You Are Not Your Circumstances

by | Jan 6, 2012 | Five Minute Friday

Could it be that our calamities – our brokenness and pain – create a place of beauty to reveal His glory?

I think about the way he cups hands to catch tears that drip off my swollen cheeks as a child. Hovering beside me as I mourn the poor decisions of my single, tired mother. Because even then, I know that joy can fill a cracked vessel leaking empty when he we give ourselves over to Him, stop the striving.

And the more I watch her turn away from the gift, cracks transform to pieces and the deeper grief embeds her roots inside me for what could’ve been.

He takes those tears, pours them back in to my soul to nourish the seed of determination. And that determination grows in tandem with stature, roars pulsating with the message – You are not your circumstances -to every woman and child He brings across my path.

For the single teenage mom, the woman left standing alone in infidelity, the one who lives in the shadow of guilt, the mother who mourns a child’s destructive choices. I roar this message.

Because I know that living isolated in poverty with what is inside a bottle doesn’t quench thirst for fulfillment.

Staying stuck in past regrets isn’t the path to freedom.

Blaming circumstances on the actions of others is like trying to start a car with a dead battery.  No forward movement. The view remains stagnant.

So this year, as I link arms with the ones that say yes to count 1000 gifts, I rumble with hope.  That when we count all the ways in which He helped us to find beauty in the midst of sorrow, pain, sadness and joy we will roar together through a megaphone of grace, “You are not your circumstances.”

Because He uses all of our broken pieces to reveal the glory of His redemption.

The Lord called me before my birth; from within the womb he called me by name.  He made my words of judgment as sharp as a sword. He has hidden me in the shadow of his hand. I am like a sharp arrow in his quiver. He said to me, “You are my servant, Israel, and you will bring me glory.”  I replied, “But my work seems so useless!  I have spent my strength for nothing and to no purpose. Yet I leave it all in the Lord’s hand; I will trust God for my reward.” ~ Isaiah 49:1-4

Linking with the Gypsy Mama for Five Minute Friday with the one-word prompt Roar

If you would like to link arms with me this year to count the gifts and join our community, please leave a comment on today’s post! And if you have been reading here for awhile and haven’t subscribed yet, include your email in the box under Follow Redemptions Beauty in the right hand column so we can communicate from time to time beyond the comment box!

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  1. Katrina Jackson

    “Blaming circumstances on the actions of others is like trying to start a car with a dead battery. No forward movement. The view remains stagnant.”

    Yes, exactly. I’m sharing this.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I have relatives that have blamed people as a habit and I watch them stick there while I wave past. It makes me sad that they just can’t see how much life is passing them by. I don’t want to have any regrets when I stand at the end of my road.

      • Katrina Jackson

        I do too!!! As you could probably guess from my post. 🙂

  2. kd sullivan

    I had already decided to take the joy dare! But I’m so blessed to see that I’m in such beautiful company!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Yes, this is so much fun. I wanted people outside of the blogging world to learn about the dare and join in! Can’t wait to see the transformation.

  3. Brandy

    Love it! Rumble…As I have been fully supporting my husband and starting his own business I need to be reminded that I am not my circumstances…God has given me the heart to support and also to not need all the things right now that I think I need! Thanks for sharing

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Love that you are pushing past what you see before you with hope and love in your heart for your husband Brandy. Just lovely!

  4. Leslie

    Wow! How appropriate. I was listening to Tenth Avenue North on the radio on the way to work this morning singing “You Are Made.”

    I am more than the choices that I’ve made.

    Thanks for reminding me.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Love how God builds so much serendipitiy into our lives so we hear Him in those moments. I call them sacred echoes Leslie.

  5. Tara@pohlkottepress

    I too will be standing beside you for the joy dare. Each day looking past circumstance to see beauty, joy…life.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Yay Tara! So glad to you will be along the journey with us and I will have some intentionality in keeping us accountable and building community here. I will keep you posted.

  6. Stefanie Brown

    Oh, sweet friend… This statement grabbed me:
    “Because He uses all of our broken pieces to reveal the glory of His redemption.”
    I’m so thankful my moments of brokenness are not in vain. He uses them to reveal himself. I’ll use them to bring him glory!
    Have a wonderful day…

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Stefanie, on Christmas morning, standing in worship I had that revelation. How we are all broken, every one of us. Maybe I’ll write more as He leads. Glad this spoke to you today!

  7. Carrie

    Amen! Visiting from The Gypsy Mama and so pleased to find your site! I can relate to much of your post. I’m in the learning stages – ridding myself of past hurts and circumstances. For most of my childhood, I cried out to Him and He came. He was there for me like no other human could be. Just yesterday I wondered to myself, “How in the world did I NOT go on the dark path? I had zero supervision and every opportunity to choose wrong.” It was all Him. Thank you for this honest post!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Carrie, I can really relate to what you said here. People often ask me how I turned out so well when they learn about my upbringing. I say the same thing, it was all His watching over me and leading me. And sometimes the greatest lesson we get from people is what NOT to do. So glad that Gypsy Mama linked us together today. Blessings!

  8. Sherri Strickland

    Wonderful words… very encouraging…and I love the camellias! Its that time of year.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Aren’t those camelias awesome Sherri. I couldn’t resist photographing that beauty. May share more this weekend. And then I cut them off before the frost came that night. They are still in a vase on my mantle radiant! Glad you were encouraged today. You have crossed my mind many times lately.

      • Sherri

        You too. We should get together. I want to ask you some technical questions about WordPress. Maybe over coffee?

        • Redemption's Beauty

          Be happy to Sherri. After Winter Conference is over. I’m still learning too but hope I can help.

  9. aseedinspired

    Amen sister… He does not waste our broken pieces.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      He puts us back together beautifully, doesn’t he?

  10. Paula

    Yes, I am looking forward to reading the book. I shall count my blessings and you will surely be among them.

  11. Denise J. Hughes

    I want to roar this message too. Beauty from our brokenness. We are not our circumstances.

    Your blog is one of my new favorites!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Thanks so much Denise. Let’s roar together friend!

  12. Kristen

    Again another amazing message Shelly! I love how God turns something so broken into something beautiful. Only He could do something that amazing 🙂

    • Redemption's Beauty

      So great to hear from you here Kristen! Just knowing you are reading along blesses me. And yes, only God can truly transform a life . . . no matter what the circumstances. And I am so thankful for that.

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