It was on an out-and-about kind of day, filled with errands and meetings and school pickups, that the splinter wedged itself into my index finger. I couldn’t stop to dig it out, so I spent the day rebuking it. You, Mr. Evil Splinter, are not supposed to be here.
This splinter isn’t unlike the deeper soul wounds I carry. This year has been an unwelcome parade of both physical and emotional wounds. Like the splinter, hurts are trying to insert themselves in places they don’t belong, casting shadows in my heart and mind, and threatening to seep into my words and drip from my actions. Hurt does unexpected things, doesn’t it? It confuses, numbs, paralyzes, angers. It crowds my capacity to love anyone well, including myself. I can’t love well from broken places.
How does this work, to be broken, but still called to love well?
I think on that annoying splinter. Loving well asks more of me than simply acknowledging the splinter. I can’t heal by just knowing the wound is there. And these deeper wounds — these places where I don’t feel seen or heard, these places where I’ve been accused and rejected — require more than I am able to do. I can’t dig them out alone.
What if, when I feel least able to love well, my wounds can become a love offering?
I’m finally learning that to love well, I have to let God love me deeper — and that means letting Him into all the places, including the most broken ones. He is teaching me that offering Him my deepest wounds is a foundation for loving well. May these three truths encourage you that, yes, opening our hands to present Him our wounds is, indeed, an offering.
When we offer Him our broken places:
1 | He will meet the hurt.
“I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed,” (Psalm 34:4-5, ESV).
When we go to Him, we can say the hard things and ask the raw questions. He already knows. He already sees tucked in our hearts. Then we can pray that He reveals the lies and replaces them with His truth. The most healing step in offering Him the hurt is to pause, to listen and wait for Him to answer. Wait for Him to speak over it with His loving kindness. He sees the hurt. He feels it with us. He validates and soothes and calms and quiets with His whispers of truth.
2 | He will restore our hearts.
“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you,” (1 Peter 5:10, ESV).
As we make the choice to lay down the hurts, we make space for new, good things. He, Himself, will restore, confirm, strengthen and establish our hearts, our souls, our minds. With hearts emptied of pain, there’s room for healing. We have the capacity to grasp His freedom. When we trust the Spirit to fill those places, we can show up in other places differently — more whole, more full, able to love better.
3 | He will turn our wounds to love.
“So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him,” (1 John 4:16 ESV).
Repeated over and over in scripture is the command to love Him with all our heart and soul and mind. He’s asked us — called us — to love Him. But I can only love Him if I abide in Him, because only God IS love.
God is the how.
He is how we love Him, even in our broken. He is how we love others, even when we hurt. He is how we love.
Friend, even when we feel least able to love well, we always have something to offer Him. When hurt inserts itself into places it doesn’t belong, and we’re struggling to love, He can transform our wounds into His perfect love.
Perhaps, then, offering our wounds to Him is the most we can do.
About the Author:
Marnie encourages women that freedom isn’t found in perfectly completed checklists, but in knowing God deeper and hearing Him louder.
A writer and speaker, Marnie is also the curator for the Hear Him Louder Essay Series, and a member of the Devotion Team and the Blog Contributor Team for The Joyful Life Magazine. Wife for 26 years and boy mama (16, 13, & 10), Marnie’s non-writing life revolves around taming the stinky, scraping off the sticky, and distributing boys to the places they go in suburban Cincinnati. Her favorites are cheering for her boys from soccer sidelines, settling in for family movie nite, and laughing with her friends. Loudly. With some cackling.
You can find Marnie at marniehammar.com, where you can subscribe to receive a FREE five-day devotional, called “Closer: Five Days to Hearing Him Louder.” You can also find Marnie at Instagram (@marniehammar) or Facebook (marniehammarwriter).
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