He Turns the Mess Into a Message After All {for ALL of Us}

I am reading Psalm 139 when I pause and look up.  There’s this moment – one I can’t adequately describe  – when I know: I love each and every one of these women.  Like…really love them.  

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I want to sit beside each woman in the room and read this Psalm to her.  Look in her in the eye and make sure she believes it – deep, deep down.

Before emotion overtakes me, I continue speaking. Except, I am not really speaking at all. I always have a plan and notes; I glance at them intermittently. But, I never really know what the Spirit will bring.

We close with selfies…it is part of His message. (This is my selfie with Tyla Boyd who led worship. She’s amazing!  You should look her up and buy a Forever Redeemed t-shirt!)

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I walk to my seat, remove my earpiece, and sit down. I feel this mix of joy from the gift of sharing his Word with these women. And of burden for each tear shed and head bowed.

Tyla closes us with Jesus Loves Me and those words sink deep into my soul…yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me.  The Bible tells me so.  It’s my niece Chloe’s favorite song, which makes it all the better:)

We pray and dismiss.

And then they come. One by one.  Hurting and broken. Stories of divorce and shame and loneliness.

“I am going through a divorce.”

“ I’m rarely in pictures because of my appearance.”

“ I apologize over and over for myself.  You spoke directly to my heart. “

I pray with one woman immediately as her anguish is tangible.

One gal takes my picture…”I plan to look at it when I think I am not good enough, and I want to give up,” she says.

I give a long hug to a woman who silently cried the entire time.  I don’t know the source of her tears, only that her life is hard.

“I plan to quit mentioning that I am divorced. I want to stop apologizing for being me.”

“I’ve been divorced for 10 years. God does bring blessing, but I am lonely a lot.”  Tears slip down her cheeks.

Later I get a message from a woman, mother of four, who ran late because of her kiddos’ schedules. Went to the wrong church. Almost gave up and went home. But decided to come anyway.  She’s thankful because God had a word waiting just for her.

And another very young woman who feels she’s not pretty anymore. So very critical of her appearance (and she is so pretty!)  She’s decided to repeat Psalm 139 to herself in the mirror.  To claim it and believe it.

Women of ALL ages – hurting, lonely.  Feeling less than.

I bite my lip, overwhelmed by the brokenness in this world.

Friends, we may all look like we have it together, but we do not.  That woman that just popped into your mind? The one you SWEAR has it all together? SHE DOES NOT. I promise. And even if she does – maybe she’s Miss Perfect 2016 – it does not matter. Her story is not your story.  Walk in his path for YOU, not for her.

And I tell you all of this because…

I lost Sarah a long time ago, beginning in about 2007 – almost 10 years ago. Pieces within me broke as life rammed me from so many sides. This girl I knew so well slipping away…

I’ve hardly known myself for the past three years especially.

But, as I stood on a stage Tuesday in Tennessee, I found her. There she was – so unexpectedly. I wasn’t delivering a message to those in front of me; I was talking to myself. Every single word. I felt like “me” again. The same but different – in a good way.

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And as I greeted sweet woman after sweet woman afterward, I knew…all that stuff you’ve read about how God will take a mess and make a message (I’ve always laughed at that)…how He will redeem the broken and wastes nothing (I always WANTED to believe that)…

IT IS TRUE.  I promise it’s true.  Yes, it took almost 10 years…so God might not be in a big hurry…but HE REDEEMS.

I am not sure what you’re walking through today, friend. But, that girl who used to be you? She’s still in there.  Sure, He’s refined and chipped away at her character and beliefs.  But, the little girl whom he crafted in your mother’s womb? Whom he fearfully and wonderfully made? The heart of her is still in there.

I pray you find her, embrace her, love her, and live out exactly what He made her to do.

Meanwhile…I am celebrating my spunky, Husky-jeans-wearing, third-grade self who just got pink and blue glasses with her initials in the corner.  I really like her! And I am so glad she’s back.

(And it is always sweet to make new friends! )

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Comments

  1. Paula Coblath says:

    I just love you Sarah Farish. So happy for you.

  2. You never disappoint.🙏🏻🙌🏻

  3. I was there, too. You made an impact. Thank you!! By the way, I was a few tables behind you during worship, and I caught sight of your beautiful hair, and your stylish outfit, and thought, “look at that cute thing in her cuffed jeans. She’s got it all together!” 🙂

    • Tiffany…I have no idea how I missed this comment! Isn’t it funny how we perceive ourselves? The stories we tell ourselves? I thought my hair needed highlighted – I’d never have called it beautiful. I’ve never been called stylish either;) Your words remind me that often I allow Satan to plant thoughts, and then I write stories that aren’t even close to true. Thanks so much for taking time to share. I wish I’d have met you!!

  4. JoAnna Mobley says:

    This was the first Live it Up event I’ve gone to and I was meant to be there….I’ll be at others, but not sure I’ll gain as much….can’t imagine the other “bloggers” speaking better than you did :). Thank you for praying with me.

    • Wow…what an unexpected, but encouraging comment, JoAnna. I usually get notifications in my email for new comments. But, I think that feature quit working, and I just happened to check comments this morning while looking for something else. And wow. God must have known I’d need these words on September 23 – not in July 😉 Thanks for the encouragement. I am glad something in the words God gave me strengthened your heart. Much love!

  5. You know, I never heard that “mess into message” phrase before I heard it from you. How did I miss it? 🙂 I love the little glimpses of returning, the ‘coming back to life.’ God resurrects. He surely does. Cheering from offstage. Cheering from the balcony. From wherever the ushers have placed me.

    • Thanks, Marilyn. I am not sure where I first heard that phrase…a podcast I bet;) And I trust you are always cheering. It’s something I know that I know!

  6. Friend, I am so glad that God gave you this special blessing of yourself, while meeting others where they were. He is a pretty special Father, and he made a pretty amazing daughter when he made you!

    • Thanks so much, Sarah, for your kind words and encouragement. I am so glad God allowed our paths to cross. I can learn much from you!

  7. so thankful for the blessing of finally getting to meet you this past weekend <3

    • I know this is a little late…but ME TOO! (I had some issue with blog comments ,and I am just now seeing comments made since July!)

      I loved meeting you! You are even nicer and funnier and kinder in person that you are on the web. Much love!

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