By Annmarie Miles
(From the July - September 2018 issue of VOX)
I hope you don’t mind if I continue my thoughts from the last VOX magazine where I was talking about my journey to wholeness. I’m still working my way through it all; finding new insights that are blessing and challenging me. This time around I’m pondering the broken pieces.
I have often felt like I’m falling apart. At times, emotionally. Often physically. Every day, sartorially. (Oh yeah! That’s right, I know big words!) If you’re unsure - falling apart sartorially basically means I’m a shabby dresser. I’m at the stage where I need to check the mirror before leaving the house. The ‘inside-out garment’ is a regular blunder. I have a canny knack of looking like I got dressed in the dark.
A few weeks ago, as I was walking to work, I couldn’t understand why my uniform didn’t feel right. The back of the dress is straight and plain, the front has a neat little twist of material pulled to one side to give it some shape. It felt wrong because the knot was digging into my back. Thankfully I worked it out before getting to the office, and quickly ducked into the Ladies to swoosh the dress around before heading to my desk. My dignity preserved; this time anyway.
In the book of Jeremiah, reading from The Message, the prophet cries out, “God, pick up the pieces. Put me back together again. You are my praise!”
There’s so much I love about this short prayer. In his brokenness, Jeremiah relies on God for restoration. God made us in the first place, so he’s the expert craftsman. He’s the only one fully qualified to repair us. Yes! I take the help I can get – there are times I have been on medication, seasons where I’ve had the help of counselling, and these days I’m trying to look after myself better. But my reliance needs to be on God for the ultimate repair job.
I’m struck by how Jeremiah finishes his prayer though. I’m great at starting those prayers. “God help me, I’m in bits!” I’m not so quick to finish my prayers with praise. I praise when the answer comes of course, but Jeremiah does not wait for the answer before the praise kicks in. Praise is part of his prayer. At the time, Jeremiah was undergoing a backlash from those who God had sent him to. He was serving God, speaking words that had been given to him but the people were not listening. The prophet knew that God was though, and he chose to continue in God’s service, and praise him anyway.
I’m still very much ‘in bits’; learning to spend more time praising while the pieces are being put in place. If you’re like me, under construction, let’s keep our eyes on the Maker, our Fixer.
And if you spot me on a bad hair day with buttons done up wrong and a different shoe on each foot, just imagine I’m wearing a big (and probably lopsided) “God at work” sign.
Annmarie Miles is originally from Tallaght and now lives in her husband Richard’s homeland, Wales. As well as VOX articles, she writes short stories, and is working on a book about her journey with food, weight gain, weight loss and God. Visit her blog at www.auntyamo.com. On Twitter she is @amowriting.