Monday, August 19, 2013

When You Wonder If God Rebuilds Our Ruins

Oh, friends, we have a brave builder joining us today for the last guest post in the Rebuilding the Walls series.  Someone who knows what it means to rise from the ashes.  Who knows God can use everything for His glory.  Her name is Jacque Watkins, and she blogs at When Mercy Found Me.  She's a dreamer and wall-builder and truth-teller.  Determined to help others find God's beautiful redemption, even when it seems most hidden.  We met on the God-Sized Dream Team and I'm so thankful she is here to share today.  We've journeyed far over the last two months and this is for anyone who has ever looked around, stunned, wondering if rebuilding is even possible.  I pray this post will point you towards the truth.

The moment feels final when misfortune levels you. Or when failure swallows you. When guilt smothers you ... and fear grips you and will not let you go.

I know this well because I lived it. And yet I’m still living to tell it ... emotionally alive only because of the great love and grace of our God.

Because of my own choices I deserved punishment and experienced pain. But His mercy found me and redeemed even me. And because of Him I am rebuilt and whole.

But for so long I was broken. Broken and in need of repair.

And that is the prerequisite to rebuilding, something must first be broken ... split or cracked ... shattered or even destroyed.

Whatever the case, when we’re broken it’s hard to remember what it was like to be whole. In the aftermath of the leveling, when the dust settles and the rubble remains, the shambles look nothing like what once was. Because becoming broken changes everything. And the work of rebuilding can seem insurmountable, indeed impossible to fathom.

Everyone’s pain is different and the cause of brokenness varies, but for me, my failure is what broke me.

After growing up in a Christian home, I knew better. And so did he. But my weary-and-tired people-pleasing heart chose my own self, and there was no escaping the consequences of an affair, a divorce, and marrying him in the end.

Sometimes failure is the worst breaking of all, because we’re not a victim. We choose to be broken, opting to shatter our own lives.

And not only does the pain flood in, but guilt and shame threaten to drown us dead.

My story is longer and more complicated than one sentence, and for me it’s been a dozen years of rebuilding ... over a decade of time sifting the rubble. The process of sorting the pieces, holding them up, and surrendering to let God make something brand new in me, has been long. But because of His rebuilding I am new.

And new is what we need.

Because when we’re broken we have to start all over. Rebuilding will never work if we begin with a cracked foundation lying amidst all that rubble.

When God rebuilds our ruins it is tedious and long because whatever is left must be completely leveled to make room for the newness to come--the newness of a foundation that is stronger than the first one ever was.

And that takes time because there is always planning and preparation long before the product.

Years ago when my husband added a new room to our home, first he drew up plans, completely picturing what it would look like in his mind. Then, he took the plans to the city to get them approved, complete with pictures and renderings that were made.

And only after due diligence and approval did he buy supplies and begin to lay the forms for the foundation. He measured, placed stakes, and laid the rebar in for reinforcement.

It took much longer to plan and prepare than it did the morning of the pour. And even then, when the foundation was finished, we had to wait 28 days for the concrete to cure. Because that’s how long it takes for it to reach its maximum strength.

Only then could he move forward and build more. Throughout the rebuilding process, the cycle continued: planning, preparing, and pouring, followed by much patience in the process, until the plan drawings rendered from the beginning were realized.

As you consider your brokenness and the rebuilding God longs to do in you, may your heart know that God has the ultimate plan for you in mind. He’s rendered the drawings and they are already approved.
And sometimes brokenness is the avenue He uses to remove our weak areas, in order to rebuild us to be more like Him.
But we must choose to be rebuilt.

We must surrender to His rebuilding process, allowing Him time to lay the forms, set the reinforcements, and pour the final product in His time.

And even then, when the pour is done and the forms are removed, the work He’s doing is not done. That is when the curing begins, and sometimes the curing is the hardest part of all.

Although we look and feel whole, the process is still not complete. We need time.  To grow and mature into the maximum strength of character He had in mind form the very beginning.

Be patient, my friend.

God longs to rebuild your ruins. {<==== Click here to tweet this.}

Lean in, to the process.

Believe His promise to restore your brokenness.

Trust Him to redeem your shattered pieces. {<==== Click here to tweet this.}

As He makes something even more beautiful in you ... something that reflects Him to the world.

He loves you that much.

And I know it well. May your heart know it too.


Connector and lover of heartfelt chats and chai tea lattes, Jacque is a relator who can’t wait to connect with you. As a Labor & Delivery RN and mama to five, she spins her days between chaotic kids and newborn cries, groping to find God’s gifts amidst them all. Over a decade ago, in the aftermath of an affair, Jacque was found by God’s mercy and changed by His grace, and because of His love, will never be the same. She is passionate about forgiveness and second chances, and wants you to know, regardless of your tragedy–no matter your brokenness or failure, God’s grace is enough. And His mercy can find even you. You can connect with Jacque on her blog Mercy Found Me, or on TwitterFacebook, or Pinterest.

*Photo Credit: 12, Flickr Creative Commons 

Do you have a rebuilding story you'd like to share?  Click here for the link up.  We can't wait to read yours!  {I'll be posting your links on the Living Joel 2:25 Facebook page.}

For links to the rest of the Rebuilding the Walls series, including those shared by readers, click here.


  1. Jacque and Christine,
    These words washed over my like an ocean of Grace. While my brokenness is different, trusting Him to rebuild my shattered pieces has been the most difficult and yet most beautiful experience of my life, to God be the Glory. I didn't want to break, and not all of it was my fault, but that does not matter. As I have learned, brokenness is the point at which we meet God-over and over, again and again throughout our lives. Your openness and your bravery, through immense pain, Jacque, is a wonder. God used your heart like broken bread, as a sacrament to be shared. You, sister, are a blessing.
    Continued peace and good through it all,

    1. You are so right, brokenness is a point at which we meet God, and He is faithful to remake and rebuild our hearts in His time. Thank you for your generous bless. xo

  2. Thank you Jacque for being willing to share your story as a powerful testament to how much our God loves us, how He pours His grave over us because we're His. Yes, He is the God of 2nd, and 3rd, and 4th and more chances. Bless you in your sharing.

    1. So many chances again and again...and may God be glorified as He makes us more and more like Him in the process.

  3. Powerful words that express God's grace at work in us who are or have been broken. It takes a life time, but well worth the effort, time, commitment.

    Thank you, Jacque, your words should be read by everyone in Christian churches. This is the stuff of life, grace, and faith.


    1. Thank you so much Rich...I think so too. So many hearts are paralyzed in their brokenness, and my prayer is that they would come to see the mercy and grace of God just waiting to rebuild them again. Pray with me for that?? xo

  4. How nice idea! Its relay great. I think it is look like gorgeous.Thanks for your sharing.
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