Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A Guest Post about Love and Open Hearts

Today, I am delighted to share a blog post with you written by our guest, Jennifer Watson. 

But before I share the post, I need to share a story. 

It’s wonderful how God brings people together to encourage each other on their faith walk with Him. One of those people in my life is Jennifer Watson. We connected about four years ago through her Broken Girl website. After I submitted a few encouraging comments about the posts written by Jennifer and Keri Lynn Bullington (with whom Jennifer co-founded the Broken Girl blog), Jennifer invited me to share my "broken girl story" on her blog. After thinking about it for like a minute, I agreed to share my story because I believe there are people in the world who may be encouraged in their life journey through reading my story about how God turned my broken into beautiful. 

So I wrote the guest post, sent it to Jennifer and it was published on Feb. 27, 2012. But our connection did not end with that one guest post, it continued in the form of an encouragement ministry. If I need prayer, I know I can talk to Jennifer who will not only pray but offer words of encouragement that help me in my journey through life. I value the prayer support and encouragement given through the words Jennifer shares with me and the world via the Broken Girl blog which I call a ministry. 

I hope you will appreciate and receive encouragement in your journey through life as you read the words from Jennifer’s heart presented in her first guest post for my blog! 

My Adoption Story: When Hearts Break Wide Open 
Written by Jennifer Watson 

Almost two years ago we welcomed a little boy into our home for four months, we were in the process of adopting him when his mother decided she wanted him back. Those four months were extremely difficult. I wanted the boy, just not all the strings attached and baggage that came from his family fighting us. But love is about welcoming the chaos and opening your heart wide enough for it to break wide-open changing you forever. I watched love change my heart as I loved a stranger like he was flesh and blood, no different from my children. 

I was never one to fall in love so easily, but sometimes love is like driving a car fast without any brakes. You brace yourself and hold your breath uncertain of the outcome. What once was invigorating and exciting hits the brick wall of change and you emerge different. The hope is that eventually the whiplash will fade to nothingness and your heart will be mended yet remain wide-open. 

Love is bringing in all the baggage and dirty clothes with stains. It's staying up late and rearranging all your space for one more. It's saying, “You belong here, please untidy all the things that I think have to remain in a certain place.” 

Love is letting go of your fears of loving someone you might not get to keep and loving so much it hurts in the best possible way. Love wrecks you turning you inside out, it's the furthest thing from selfish and the closest thing to sacred we could ever feel. It's messy and beautiful and worth it. The messy beautiful walk hand-in-hand and sometimes it hurts in ways words can’t express. 

People always ask me if I would open my home again and I say yes, a million times, yes. I'll leave the light on for you, little buddy. I'll take your baggage and all your stains because fear doesn't live here, love does. And I'll leave my heart wide-open for my sister who feels like her world and heart has been split wide-open. Come and sit on my couch, you can cry and I'll feed you chocolate. Together we can unpack your baggage, mending the tattered garments of your heart. 

In our churches, in our homes, and in our hearts let us leave room for all the broken, baggage carriers because at one time that was us. Let’s love each other enough and help them unpack their baggage. We will never regret loving fiercely and allowing our hearts to split wide-open. Love isn't about counting the costs and being careful; it's about saying it's worth it. Come on, love, wreck me. 

Loving the way Jesus does is risky, but with all my heart I believe it’s worth it. Jesus walked this earth with every intention of laying down His life for us, even for the ones who rejected and mocked Him. Laying it all down and living a life of putting others first is risky, but I want to love like that. My heart is full of gratitude for a cross, an empty tomb, and a risky, unending love. 

There is room enough in my heart to be wrecked, split wide-open for those in need around me and I want more than anything to stop being so dang careful. 

Author bio: Jennifer Watson is a self-professed girly-girl who is convinced that coloring your hair is addictive. She has an undying affection for refined sugar and red lipstick. She is a mother of two miracle babies and is an out-of-the-box minister’s wife. She loves weaving words together to speak to the hearts of women. You can hang out with Jennifer and her words at the Broken Girl blog.

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