Better Days

We met over virtual nutella cupcakes one very late Thursday eve. It was during a Five Minute Friday (#FMFPARTY) Twitter party and there was an instant bond as I felt her heart seeking His.

We’ve been shedding and sharing our hearts together ever since. And I’m so honored to have her here, sharing with you.

Friends, will you please give Tonya a warm welcome?

Tonya, this space is yours:

Music Post Picture

I am not sure when I first started to believe it.  When I started to allow the lies to shadow who God had created me to be.  I am not sure when I determined that the only offering He ever requested – me – was not good enough.

How could He want me? I was busted and broken. Wounds open, festering and smelling.  Community had just stabbed at my dreams and the bleeding out was critical. This messy heap, this is not the sort of gift you give to your Creator.  This is not what He would want.  These shattered pieces would be better swept up and tossed away.

And a long-time faith walk of joyous hallelujahs transformed into a deafening silence as day after day I tried to fix what only God could – my broken heart.  Joy was silenced by my inability to bring my very heart to Him – the messy, chaotic way it was.

             “Beautiful the mess we are…”  – Amy Grant

And when I first heard this song I was standing in a merchandise tent at a Christian music festival, the demo earphones covering my ears and tears streaming down my face.

Beautiful?

My mess is beautiful?

That was a beginning, albeit a shaky one.  One that knew more steps backwards than it did forwards – but it was a beginning.

My hoarse and desperate cry – Better than a hallelujah.
My ugly sin stained heart – Better than a hallelujah.
My self-doubt and fears – Better than a hallelujah.

My life, the messy bits too – Better than a hallelujah.

As we give over to the anguish that is our soul, God is listening.  His ear is pressed close to our hearts and He is listening to all of that pain and desperate and fear.  His ear is pressed close because He wants to hear our song.  The one that keeps us moving closer to Him, the one that has us bending knees and beating chests – it’s our song and He wants to hear it – a melody of surrender. 

“We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody.
Beautiful the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a hallelujah” – Amy Grant

Subscribers, CLICK HERE To listen in to the song below:

You may read the lyrics HERE.

Brian and ITonya is the wife of 21 years to one good man and the mother to Mikayla (19) and Dylan (16).  She is learning that even though her and husband are entering their “empty nest” years the beautiful task of mothering is never-ending.  She is grateful that the grace of the Cross covers all of the things that she may have left undone as she prepares her children for the big wide world.  Tonya writes over at Stone to Heart in hopes of having others recognize the beauty of their own story despite life’s circumstances.

How about you, friend? Have you surrendered your beautiful mess? Have you sung your melody of surrender lately? What does your song sound like? We’d love to hear. 

Thanks for sharing your time with us.

Simply striving,

Nikki (and Tonya)

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17 thoughts on “Better Days

    • Girl – I can always count on your sweet words and for that I am so grateful. Thank you for stopping by and sharing my beautiful mess with me – more than words friend, it means more to me than words.

  1. I love that song, always have. What a great reminder that no matter how much of a mess we think we are, He thinks we’re beautiful. Reminds me of the Phillips, Craig & Dean song “Favorite Song of All” in some ways. Lovely post!

    • I love that thought friend – He thinks we’re beautiful – and it’s a bit a struggle every day isn’t it to let Him hear the hallelujah’s of our life – even the ones that are covered in mess.

      PS… I’ve never heard of that Phillips, Craig and Dean song – I will be sure to look it up. Thank you for stopping by and saying hello!

  2. I cry a lot when I hear that song because it touches the part of me that has no confidence in my self, my abilities and my talents (?). Thank you for this reminder that ANY communication we have with God is better than a hallelujah :).

    • Anita,

      Oh I hear your heart in these sweet words friend. God loves you so, so much and all He wants is you – all of you. And your fear and lack of confidence He has felt and experienced it – every part of it and He holds it all in His arms. Reaching out holding your hand and praying for you.

  3. Tonya, I hadn’t visited Nikki at her beautiful place in a while–and now I am so happy I did, as I got to be introduced to you! These lines: “As we give over to the anguish that is our soul, God is listening. His ear is pressed close to our hearts and He is listening to all of that pain and desperate and fear.” Just beautiful–the intimacy of Him leaning over us, touching us, desiring to hear our song. Yes. Amen. Thank you.

  4. Jennifer – I am so glad that you stopped by and that I got to meet you too! And thank you for the follow friend. It is my hearts cry that I would feel God’s ear pressed to close to my heart everyday and that I would offer Him all that I am… Thank you for such sweet words.

  5. Hi Tonya! I’m an empty nester too and, like every stage, it’s a sweet time. I love love LOVE that song and nearly burned up my ipod with it when it first came out. Can y’all believe we serve a God Who thinks we’re beautiful in our mess? He is GOOD 🙂

    good to see you, Nikki!

    • Susan – He really is good! Truly! And for that I am grateful because goodness knows that I have made messes… but grace it covers doesn’t it? So lovely to meet you Susan.

  6. Oh, Tonya… your messy heart bleeding out describes a place I’m sure more souls than you and I have visited. But, you described it so very beautifully, and painfully, and gracefully. I love how God lays the words upon your heart. Many layers of beautiful. So many.

  7. I love, love that song and so grateful to find my way here to read your guest post Tonya. I’m still asking that question, “How could He want me?” And maybe that is why He led me here today. When with friends last night I shared how I know God loves me and I believe it with all my heart, but I don’t always live like I know how much He loves me despite the mess that I feel I am. I’m soaking in your words and need to go play that song!
    Thank you for sharing your heart.
    Blessings,
    Beth

    • Beth- I hear your heart here friend and I know. But more importantly He knows friend. Praying that God shows you the beautiful in the middle of whatever you’re facing today. That you will feel Him near. He’s holding you friend, it may not feel like it but He is holding you. Reaching out and giving you a warm hug.

  8. Pingback: Better Days | Stone to Heart

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