Beautifully Broken by Caleb

I saw a video of Caleb awhile back at church telling people about how the Lord changed his life and his story really impacted me. Since I had grown up most of my life a "good christian" in the eyes of so many, his story really brought me back to the reality that grace is from Jesus alone, not from me being "good". His story of addiction shows that God can break any chains that entangle you. I am so grateful God can bring the dead to life and make us into a new creation. Here is what Jesus did in Caleb's life!

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Let me start by saying this is not me. I don't do the long social media posts (side note excuse my writing style I have never been a big writer) and honestly if you know me you know this is my pet peeve, but it is funny how the Holy Spirit asks us to do things that are out of our comfort zone. I have had people come up to me the last few months and say, "I had no idea you walked down that path and had no idea that you went through those things." So I decided I should probably put it out there the best way I can. Two years ago today I had been on a drug binge for 5 straight months (this was after being in treatment for a year and a month). In that time, I experienced things that I had told myself my whole life I would never do, I was around people I never imagined I'd be around, and I was in the darkest, emptiest place of my life. I had no idea who I was, where I was going, or what my life had become. In 4 years I went from being the kid that was going to play college basketball to a strung out druggie who no one wanted to associate with. It all started with just the normal partying college scene, to a daily bound up struggle where I was hurting, stealing, lying, and manipulating to and from the closest people in my life. I'm sure everyone in some way can relate to addiction, because every single person I talk to either says they went through it, their family went through it, or they were close to someone who went through it. Let me say the thing that has proved SO good for me and my family is exposing it. Do we sit there and scream out, "HEY I DID A BUNCH OF DRUGS AND WENT TO TREATMENT!" No, but I really do not hide my past and try to share with every person I talk to. The reason I do this is because my story is not like most. I had been on a 5 year addiction off and on to drugs and nothing seemed to work. I went to counseling, treatment, mentors, camps, Christian programs, you get what I'm saying. I tried everything and my family tried everything. So back to those 5 months. From the time I got out of treatment, it was one week and I was full on using drugs again. This time was different though. I cut off all ties to my family and they would tell you there were days, weeks, and months where they had no idea if I were even alive. I battled depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and drug addiction those 5 months on a level I couldn't even stand. Something in that time though began to show me this was not the life I was supposed to live (well, obviously) but this thing was different. I was at a point in life where I would tell people God was a fairy tale, and that he was no more real than the tooth fairy. And this is the place where God began to pursue me. I walked into church for the first time in months maybe years, and the love of the Father absolutely overwhelmed me. I was sitting in church weeping, and I had no idea why then everything hit me like brick wall. There is no way I should be alive, and at the very least I should have been in jail or a hospital. The Lord began showing me how much He had protected me, loved me, and was pursuing me. 3 days later I decided to give my life to Jesus. In that moment, I was completely delivered from my addiction. I had no withdrawals (if you know addiction you know this is impossible), I had to cravings, and suddenly in ONE MOMENT all I wanted was Jesus. Since then, God has continued to change my heart. I am by no means some holy roller who thinks I have it figured out, but I do know I am in a relationship with the One who has already figured it out for me. I share my story for a few reasons. It is in no way to say I'm some great person, because as you can see from my story I literally did nothing but say YES. I share this because I know there are people out there hurting. Whether it be parents, family, or someone in addiction there are people hurting from this, and I share so that someone will hear hope. I share because I believe someone needs to hear this, and that someone might know that if they need a friend I will listen and be there without judgment. I share this ultimately so that someone would know the power of the Holy Spirit and how he changes and sets our feet on a path to walking freely with the Father. My heart has hurt so much this last year when I hear CONSTANTLY of people in this addiction and even not making it out. My heart hurts not only because people are literally dying from this, but also because I know there is hope. I know there is an answer, and the answer is saying yes to Jesus. Please hear me when I say this is in no way about me. I literally did nothing but say yes then day by day try to love and live in and with Jesus. Me and my parents are completely open arms when it comes to this and I hope that through me sharing people will reach out. Our culture especially in the South is to hide and to keep up our great image. We didn't necessarily choose for my past to be exposed to begin with, but we are so thankful that it happened now. We are thankful to share what Jesus has done and continues to do. I could tell you story upon story of little and big things God did, and most of what He was doing was through prayer. There is hope and I promise I can attest to his promise in Ephesians 3:20 that He will do EXCEEDINGLY, ABUNDANTLY, more than we could ever ask or IMAGINE! Even when we don't pursue him, He pursues us. Even when we don't see him, He sees us. Even when we don't want him, He wants us. And he WILL leave the 99 to go after the one every single time. His love is reckless for us! We are WELL ABLE to conquer through our Father!

 

Please be in prayer for Caleb and email me if you have any further questions you'd like to ask Caleb about his story! 

Beautifully Broken by Whitley

When I was asked to be a part of this, I literally squealed {like a sixteen-year-old who just got asked to prom}, grabbed my husband’s arm and said, “GUESS WHAT?”.

It is such an honor to be a part of this revival of stories about being led back to the Lord, even in times of brokenness. I can honestly say I’ve been “beautifully broken”, and up until now, didn’t really know what to call it.

If you’ve read my blog before, or followed me on Instagram for any time at all, you know that about a year and a half ago, I lost a baby. A baby that was so wanted, so prayed for, and so loved. I’ve shared my story before, and I’ll share it again now. I think it is so important that we share these stories about our losses, and about our healing, because you never know who might need to hear it.

I found out I was pregnant right after my husband got home from his first deployment. We had spent the last seven months talking, hoping, and dreaming about our future baby. We were so excited about names and nurseries and were so shocked when it happened so quickly.

I will never forget the moment I saw the word “pregnant” pop up on that stick--and I’m thankful now that I can look back on that moment with such vividness and smile. As I was waiting for those long three minutes, I got down on my knees right there on the bathroom floor, and prayed. I thanked God and told him I was ready for any outcome: pregnant or not pregnant. It never even crossed my mind that the outcome might result in the loss of that sweet little life inside of me.

 

I had 14 amazing {and really, really sick} weeks with that sweet baby. I talked, sang, and dreamed about all of the things we would do together. At 14 weeks my baby was the size of a small apple. Dancing around in my belly with the sweetest heartbeat I’ve ever heard.

For those of you that don’t know my story, I’ll sum it up. {you can read the full story a few posts down}

I went in for a routine ultrasound on June 2, 2015. I was so excited to see an image of a dancing little peanut on that screen. But, from the first moment I saw the picture, I knew something was wrong. I could read it all over the doctor’s face. And then, there it was: a flatline where the heartbeat was supposed to be. I was in complete shock. I couldn’t possibly understand how God could let this happen to me. The next few days are a blur. All I can remember is my husband holding me while we cried, and calling my mom. It was hands down the worst experience of my life.

But, through it all, I can honestly say that during that time I had never felt God’s presence so strongly. I will forever be thankful for His strong and enduring presence. It was truly such a gift.

It wasn’t until several months later that the anger set in. I never shared much of this until now, but even to this day almost two years later, I’m still hurting. My heart still hurts for that sweet baby that I never got to meet. I still have days that I wake up in tears, wanting to hide under the covers all day because it hurts so bad. That’s the thing about miscarriage -- people expect you to ‘get over it’ and move on because ‘you never really had that baby’. THAT’S NOT TRUE. I did have that baby. I held that baby in my womb for 14 weeks and I’ll hold that baby in my heart for the rest of my life. And for the rest of my life I will be ‘Beautifully Broken’.

But I know that it will be by the grace of our Lord that I will be okay. I will be strong. And I will never quit sharing my story -- because the thought of someone reading this and getting something out of it is all I will ever need to keep doing this blog, even if it took me a while to realize it.

XOXO, 

Whitley 

Written February 18, 2017

 

You can find Whitley Boespflug on Instagram @whitleybell1 / Her blog can be found at www.becomingtheboespflugs.com 

Beautifully Broken by Audra

John 15:5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain (abide) in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing." 


ABIDE: follow, keep to, hold to, adhere to, stand by, stick to. 
  


February 2014 I started to experience healthy issues that were very unclear. As the months went on, the symptoms worsened. August of 2014 I decided to take a huge step of faith and move off to Mississippi College despite the season of unknowns I was walking through. This is where I truly discovered the meaning of the word Abide. The year I spent at MC was a year filled with many different emotions; excitement about this new experience of living away from home, joy from new friendships the Lord provided, and depression because of unresolved health issues and feeling “alone” despite the many people I was surrounded by. Although I felt alone and helpless, not a day went by that I did not see the Lords hand at work, even in the smallest things. He was with me. He held me. He guided me. He protected me. He loved me. He never stopped reminding me that He was my shelter and my rock, the one I could cling to, amidst the brokenness. About 2 years later, after countless doctors appointments with different specialist, it was finally revealed that my health issues were something called PCOS (nothing life threatening). From that moment on, the life I was accustomed to was dramitcally changed. Although he called me to be in a season of brokenness and unknowns, He was, and is, faithful. The two year period of not knowing what was going on, drew me closer to Him and taught me how to truly abide in Him. 

Beautifully Broken by Hailey

Going into college I had my whole life planned out. I knew what I wanted to be, who/when I was going to get married(lol), where I wanted to live... I never stopped and took the time to see the plan God had set out for me, and it blew up right in front of my face.

1. I came home from school after my sophomore year ended. I felt like I didn't belong there anymore, and I really didn't know what I wanted to do with my life. 


2. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer.. all within a couple weeks. 


I felt like my whole world stopped while everybody else's was still going on. I felt alone, I felt like I didn't even know who I was anymore. I just wasn't myself. I had no other option than to cling to The Lord. I grew in my walk with the Lord, my mom survived breast cancer, and I felt called to be a Dietitian. The Lord showed and taught me that He knows me and has the best plan for me and I had to be broken in order to fully hear Him.