Lately, I have noticed a theme as I scroll through my different social media sites. Brokeness. People are hurting and don’t know how to cope. I understand this feeling all too well. I’ve been there. However, although I am not in the clear, I have developed a greater understanding of God’s healing power and renewing grace. And through my blog, it has been my mission to share this with others.
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A few months ago, I prayed for God to speak to me through His Word. So I closed my eyes, opened my bible, and hoped for an answer. And there it was. Nehemiah 4. Opening up to Nehemiah was strange to me because I had never read a single word from this book in the Bible. I second guessed it for a moment, but then I knew it was for me when I read the chapter heading: Progress in Spite of Opposition.
In case you aren’t familiar with this part of the Bible, it talks about the rebuilding of the wall around Jerusalem. So allow me to make the analogy as simple as I can. You are the wall, you have been broken by something or many things in your life, and now it’s time to rebuild. And yes, there will be opposition to your restoration. People who don’t want to see you be strong. People who want you to stay the same, just as broken as they are. But you will progress, in spite of opposition!
For the past few months, this word in Nehemiah has been my go-to for the things I have been struggling with. Then, as I sat in church a couple of weeks ago, my Pastor began a series entitled, “Love Your City,” referencing the book of Nehemiah. And I’m not sure why I was surprised. This is just the amazing way that God works and speaks to His people. The sermons have been awesome, but today hit me the hardest.
A year ago, I left Virginia and moved back to my hometown in New York. Many people didn’t understand my decision and were confused about why I would ever come back to this place. At first, I wanted to come home because the loss of a dear friend sent me through a depression that was extremely difficult to bear. I missed my loved ones and felt guilty for leaving them and being so oblivious to the struggles so many of my friends were going through. When I found myself in a better place emotionally, I felt like God was still calling me to come back home. I questioned if it was the right decisions many times. I struggled with things I wanted to run away from that are in my hometown. Memories I didn’t want to keep. Almost allowing my past brokenness to hinder my progress. But as my Pastor’s daughter-in-law preached today, I knew I had made the right choice.
She spoke about God wanting to rebuild His people and restore our identity in Him. Then she said that He wants to use us to rebuild our city and spoke of our role and purpose in that process. When I heard about my friends struggling, and even dying, from drug addictions, I knew I wanted to be a part of the solution. I didn’t know how and it scared me, but I had been called back for a reason. The confirmation came in these words, “Purpose is outside of your comfort zone.” And finally when she said, “Take your place in the rebuilding process.” And God said, THAT is why I brought you back.
Take Your Place
Although I have my own struggles in life, I finally see who I am in God’s eyes, and His purpose for my life. Everyday, I am rebuilding from self destruction and outside demolition. But I am ready to take my place in the rebuilding of my city. Are you? Firstly, it is important to look within. Where is your brokenness? What are you doing to rebuild? Your hands won’t be strong enough to help rebuild your city, if you are still broken inside. Even when you come to a place of wholeness with God, you still are not strong enough on your own. The last thing that was said about purpose in this message was, “Our purpose is together.” We need each other. If you claim it, there is a place for you to be a part of the solution. Do your part and God will do the rest. “The work is enormous and spread out, and we are separated far from one another along the wall. Wherever you hear the trumpet sound, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us!” (Nehemiah 4:20)