If It Ain't Broke...

...Don't fix it.

We've all heard the saying.

When I was younger the saying used to be "If it ain't broke, Noelle hasn't found it." (Coleman used to say "God is the maker of all things and Noelle is the breaker of all things." neat. Thanks Coleman.)

So, what if it is broke?

Well, I was.

When I started this blog the intent was to blog you through my life, but 6 months late. I've strayed from that. But today I'm going to do that.

6 Months ago I was broken. broken. broken. shattered. totaled. smashed. not functional. Get the picture?

My life was spinning out of control. I wasn't doing well in school. I wasn't sleeping well. My friendships were more stressful than encouraging. When I did hang out with friends I always came home crying. When I did sleep I'd have nightmares about the earthquake. When I did study I'd think about how pointless it was to be studying how babies suck their thumbs in developmental psych, or how Louis Pasteur made up a new kind of glass bottle with a swan neck in microbiology, or the tiny fossas and cracks in your bones and all the crazy names for them.

I didn't want to be in America. I didn't want to waste any more time. True, every weekend I was speaking at a different church or venue and raising money and awareness for Haiti. But I wanted to actually be there. I wasn't ready to be there. I would have just been a total emotion pile of mess.

Very few days went by that I didn't call my mom crying. I deleted my facebook. I turned off my phone. I literally wasn't sure that I was going to survive until Spring Break. I'm not sure what I thought was going to happen, but I didn't think I was going to make it.

Y'all. I'm not exaggerating. I was a total shipwreck. Not the pretty ones where the ship gently runs aground in beautiful blue-green water then sinks slowly, giving the sailors enough time to play and do rope swing flips into the water while waiting for a rescue ship.

I was this kind of shipwreck. Dark. Dirty. Messy. Scary. With no rescue boat.

I'm not exaggerating. I'm trying to accurately describe to you how broken I was. If I don't describe how utterly "without a paddle" I was, I can't tell you where I am now.

So I've set the stage. I was broken.

Even though I felt like there was no rescue ship. Even though I felt like I was without a paddle. Even thought I felt like I was on a roller coaster and forgot to pull that weird bar down over my head to hold me in.... I wasn't. I KNEW I wasn't, and that was the only thing that kept me hanging on. Even in my dark shipwreck I looked toward that weird scary, orange light and prayed for a rescue boat.

That rescue boat came. Not like a Coast Guard helicopter that lifted me right out of there. This was a little paddle boat that took a long time to arrive. I tread water for long time. And talked a LOT with my captain. And rescue came.

This summer God did some incredible healing in my heart. I know I'll never be "good as new", but I don't want to be!

I'm stronger with the mending.

When I was in Haiti. When the earth was shaking with aftershocks and I read aloud and quoted verses about God being my strong tower, my refuge, and my rock. That was comforting. When I was broken and I read about how Christ is the healer, that was encouraging. But I was still broken. When God showed up to that shipwreck and pulled me out and became my rock, my stronghold, my shelter, and my healer... that was life changing.

This summer was a slow healing process. I didn't wake up one morning and think..."WOW! I'm better!" But I did gradually wake up with more joy, with less nightmares, and with more peace.

This past Sunday was 8 months since the earthquake. It gets a little easier each month. This month, at church I cried. A lot! But they weren't sad tears. It was tears of joy and thankfulness.

I'm thankful that I was in Haiti when the earthquake struck. I'm thankful that God rescued me. I'm thankful for the healing He's done and will continue to do. I can't believe how in love with Jesus I am. When God proves Himself it really makes you love Him! Too bad it took me getting all smashed up to get to this point.

What's neat is that I realized that earthquake or no earthquake, I was a shipwreck. That helicopter rescue boat had already saved me once when I accepted Christ's gift of forgiveness all those years ago!

We sang "A mighty Fortress" at church. Its really basically the words I have been telling myself and praying for the past 8 months. I love these songs.

A mighty fortress is our God.
A sacred refuge is Your name.
Your Kingdom is unshakable.
With you forever we will reign.

Followed by:

Praise the Father
Praise the Son
Praise the Spirit, Three in one.
Clothed in Power and in grace.
The name above all other names.

My heart has been healed. Sometimes there is a need for a new heart of flesh to be placed within me. Sometimes that new heart of flesh requires my heart of stone to be broken... And I'm ok with that.

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