The Mender {And a Great Opportunity!}

By about the third time I said, “The timing of this attack is so strange…” I realized two things. One: No, it isn’t. Two: Evidently I’m a much slower learner than I believed myself to be.

It was calculated, of course. A punch in the gut at a moment when the enemy knew I could barely get to my knees. And the truth is, I didn’t leave the battle unscathed.

The Lord has been dealing with me on a few things that aren’t exactly easy. I’m digging into the crevices that have long held power over me, and the enemy of my soul isn’t crazy about the excavation.

I told the Lord I was afraid to travel anymore.

He told me I was going to Peru.

I told the Lord I was too tired to write.

He told me I was relying too much on my own hands.

I told the Lord I had nothing left.

And He whispered, “Finally.”

If I were to be really, really honest with you, I would tell you that as a 25-ish year old woman (what? WHAT?!?!?!), I still struggle with the same thing I did as an 8 year old child.

I was the shortest kid in my class by a landslide. I was also, according to my dad, as fast as the wind.

On team sports day, all the kids would line up at the starting point and I would be shoulders below my classmates.

On one occasion, the man sitting behind my dad made a comment about the “pipsqueak” who was ready to race. My dad sat silent, because he had a feeling he knew what was coming next.

He was right.

According to him, as soon as the whistle blew, my tiny little legs took off and didn’t slow down until I crossed the finish line, which always happened way before anyone elses did.

On this particular day, my dad said he stood up with everyone else as the race ended, turned to the man behind him and said, “By the way, that’s my little pipsqueak.”

I loved to run.

But more than that, I loved people’s reaction when I won.

And over the years, the Lord has taught me (Over and over. And then some more) that I need to stop running for the crowd. The applause is one thing, but truthfully, it’s not what pushes me. It’s the fear of disappointing anyone that haunts me. The feeling that I’m not enough, or that I’ve failed someone. It’s a miserable way to approach the race, let me tell you.

It’s not an easy lesson, nor is it one I would say I have fully mastered. I can probably recite to you (verbatim, with emotion, not unlike a monologue from a Lifetime movie) all the really negative comments I have gotten after nearly 5 years of blogging. I can point you to the people who crushed my spirit by telling me I was something I wasn’t. I can be consumed by it.

And that which bandaged my flesh became a tourniquet to my soul.

I realized what influence they had on me…and the way the crowd could twist their heads away and convince me I was a failure. For most of my life I’ve been desperate to know I was good enough, and they were the ones that told me.

You can ever really be mended when your eyes are searching theirs. Maybe you’ve found this to be true in your own life as well.

You’ve asked the others to make you beautiful, to make you brave, to convince you that your brokenness is curable with praise.

But deep down, you’ve always known better.

Flesh will fail us, and we are left with the bruises.

Who is it you’ve been looking to? A spouse? A parent? Siblings, friends, co-workers? The list goes on.

And we are weary of the journey, aren’t we?

Leave the mending to the Mender, love.

You run this race the way you do because you were made to do it.

He chose those tiny little legs and even He laughed when they said you couldn’t.

Because He knew better.

Your legs are burning and your heart is pounding. You don’t even know if it’s worth it anymore. All the while, He has kept His eyes fixed on you.

When they said you couldn’t, He urged the wind a little harder on your back.

When they told you it was for nothing, He reminded you it never is.

He wants you to be mended, to be whole, to be fully aware of His impossibly perfect love for you.

Run the way you were created to run, and ignore the crowd.

You will learn there is only one voice that matters after all, and it’s the one you’ve been looking for in every other face you’ve met.

He’s here, and He has seen every bit of it.

He will see every step from now until the finish, and I can’t help but imagine He is proud when we do.

Gasping for air or just hitting my stride, I pray I make Him proud by pressing on.

“See that one? She’s my little pipsqueak…”

:)

Thank you, Lord. You have made me run in a way I never knew I could. May it please you and bring you glory.

~A

Now for the fun part!! :)
We want to know how God has mended you from a previous place of brokenness or a place of brokenness for which you are currently praying for mending. Let’s encourage one another by sharing our stories so we know that we aren’t alone. And, in celebration of Angie’s new release, Mended B&H Publishing is going to give one of you who shares your story a day at a spa near you for you and a friend! Get a facial, pedicure, manicure, massage . . . the whole works! Here are the details on how you can share your story and be entered to win:
  1. If you have a blog, write a post reflecting either on an area in which you have been mended or a place of brokenness for which you are seeking to be mended. Include the following text in your post an explanation that this is in celebration of Mending releasing and specify that “it can be purchased here or here.”
  2. If you don’t have a blog or prefer to share via video, record a video sharing your story of brokenness/being mended and upload it to youtube. In the description explain that this is in celebration of Mending releasing and specify that “it can be purchased here or here.
  3. Then, come back to Angie’s blog and add the link to where you’ve posted on your blog or youtube to the linky on this post. Each person who adds their link will be entered into the drawing to be selected at random. And . . . you may be able to be entered more than once! Each post/video will be checked by the publisher at the conclusion of the contest and for every 25 “likes” (Facebook) or tweets of your post by your readers, your name will be entered again! The more your friends respond, the more entries you receive!
  4. All submissions must be posted by 12:01AM on September 11. A name will be drawn and the winning post will be posted on Angie’s blog on September 13 as a way to announce the winner.



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  • Crissy

    Oh I wish I had a blog or could video tape! God in His kindness and mercy has mended me more times than I can count and I am so thankful!

  • http://www.kimvanbrunt.com/honestly-adoption-the-blog/ Kim Van Brunt

    This is beautiful, Angie. I needed this today. Always, when I get discouraged about (whateveritis), invariably it’s because I think it’s all up to me. Only when I come to the end of myself does the Lord say “finally,” and then we can get on with His work.

    I’ll be mulling this one around this week and will definitely consider joining the link-up! Off to check out your new book…

  • Mary

    Angie — as I opened this blog I KNEW the Lord was calling me to work on my next book project, but I was running (and fast) from this work & His calling. Your words stopped me DEAD in my tracks — yes, they did. I, too, am so fearful of disappointing anyone — and I want ALL to love me. Sadly, sometimes they don’t. And that is the catalyst for my next book.

    You encourage me and inspire me with your words and your truth. Thank you for just being …. who God made you.

  • http://twitter.com/AlexaSa16 Alexa Sandin

    Praying for you! …and proud of you too (I’ve been reading since early 2008) and have seen you grow and say “Yes” to so many things he’s asked of you, even while deathly scared :)
    Can’t wait to get the book!!!

  • Laura

    So, if a person does not have a blog, i.e., a valid internet address, then I cannot enter. Is that true? I cannot continue without one it seems.

    • Angie Smith

      Please send an email to my gmail acct (angelac519 at gmail dot com) and I will forward it to the person who will know the answer!!!! Thank you so much! :)

  • http://twitter.com/RebekahRuth17 Rebekah Ruth

    Angie,
    This is sooo poignant! God has been working on me all year (haha…who am I kidding…all my life) to stop worrying about pleasing others. He’s showing me that I need to fix my eyes on HIM. I love your line, “Run the way you were created to run, and ignore the crowd.” It’s even that much more important now that I have started blogging. I have to do what I do for an audience of one. Thank you for so eloquently reminding me that he created me to run this race and he knew exactly what he was doing. God Bless you. I’ll be linking up this week :)

  • Kaye

    Beautiful, simply beautiful and thank you SO much for sharing your heart, once again, in your own elegant and gifted way:) Cannot wait to get your book. Praying for you and your family.
    Blessings today and always,
    Kaye
    Matthew 21:22

  • Sharon

    Be still my heart! Eeekkkk! Was I in the dark here and have absolutely no clue you were writing another book??? I’m so thrilled! Angie I just want to say to you, how you over and over again bless me by your words. You have such a gift and I for one am so thankful you are still writing. More then anything I want you to know that what you do more then anything to me and my heart, is turn me to Him. When I don’t feel like it, when the days are hard, when the pain is too much, I hear your words over and over again in ” I Will Carry You”…bring it to me Angie..bring it to me. And I say that to myself that I know that’s what He want’s of me…to bring it to HIm. Thank you for bessing me the way you do

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  • Noelle

    This post couldn’t have been more timely for me. This is something God has been working with me on too. It’s really hard sometimes not to want the approval of others or the assurance that we are doing things “right”.

  • Coby

    Okay, 4 times in 2 days I’ve heard this message – I think the Lord is trying to get ahold of an area of my heart! ;-) I think the biggest thing I’ve lost sight of recently is that His love for me is unconditional and perfect, that His opinion is the truly the only one that matters, and that it is His Holy Spirit that changes me; nothing I do according to the flesh will change me, it is His Spirit.

    Oh, and Angie, “pipsqueak” is the last word I would use to describe you. In fact, just the opposite – how about “mighty?” :-)

    Thanks for sharing your heart.

  • TCH

    Wow…talk about hitting home! I spent the better part of my adult life trying to live up to an expectation or live up to what she thought of me and that goal was not attainable. Years of trying…setting small goals for myself….and failing continually. Clearly out of reach with every try and the trying was daily. Trying to be the parent and daughter that she needed me to be but failing miserably with every effort. I spent my time trying to find my worth in her eyes but could not find it no matter how hard I tried. Finally after years of short comings and “you almost made it” I came to realize thru God’s help that I can’t find my worth in someone’s opinion of me. It is in me and God …I have to take a look inside and know the races that I have run and the times that I tried that were not “good enough” were actually Good Enough! I cannot raise my child, live my life, keep my house etc to please someone else and what a burden was lifted when I realized that truly …I didn’t fail because the “approval ” wasn’t in the eyes of the one I am trying to please…. I succeeded because He knows that what I gave was my best effort. Even though it may not be know to another living soul…I know that I am striving to make sure that things are right and good and HE KNOWS! I find my final prize in Him. I find my approval in Him.

  • sarahmoseley

    Wow. Thank you for this powerful post. I can so relate. I am such a people-pleaser. I grew up with a lot of perfectionism and legalism and still tend towards that, though the Lord has done a lot of mending. I have a lot further to go. Such beautiful, timely words. Thank you again! :)

  • KHud316

    “You can never really be mended when your eyes are searching theirs.” <— So much truth there.

  • Tiffany Helwig

    Hello Angie, I entered the contest but I accidently posted the first entry the wrong way.. #14. I dont know how to remove it, But the entry #15 with the “Mended..” title is the right entry, I apoligize for the wrong entry.

  • Denise

    A wise pastor and friend shared this lesson with us during a particularly difficult time. Thank you for sharing it with us in the beautiful way God has gifted you. I needed the reminder!

  • Jill

    such a beautiful,much needed post Angie!
    thank you so much for sharing <3 Jill

  • Bethany Hartman

    Thank you so much for sharing this post Angie, and thank you for letting us post our own stories of mending that God is doing. Y

  • Bethany Hartman

    Thank you so much Angie for posting this, and for letting us share how God is mending us. You are such a blessing to me.

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  • http://sufficientgrace-kelly.blogspot.com Kelly_SufficientGrace

    Thank you, thank you, thank you…for this. So could relate to searching their eyes, feeling like not enough, forgetting to just run the race He’s given me with my eyes firmly fixed on Him. Thank you for getting it. And, for reminding me who my Mender is. Love to you…

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  • Teena

    Angie, I have just started a blog post sharing about your book. I will not post it til later in the week. I am not entering…. but wanting to tell you just how much I love it (so far)… so many things I can connect with! I am already thinking of *doing* a Ladies night … and sharing about your book. I read “I will Carry You.” You are close to my heart. I am italian. My mom had one of those pics over her bed. I was raised catholic. My *Moses* …. oh how I could relate. I need to be mended in the area of “weight.” Too much to throw out here. Just wanted to say…. Thank you. Much love~

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  • http://twitter.com/TanaraMcCauley Tanara McCauley

    Angie, I stumbled upon your blog tonight for the first time ever, just as I was convincing myself I needed to log off and go to bed. I’m amazed because this post is exactly what I have been praying about. The need for affirmation and the desire to be liked, accepted, and understood are all things I’ve wrestled with over the years. I am an aspiring writer who’s fairly new to social media and the marketing aspect of this craft that didn’t exist some years ago. When I discovered that it wasn’t enough to just write, but that in today’s publishing world you have to get out there and connect, get likes, comments, retweets and things of that sort, I had to ask God if this was really the environment He wanted me in. He and I both know my makeup. Though it might be easier to bury this flaw of mine by avoiding it, He’s pushing me gently but persistently, like you, to press on. And in this dialogue between Us (He’s the big U, I’m the little s), in sermons I hear, Scripture I read, random blogs I come across, in books where I continue where I left off, there’s a message from Him telling me He sees me, He knows how I feel, yet knows what He’s purposed for me, and He’s with me all the way. As I lay it down everyday, suck in a deep breath and forge ahead, He’s healing me of the need for acceptance from anyone but Him. His affirmation is my joy. And your blog post was just another reminder tonight; a way of His saying to me, “Don’t forget, I’m all you need. And I love you.” My heart is full! Thank you. And thank God for using you. God bless.

  • Rayleine Chagoya

    Hi Angie, God has been working on me trying to mend everyone around me this summer. I’ve been a follower of your blog since 2009 & I’m so excited you’re going to be in Anaheim. CA this weekend.Can’t wait to see you & hear your hubby’s band Selah. Have a blessed & safe trip. See you soon. <3 Rayleine

  • http://twitter.com/chris10price Christen Price

    Hey Angie! Didn’t get a chance to post this in time for your drawing, but thought I’d still share:
    http://theuncontainabletruth.com/2012/09/when-life-shatters/ Looking forward to reading your new book!

  • http://twitter.com/TaraRenae TaraRenae

    Beautiful. Can’t wait to hear your words this weekend. I’m beyond excited and hope to be able to connect with you. Blessings dear one!

  • Sheli

    Just heard you speak in Dallas. I felt like I was listening to an old friend. Although you don’t know me I was so excited to hear you speak. You were fabulous!

  • http://twitter.com/TheArtofPursuit The Art of Pursuit

    I’m a little late here, but late or not this word was timely for me. So…thank you.

  • Mary (wof attendee )

    Thank you for being so real. You are the most precious soul and beautiful young lady I have ever seen!

  • Alex

    This struck something within me…

    Thank you for sharing..

  • Christine Raymond

    I know this is way old, but it was JUST what I needed to read today. Thank you!

  • Kelli Lee

    angie, im 14 years old and i heard your song i will carry you last year in my chours class and have made you my idol ever since. i can’t say how thankful i am that i heard that. i was going through a hard time and needed inspiration and when i heard that song i though god was talking to me through the song. so long story short, you have made a huge impact in my life in a great way and i want to thank you so much!!! :)

  • http://kellyskattykorner.disqus.com/ KellyS91709

    Funny I was looking through my old “Christian” bookmarks, and I randomly picked your page to read today. And I too, am struggling with the enemy attacking at the worst of times. But he knows our weaknesses and attacks when we are seeking God the most, and when we are most vulnerable. He’s the author of confusion and he has no scruples! Isn’t it wonderful to know that the ending has already been written and he is the loser. He knows the book – I don’t know why he doesn’t acknowledge it, sometimes I struggle with the sad fact that even God’s most precious precious angel fell, and will be a eternally separated from Him. It’s in the tragedy I can’t imagine for any creature, even though he screwed up all of existence.

    Anyway back to my point. I absolutely love your quote that you told God you had nothing left, and God said “finally”. I live for those days, I find that is when God can finally use me, God can finally refresh me, God can finally do His will in me because I am broken enough to be moldable. (I’m finally there now after 10 mo. , I think) I pray, and pray and pray for God to give me the grace, & for God to change me – and I obey, and I prepare, and I do things up-and-down – and I am so ready and willing, to receive His teaching, and all that it might entail, but it’s that motherly instinct or that fight that is within me that says I can keep trying to do my best, and I can keep working to be better at this, and I can keep praying harder and I can keep reading my Bible better and I can keep doing this or that that I think are the right things to prepare,. But then when you get to that place where you’re broken, empty and “you’re” best for God’s – just not filling you up, the results in your life that you need, you fall down face first, or knees first, completely and utterly broken, and He just has to restore me to His creation! And I realize I have been putting in a whole lot of work, when I just needed to ask and wait to receive! And I’m 40, & always fall into the I gotta do my part syndrome …. But guess what there is NO (except ask, and believe) my part. My part sucks. That’s why Jesus came He has to do all of my part through his grace! Holy Holy Holy!Praise Him.

    Sorry this is long, my last point is also probably lengthy, but you talked about comparison. And it goes back into the old testament and when God had each tribe, and they each had their duties with the tabernacle, and each family had a particular obligation whether it was caring the tent poles or lining up the tabernacle, or caring tent poles, supplies, carrying the flags, every family had his place to stand. It was all regimented. having their duties. Constantly God was telling them look forward… Ever remember to tell them not to look side to side. This translated to not comparing yourself to anyone else. To keep your eye on the prize (him and His kingdom, His calling) too much ahead and to win the race for God. We’re not to judge each other – we’re not to judge what we’re doing for God – God has a special place for each of us – and they’re all equally important. Gods worth for us is not dependent on what others see us as, He has designed us to carry out a specific purpose and has designed us to carry out that purpose perfectly for Him. And throughout the Bible there are many verses in the old and New Testament that continually come from not to judging ourselves against each other because it brings heartache to ourselves and to God, and it causes strife amongst each other and just a whole myriad of sin etc.

    I hope the negative voices you learn to close down quicker and quicker, and that surely comes w/ age. If your hearts right w/ you and God, if a neg, comment makes you pause consult a mature Christian mentor and pray, then pray for the person who said it if they were out of line.

    Blessings
    KellyS91709