The Tale of the Water Bearer’s Pots

 Just tuning in? Please start at the Original Post of this Series on “Surviving Infidelity”: Shattered Hearts, Broken Promises.

This is Post 2 for today, be sure to head back one post to The Death of Little Girl Dreams.

I want to share an old folktale with you, which illustrates God’s view of our brokenness…….

WaterCarrier

   A water bearer had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water.

  At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his house.

  Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

  After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you. I have been able to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts,” the pot said.

  The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you’ve watered them. “For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.”

  Moral of the story: We’re all cracked pots, but nothing goes to waste in God’s great economy. He uses our flaws for HIS glory. So don’t be afraid of your flaws, for there is beauty to be found in your weakness.

May this broken vessel be used for His glory….

~T

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Owning My Truth

  I am ready to own my truth.

  On September 1st, I wrote this post: Broken.

  I had to, for I felt fake, limping along trying to remain positive and sunshiny.  Trying so hard to keep this blog normal and happy, but failing.

    I had to let you in on a piece of my heartache, so I could move forward in my tragedy.  And, just as I hoped, you lovingly supported me.  Wrote me beautiful emails and lifted up prayers on my behalf.  Thank you.  If you haven’t read it yet, please take a moment and do so.

  For 9 months now, I have mulled over when I was to share what Broke me in such a way. How to go about it, asking the Lord to show me what to do and when to do it.  Asking Him to tell me WHY I had to share this heartache. 

  And He showed me, in a way I could understand, that this hurt was not to be wasted.  That He had plans to bring me hope and a future, that He planned to take the broken pieces of our lives to create a beautiful mosaic for HIS GLORY.  After He showed me through scripture, He went ahead a confirmed it through 3 different people, who are from totally different parts of my life, each of them having no idea the other person had just said the same thing…..

  I was going to be asked to share, to own my truth rather than hide behind it.

  So it is coming, first thing Monday morning.

The truth. 

All of it.

  This story I will share with you has been baptized and transformed into HIS story. Praise His name!  We are being made strong, because God never orders anything without paying for it, because he is a Gentleman. He wouldn’t have us go through this without supplying everything we need to accomplish it, and He is, He has!

  Satan already tried to stop this story from coming once, when he had my newer Dell crash.  3 computer techies looked at it and deemed it un-salvageable, even ones who had near perfect records of saving the un-saveable.  I was devastated at the hours lost, the sleepless nights writing until wee hours of the morning, wasted.  

  I will not be stopped by the devil. 

  So, as the Lord prompted, I re-wrote the story and it is ready to share. Hours of tears, puffy eyes and sleepless nights have been put into these posts that are coming.  3 weeks of them in fact: Monday through Thursday, April 30th-May 17th.  (Weekend Potluck will continue as usual!)

This will not be light reading, but I hope you’ll stick with me. 

  Now, I will warn you…..

The most religious may not hear it, for it messes with their “religious programing”. They have it all figured out, of course.  However, they will gossip about it to their church friends…

”Did you read what Tonya wrote this week? What was she THINKING!”

Some will have pride issues…..

 “I would never do that, because I do not sin!”

The pious will not lower themselves to hear, or receive it. They don’t want to get muddy with real life problems……..They are too good, too churchy, to admit sin actually happens, because it makes them feel uncomfortable.

“Tonya didn’t need to share that openly. Dirty laundry was not meant to be aired.”

  No matter your stand, it is coming:  Monday, April 30th, 2012 at 7 am.

I have been praying for you for 9 months.  Yes, you my dear reader, that your heart would be ready to hear my truth.

 Because the truth will set us free…..

~T

  

Fall On Jesus

  If you read my Broken” post last week, then you know things are tough here right now.  Really, really tough on all sorts of levels. In addition to everything else we are dealing with, we have an issue with the pump on our well, which randomly leaves the entire house waterless (at the most inopportune times of course), a lateral line that is crushed and needs to be dug and replaced so the sinks and showers stop backing up, and to top things off, the Tahoe died no less than 7 times yesterday, again in the most inopportune moments!  I’m seeing $ signs and all I can do is trust that once again, the Lord will provide a pay check in time to take care of this.

Interestingly enough I had a message from an acquaintance that lifted my spirits.  She was an upper classmen when I was at Central.  Here is what she wrote:

Hi Tonya – I am praying for you! I dreamed about you Thursday night and woke up suddenly with a desire to pray. In my dream huge ants were stealing all kinds of stuff from your house, they had overtaken everything and you were powerless against them. I barely know you, but we are sisters in Christ. I just now skimmed through your “Broken” blog entry, and felt the Holy Spirit prompting me to tell you God is even waking up people that barely know you to pray specifically for you.

This is one of two messages I received from people being woke up to pray for me and my family.

Woah. {Chills}

Despite all these bumps in the road, we are still trucking along.  I’d like to thank you all for your outpouring of messages, comments and prayers in response to my Broken post! You are such a blessing to my family & I!

 I feel as if we have spent more of 2011 IN the Refiners Fire than out.  Between continuing the journey through our year financial discipline (read that No regular paychecks yet no bounced checks, praise His name!) and this newest heartbreaking development that I referred to in Broken, the heat is ON!  I know God disciplines those He loves, and that as we experience the pain of the Refiner’s Fire and Him chipping away at the dead weight in our lives, we may cry out “Stop! It’s too much!”….but, in the end, when something new and better emerges, we’ll be thankful; when beauty comes from the ashes, it will all be worth it. 

This “chipping away” at the dead weight, is illustrated beautifully here:

God’s Chisel:  http://skitguys.com/index.php?/videos/item/gods-chisel

  I can’t get it to attach, but please, just take a quick moment and go watch it.  Please?  Then come back, I’ll wait.

  Ready to go on?  Did you find a kleenex to wipe away your tears?  Wasn’t that an INCREDIBLE illustration of what God wants to do in our lives? 

  God is making me His Masterpiece so He can use me to do great things. Little ol’ me.  Woah.

   It’s so disheartening to me, that the Sunshine of Tonya-land is not shining as brightly as it used to. In fact, some days it’s completely hidden by a wall of dark, foreboding rain clouds.  This is not how I choose to live my life, it’s not!  But here I sit, in the rain, miserable at times, as I deal with a circumstance I feel unable to control.  Dealing with several circumstances I AM unable to control, actually….Man, I hate that!!!!!!!!!!!!

Another lesson I suppose: Giving Up Control.

  I cling to the hope that you have to first have Rain to see Rainbows, and I have to believe that I will have my “Birds Always Singing, Sun Always Shining, Lemons Come in the Form of Lemonade” Life once again. 

I miss it.  Tonya-land was a really nice place to live.

 

I don’t know much right now, but I do know this…….

I, Tonya, am a Child of the King. An original masterpiece. This chipping away process has to happen in order for others to see Christ in me.

Sometimes you run towards Christ,
Sometimes you can’t run, so you walk towards Him.
If you can’t walk, you stand, facing the right direction.
If you can’t stand, lean.
Lean on Him, for He IS the right direction.
And if you fall?
Fall on Jesus.
In Him there is hope, life, and the promise of a bright future.

Face down at the feet of my Savior,

~T

Broken

2 Kings 6:1-6:  An interesting story tucked in scripture…..paraphrased in story form below.  Seriously, fascinating stuff! Don’t scroll past this, please read it!!

An Axe Head Floats

  Because Elisha was so well-known, many men came to him to learn about God. They were servants of God and prophets, too. The place where the men lived as they learned from Elisha was too small for all of them, they needed a bigger place to stay. These men were not wealthy, they spent most of their time learning and studying with Elisha. They did not spend their days working to make money. So if they wanted a bigger place to meet and learn, they would have to build it themselves.

The group of men approached Elisha and told him, “Elisha, the place we meet with you is too small. Let us go to the Jordan River and cut down some trees to build a bigger place.” Elisha said, “That’s a good idea. Go and do it.” “Won’t you please come with us?” they asked. Elisha replied, “I will go.”

Elisha and the group of men went to the Jordan and they began cutting down trees. As one man was cutting down a tree, the iron axe-head fell into the river.

  “Oh no!” he cried. “It wasn’t mine. I borrowed it from my master. What will I do?”

  The axe-head sank quickly to the bottom of the river. It was too deep to go in and find it. It seemed like the axe-head was lost for good.

Elisha asked where the axe-head had fallen. After pointing it out, Elisha cut a stick and threw it to that spot. Amazingly, the axe-head floated to the top! Iron does not float! It was a miracle!

  While Elisha asked God for a miracle to retrieve a lost axe head of all things, consider what he did not ask. Elisha did not ask for a supernatural construction of their new dwelling from the Lord. (I’ll bet they would rather have had God build it!) If God’s prophet could retrieve lost axe heads, then why could he not also miraculously construct buildings?

  The truth is that God is able to do all things, but Elisha did not ask God for such things. What God did provide through Elisha was a tool—an axe head—so that this prophet could cut down trees for construction.

   How many times I have wished that God would do the tough jobs Himself, supernaturally, and not leave any of the hard work to me. But what we read in our text is very true to the way God works:  He provides us with the means—the tools—to do what He has planned, and then He expects us to labor to accomplish it. These “tools” are not just material things, like axe heads, but are divine gifts from God.

—————————————————————————————————

   The reason I shared the above story with you, is because it’s the story of my life. 

See, as I was “clearing the trees” to grow my life, my faith, this blog…..the axe I was given by my Master, broke. 

  In fact, it broke back in July already.  The axe-head broke off and fell deep down into the murky River of Life, and because I am a glass-half-full-kinda girl, I just kept swinging at the tree in front of me, with only the handle of my axe.  Swinging and swinging, hoping to still accomplish something, ANYTHING that could be counted as good and worthy.  Asking the Lord to allow me to continue working, to continue clearing….even with a broken axe.

  But, my arms are tired.  My hits to the tree are fruitless. I’ll accomplish nothing without the sharp edge of my axe head. 

I need a miracle.

I need the Lord to raise up my axe head from the bottom of the river, so I can be productive in life, and on this blog for Him once again. But quietly He said,

“Sorry Tonya, not yet…rest in my arms for I know you are weary. Let Me minister to you for a while.”

  Yes, Father.

 So I come to you today, broken. So very very broken…

I cannot tell you the details of what occurred, what caused my axe head to be lost, because I cannot bring myself to share them with you, so please, don’t ask.

To own the words that would be written would make it all too real.

  It would be a slap in the face all over again.

Just pray for us, please.

Pray for my family, my precious little ones.

The enemy is attacking at all sides. 

    I won’t quit this blog, as my first thoughts dictated, the Lord was the one who asked me to start this, it will be Him who gives me permission to quit.  He said no to quitting, but I will need to slow down, and I do feel I have the Lord’s blessing on that decision.  I need the freedom to choose to NOT come sit at the computer if something arises that I need to work through.   

    But, what about the posts you all respond to most?  Do you know the ones I am referring to? 

  The “Wake-Me-Up-in-the-Middle-of-the-Night, Nudge-From-the-Lord, Time-to Share-From-the-Heart” Posts that I have sobbed through in the past?  The ones that I am usually SO embarrassed to share?  Yup, those. 

  Man, do I love it when you respond to my soul-bearing posts, encouraging me that I am not alone and that this was just what the Lord needed you to hear today.  Telling me my tears were worth it, that I heard Him correctly, that the missed sleep was for His glory after all.  Those kind of posts will have to wait…I’m just too broken right now to share.   (These posts are found in the new “From the Heart” category if you’d like to re-read some of the old ones.) 

The good news is……

  When I am weak, He is strong.

  When I have no words to say, He will say them. 

  As soon as He nudges, I will write from the heart again, I promise you that.  Until then I’ll just keep posting recipes and stories from the Ferguson house as time allows. 

  I know the Lord will miraculously bring my axe head up to the surface one day, sharper than ever.  Then, I’ll know it is time to start swinging away for His glory once again!

Right now?

 I am hurting.

   I have no words to say, no heart-felt nuggets from the Lord to share with you, the tears streaming down my face are all I have to offer. Everything He is speaking to me goes straight to my heart, where I selfishly cling to it.

Someday, this circumstance will be shared for His glory, I know it.

Someday.

But for now?  Just pray.

~T

 

Bible Story resources:

 http://www.theheights.org/preschool_lessons/CStory-ELI-8.pdf

http://bible.org/seriespage/life-and-times-elisha-prophet%E2%80%94-saved-syrians-war-never-happened-2-kings-61-23