“Many times, what we see as our biggest regrets, failures, and mistakes become what God uses the most in our lives. God transforms our brokenness into something more beautiful than we can ever imagine. He takes our mess and creates a masterpiece.” - Shelley Hitz
As I reflect over the past decade spent abroad, I am often reminded that God creates a masterpiece from my brokenness, that my most difficult moments became my greatest victories.
For instance, a failed potluck, during which our local friends left offended because my family and I had chosen to eat before visiting rather than after, turned into an opportunity to model humility and ask for forgiveness. Long-lasting friendships stemmed from my request for forgiveness, a radical action in that culture. Some of these friendships are continuing, even as we are now literally worlds apart.
After the sudden death of my father, the grief and pain I suffered incited my neighbors to come to my home and mourn with me. I had no tears left, so my dear neighbors came to cry for me.
When my family and I encountered a difficult season, the local community rallied around me after I relayed the challenges of raising a family overseas. With the community’s encouragement and constant presence, my family and I were able to navigate the stormy waters of life and blossom where we were planted.
It is during the tough seasons in my life that I have found myself closest to God. He has instilled in me a greater empathy, a caring heart, and a listening ear on behalf of those who need it the most.
I have walked alongside single mothers without any family support, brothers and sisters ostracized because of their faith, the poor, and the forgotten. I have cried with the broken-hearted. I have comforted abandoned children. I can confidently testify that I am more blessed now than I ever was before because of the beauty that God has created from my brokenness.
God uses all things, the good, the bad, and the in-between. These are knit together to transform us into the person we are meant to be. Tough times can be a blessing in disguise, a blessing meant to be shared with others.
As I find myself in a time of transition and unsure about the future, where I will live, and what my new project will involve, I remember the past, and I eagerly await to see the next masterpiece that God is creating.
About the Author: Freddie is an IDEAS Associate who has spent the past 10 years in Tunisia where she worked with vulnerable populations before stepping into the role of Director of Finance in-country and abroad. Enjoy other blogs by IDEAS Associates in Tunisia, such as "Dignity for Those with Disabilities."