My sweet four-year-old daughter came home from school one day, bouncing up and down with excitement.
Inside her book bag was a Mother's Day gift she had selected all by herself from the school’s PTFA fundraiser. Through the shiny, pink wrapping paper, I could feel some bubble wrap protecting a delicate gift underneath the layers.
There were a few more days left until I was officially allowed to open my present, so onto the table it went.
Anna, throughout the next days, proceeded to move this gift around to various parts of the dining room several times, and I think she must have been worried I was going to try opening it before Mother’s Day.
About the fifth time I observed her shuffling the present about, I assured her that I wouldn’t open it until that particular Sunday. Still, she chose to move it once more and this time to a high bookshelf. I warned her that putting a breakable object so high on the shelf might not be such a good idea, with more likelihood of it falling. Within seconds, I heard a crash and knew that no amount of bubble wrap could save my Mother’s Day gift from damage!
Anna was so upset and distraught. She wanted it to be perfect on Mother’s Day as children rarely get to choose a surprise gift for parents.
I assured her with hugs, kisses and words, that no matter what I would still love the gift because she had hand-picked it for me.
When I finally opened my gift, we were all amazed to find that the lovely, pale pink drinking mug was mostly intact except for a faint crack running from the top, three-quarters down the front. My daughter timidly waited for my reaction. We talked about how it was a shame that it couldn’t be used to hold a hot drink, however it could be repurposed as a wonderful pencil holder.
Anna smiled as she realized that whether used to hold my tea or pencils, I truly accepted her sweet and thoughtful present—there was beauty in the cracked mug after all!
My life can often resemble my cracked mug—disappointment, illness, emotional struggles, the practical demands of life, failed friendships, being short-tempered, letting the wrong words slip out, letting family down and choosing selfishness are all examples of the cracks within my life. Some cracks can feel thin, some deep whilst others can leave me feeling smashed into a pile of tiny pieces.
When I am tempted to feel like my life is beyond repair, God gently reminds me that he is in the business of soul restoration. After all, He demonstrated his unconditional love by sending Jesus to pay our death penalty and through his resurrection, our sins, flaws and shortcomings were pardoned. Just like I was able to find a new purpose for my Mother’s Day mug, God finds a way to use us blemishes and all, for his glory.
When a season of life gets hard and it feels hopeless, choose to remember that despite your “cracks,” God accepts, loves, and embraces you. He can work with you and in time, help you to overcome the sin, hurts, and challenges that have built up. Even in your broken state, nothing can keep God from loving you.
Over time, God helps fill in and smooth our cracks, reconstructing the pieces of our broken hearts back together as he brings forth his good plans.
There is beauty in our cracks, and as we become more transparent with others about the things of life we struggle with or are working through, it gives permission to those around us that they do not need to hide their own cracks either.
God accepts each one of us just as we are. And we can say with a humble yet firm confidence that, “We are enough.” He graciously loves us and helps us to see that even with some cracks, we have a deep beauty within—it has been placed in each of our hearts to shine forth and reflect God’s glory.
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