This past weekend I attended Refine Retreat hosted by Kris Camealy in Ohio.  Friday night Kris opened the retreat with a lovely photo of open hands and told us to expect the unexpected.

As tired as I was from the traveling I did in March, I went on to Ohio and Jesus met me there.  In an way I did not expect.

Truthfully, I had no expectations.  I knew I was tired and wanted to rest.  Kris had built plenty of personal time into the schedule.  It worked well for me.

We talked about brokenness and shame.  How shame can be like “duct tape that binds us up and keeps us from living.”

I can’t begin to process it all in these first couple of days, but one thing that stood out was that Jesus will take our brokenness.

Jesus will take our shame.

He will cover it with his blood and redeem us.

Our cracks will be filled and we will be redeemed.

On Saturday afternoon there was an art journaling session.  This beautiful piece of art was created by Annie Barnett, one of the attendees.  She explained to us about the Japanese art of Kintsugi.  How broken pottery is repaired with gold and them becomes more valuable after the repair.

As humans, we want to hide our flaws.  Not only from ourselves and others, but sometimes I want to hide mine from Jesus too.  Like he can’t see them!  Yet, he created us.  He created ALL of us…even our flaws.
Jesus sees the beauty in us.  He sees the beauty even in our brokenness.  Maybe in spite of our brokenness.  Or because of our brokenness?
I don’t have the deep answer, but I know I am loved.  And while I am not flawless, I am being redeemed on a daily basis through the refining process of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.
And you are loved.  And if you know Jesus, then you are also being redeemed.
Music for the weekend was provided by Christa Wells and Nicole Witt.  There album More Than Rubies has a beautiful song called Image of God.  The song speaks to our brokenness.
You can listen to Image of God here
Our brokenness…our pieces…our fragments…our discoloration…all brought to Jesus and he makes us His. 
His – in His image.
His – in His time.
His – in His way.
Lord, may be embrace the fragments and pieces of our lives that make us yours.
May we learn to accept that refining is a process and takes time.
There is much more that I need to process and want to share.  Teri Lynne Underwood was also a speaker at the retreat.  If you have not met her or do not read her blog, run…don’t walk to check her out!  More on what she had to say later.  But as a teaser…Rest is a blessing, but what if the gift of rest is what we give, not what we receive?  You can also read more about the weekend from Laura’s perspective.
May our day be filled with unexpected blessings that remind us
that there is beauty in our broken places. 

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