged our souls to the Everlasting King. For the evil one hates with a hatred indescribable, and makes his mission to seek, kill, destroy anything the Light touches. But Light overcomes darkness EVERY SINGLE TIME.
So we are given impenetrable armor to carry into the battles. We are given strength that cannot quit – that flesh and bone cannot conjure on its own, but that is Spirit driven and Spirit birthed. Alive in the Spirit – dead to sin and the reign of darkness.
I may not be making much sense, but oh how I am drowning lately in the tumult of spiritual warfare. Loneliness, accusations of insignificance that suffocate, lies in my head and heart that seemingly won’t be silenced, fear, doubt, longing…why can’t the release of this yoke be easier to surrender? Who WANTS any of this hurt? None of us do – so why isn’t it easier for us to part with, and run exhaustingly in the other direction?
Prayer. Prayer. Prayer. Prayer. Scripture study, soaking up the words of truth and promise. The Spirit whispering away the hurt. Fighting valiantly for our peace. My Savior will NEVER be added to the list of leavers. He cannot give up. It is against His very nature. I don’t think I fully grasp that yet. I feel as if I’m waiting for him to join the ranks of those whose hands have met the air above them in frustration, saying “I’m done with this, I’m done with you. You’re seriously too much and I’m sick of it.” I keep waiting for Him to walk away. Because I would. And that’s the worst. Because I’m the only person on earth who can’t. I have put my soul and self in His hands, but I am always learning how to walk the next step of trust and LIVING out the truth, not just reading about it and applying to the lives of everyone around me – except myself. Grace isn’t selective. It is for ALL who come to Him. Who believe with their hearts, confess with their mouths, see that they cannot save themselves.
We aren’t meant to endure alone. We are meant to have life, and have it abundantly. And we are to take heart – for in this world you (I, we) will have troubles (tribulations, puncture wounds, abandonments, barren wastelands), but TAKE HEART (!) Christ Jesus has overcome the world. (!!!)
Jesus, save me from my poisoned, sinful heart and mind. Save me from my crippling fear and doubt. Save me from the forces of darkness who hourly, daily seek to obliterate my effectiveness for You. You have already conquered. It is FINISHED. Remind me. Fight with me.
Michele@From the Unpaved Road says
I fall apart everyday, fall hard into His embrace. And every day He puts my pieces right again; everyday I lean on grace like my life depends on it… because it does.
Everyday the poorest of the poor line up at our door to tell us their needs and fall apart hoping we will somehow put them right again. I give all we can to each one. Sometimes all I have is the dignity of honoring their broken pieces with my presence. My little family of 120 no-longer-orphans and I now their little mama in the dirt we cry and laugh and dance our way into deeper places of faith on behalf of our bleeding nation.
I find perfect loves drives even the fear of falling apart away. Falling into Him is the safest place I could ever be.
Oh, God is speaking through you to this heart today! I’m about to say “no” to a job offer that I thought I always wanted… to stay in a job that I always thought was temporary. I know this is the best thing for my family, and yet I’m falling apart at having to give up this dream. I can only hope and trust that God has a bigger, better plan than what I can see! My worth comes from Him, not from any job. Thank you for the reminder.
Thanks Bonnie- I needed this today.
Alyssa Santos says
Wow! This post resonated with a lot of broken hearts and redeemed lives! Wonderful and timely words. I just posted about this topic, too, and had a wonderful lunch with an old friend and we talked about the falling apart and moving forward we’ve had to do in the past few years. What a good God to carry us through, nudge us from the nest and fly beneath us. He never lets us freefall.
How easily I forgot the beauty of You in the now – in the every moment – in the ugly and dark – in the good and the bad…I lost sight of the bigger picture – Your picture – be it unknown to me, it is because You are I AM and You wrote all the das of my life and You ARE GOOD – all that is You is good and grace – and therefore all is grace.
And yet, I forgot, and I remembered the lies – I drank the wine and I ate the fruit and I lost sight of grace…and I lost sight of now, this moment, You and me and our beautiful journey – and I left the valley of cupped hands and beauty revealed and whispered treasure…and so easily, in one moment, one thought, one day – in the living, I heard the lies and I followed the wrong voice. Just like that – pride replaced joy, stress replaced long-suffering, anger covered my Eucharisteo moments in shadows of grumblings – just. like. that. I lost sight and I let Satan’s grip on my joy tighten. And I complained, and I argued and I wanted selfishly…and I thought and felt and lived joylessly and yet, You whispered love and light into my darkness and You wooed me with Your love letter of truth and rest…and. just. like. that…
”the Spirit flame descended and I felt its tug and it comes unexpected” and it comes as promised and “I ache and I don’t know where time goes and why I obliviously slam the holy moments with frustration and resist the sacred beauty that falls unannounced” (Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts).
And I wonder if I, like the wondering Israelites, have missed out on God’s blessings. I wonder because I don’t know how long I lost sight of Your truth and fell prey to his lies…NO MORE.
Not again…not that easily.
I will be still and know that You are God and I will hide Your Word in my heart and I will LIVE CLOSE to Your heart and feel Your breath.
I will fall apart and rest and trust and seek and open up my all to You – Lord, Jesus, take my nothing and make it Yours. Abba Father, move in me and mold me – take my past and make my future Yours, take my present and open my eyes to Your abundant life as You bring order of my chaos and beauty of my darkness and You make the dormant in me BLOSSOM as only You can.
Guide my path – open my eyes – speak to me, God, I will listen – to find You in the everyday…to follow where You lead in the everyday – in the moment of the now – because that is when I see You best…
When I let go –
“When we let go of the visible, papery skin that surrounds our moments, then we see the sacred jewel gleaming just underneath everything.
When we cup the thinning, fragile places, the places worn right through, the dying and flaking away and hardly-holding-together places…this is when we see the amber of Holiness.
Stripping away the sheath of self, this is how we see God. In a lace of brokenness, light dances with shadows…
…and shake us like a prayer.
Shake my dead bones awake to Light – to His glowing heart in EVERYTHING” (Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts).
I trust You and thank You in advance for Your “something new” (Isaiah 43:19). Oh, Father, I wait for You like a child for his traveling dad – for that expected and rejoiced HOMECOMING – but, in the now until then, I will seek “the pathway You make through the wilderness” and “the rivers You create in the dry wasteland” (Isaiah 43:19) – so that I may NOT FORGET this – I will not so easily forget…
The YOU in my moments.
Because it is in those moments I remember to say thank You for the love and the husband and the hard work and the puppy-goodness, and the loving conviction from a trusted friend and the tear-filled encouragement to and from a friend far away and the Mother’s love and the Father’s care and the brother’s determination – Lord, he must remember You…open his eyes, his heart to the goodness of You…and the promise of new life to pass down a legacy of thanks, and the moments of You as only You do – the You in the wind, the You in the bed-time caress, the You that sparks love forever in a husband’s kiss…thank You, Jehovah Jireh, God our Provider for the shelter and the food and the work and the pay and the health and I thank You for – and I will learn and live to eat the what is it manna of every moment.
And it is in that moment, that I don’t forget to say Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned – and I will lean in closer, to the bosom of Your forgiveness and I will whisper “I am sorry” from my heart to Yours, and as You promised, in Your merciful way “As far as the east is from the west, so far have [You] removed our transgressions” (Psalm 103:12) and as I repent and You forgive and I remember what You did – and in that moment of God in flesh – of Son for us – of nail and spear and flesh and blood and water and Jesus and the cross and the MERCY THAT COVERS ME and the free gift of grace and a reconciliation made so selflessly…it is in the Magnificent beauty and reality of that moment…
The temple veil ripped to You…
That I fall to my knees and pray “Lord, forgive me – for the love I’ve withheld and the pride I’ve lavished and the condemnation I’ve dispersed and the grace I’ve left and the anger I’ve expressed and the hearts I’ve hurt – Jesus, GOD, I am sorry for the lies I’ve believed and the Truth I’ve rejected, for the work – Your work – I’ve failed to do and the Truth I’ve failed to speak – I cry out to You in shame, for I lost another chance to be the light in their dark and Your voice in his pain and Lord, Jesus forgive me and allow me the chance to make it right.
Lead me and I will follow, trusting You to close the door of any path not in Your will, but Jesus, please hear my heart and guide my way and I am YOURS.
Lord, I wish to do Your work as often as I see how – to shed this pride and clothe in You – in love, in grace, in compassion, in Truth – to forgive myself and walk in redemption; Lord, to show him love that comes from You – to turn my stone-casting judgments from him to me and be the wife who loves You first and serves You first and follows You first…in order to be the wife that loves him best in day and night, in company and alone, to love You first and love him next with love from You – that sweeter than honey love that has the power to make him dance and smile again. Lord, I beg of You, teach me to love him as Your Word commands.
And, after that, outside my home, I will follow Your voice as the Spirit moves and as my days reveal moments of You – for me to give thanks and shine Your light for all to see – You – Truth – the only way. May they see love, not rules; welcoming arms, not judgmental glares; Your beautiful work and provision of love and grace and not the serpent’s lies and their moments of sin splattered in the news and ridiculed in their talk – Lord, let me be a light of the love You’ve shown me.
The love You’ve shown me that…
Opened my eyes.
And brought peace to an angry heart.
And love to a lonely girl.
And a rod and staff that led me then and will lead me again through the valleys of death that I shall not fear.
And peace in utter chaos.
And turned my ugly past into a beautiful work of art that is forever evolving – a valley of YOU – a valley of light and life – a valley of growth – a valley of You and me, hand in hand, speaking and moving and resting and growing and today and now.
And You named me Deana, and You released me from chaos and offered recognition – You gave me a name and a meaning – “Of the Valley” and before I breathed, You had a plan.
“I name gifts and go back to the Garden and God in the beginning who first speaks a name and lets what is come into existence. This naming is how the first emptiness of space fills: the naming of light and land and sky. The first man’s first task is to name. Adam completes creation with his Maker through the act of naming creatures, releasing the land from chaos, from the teeming; indefinable mass…naming offers the gift of recognition. When I name moments…I am Adam and I discover my meaning and God’s, and to name is to learn the language of Paradise” (Ann Voskamp, OneThousand Gifts).
Thank You God and shine through me. I love You.
In Your precious name, Amen.
I fell apart almost 5 yrs ago. Life has just been moving forward around me. I think I’m being moved forward along with everyone else all of a sudden and I’m not sure what to do with it. I have to say it’s kind of freaking me out! We’ll see what God has planned and if I follow it this time. Thanks for that song. Haven’t heard of Josh Wilson before, but I’m glad I have.
My son died of SIDS six months ago. I am terrified of moving forward. It feels like I’m leaving him behind. Everything and everyone around me seems to be moving at warp speed and honestly I’d like for everything to just stop for a little bit and let me catch my breath. But, life doesn’t work that way. I know that, and I know God has a plan for me. Not to harm me, but to give me a future. I believe this with all my heart. But, would still like my future to include my baby. So, I’m a little stuck. Thanks for this post
My heart is heavy for you…for the loss of your son. Praying God’s banner of love over you as you and He walk this journey.
Sorry – didn’t mean to be “anonymous” – praying for you Jamie.
Lifting you up in prayer today. I lost a 10-year old daughter in a car accident two years ago, and the darkness and horror that a grieving mother experiences is truly unspeakable. It appears cruel that God will give and then take away.
“He didn’t give us a placebo or a pill or good advice. He gave us Himself. He came. He entered space and time and suffering. He came, like a lover. Love seeks above all intimacy, presence, togetherness. Remove Jesus and the knowledge of God is questionable. If the knowledge of God is questionable, trusting this unknown God becomes questionable…If suffering is the evidence against God, the reason not to trust him; Jesus is the evidence for God, the reason to trust him.” – Dr. Peter Kreeft
When you have a quiet moment to cry, pull out Bible and savor the words of Zephaniah 3:17. You are so loved.
Thank you all for your prayers! Will read Zephaniah right now
Thanks for sharing your pain. Your pain is our pain. Your pain is His pain. We are all one with you and with Him. And this pain we simply commit it to Him who is able to bear it.
God comfort you dear Jamie.
I will be turning 52 years old on the 26th of Dec…often I look at my life and have decided that I haven’t done anything with my life to count for nothing. I lost my husband on Aug 17th of 2012 and ended up homeless, another example of having nothing…I have raised two adult children who has developed the having nothing curse. And now I am raising my two grandchildren and yep ask them and they will say they have nothing. I have been trying to go back to college since 1980 in and out of college to have nothing (that is but school loans)…I decided that I must be cursed, I’ve even had someone to tell me that my family and I was curse because as hard as we worked yet have nothing. Yep, I decided that God was very upset with my for something I’ve done but what was it?….Just when I decided that I having nothing “NOTHING”…I stumble on to you blog and you said something that I never seen before: Even if what’s ahead turns out to be nothing, nothingness is where God works best. ~ In the beginning, there was nothing. It was in nothing, the Holy Spirit hovered, where God created something. ~ Mary’s empty womb. How can this be? she asked. It was in nothing, the Holy Spirit hovered again, where Jesus became flesh.
It is my “Nothing” where God works best!!!
So we’re moving to Idaho | Genny Heikka says
[…] Moving forward when you’re afraid to fall apart […]
Carey Warren says
I was sitting in a Starbucks sipping coffee and reading through some thoughts I had written down about being afraid to fall apart and being afraid to fall apart even before God, in his very presence and I decided to Google the subject. Your Blog was one of the choices and I believe it was God who led me to it to read it. God does and will speak to us in our time of need. I needed this. I thought If I truly let go and fell apart that all that would be left was poor weak pitiful me. But now I see that when I do fall apart that what is left and what will be found by myself and others is JESUS. My TREASURE. My CORNERSTONE. My FOUNDATION. ISNT THAT WHAT OTHERS NEED TO SEE? Thank you for sharing.