Diary of a Broke Down Jesus Girl, Part 2

(If you haven’t read Part 1 of this blog post, you might want to click here first. That is, unless you’re the type who just cares about the end of a good story.)

As Kate began to read from her iPhone all of Psalm 46, the tears uncontrollably poured out from my eyes.

1 God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
    and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
    and the mountains quake with their surging.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
    God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
    he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Come and see what the Lord has done,
    the desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease
    to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
    he burns the shields with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”

11 The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Psalm 46:1-11 NIV

Kate then asked if she could pray with me.  Her words were sweet and spoke to the heart of a Broke Down Jesus Girl.  But, the part of her prayer that struck me the most was when she said, “I thank You, God, that You are so proud of Valerie.”

“Wait, what?  Did you just say God is PROUD of ME?!  There’s no way…I mean, maybe He was proud of me when I was a devoted teen for Christ who went to Acquire the Fire events and listened to Skillet and DC Talk even though I couldn’t understand most of what they were singing.  Maybe He was proud of me when I went to UF and finally found a group of Christians to love and serve and grow with in Gainesville.  Maybe He was proud of me when I trusted Him to guide me and provide for me after I moved here to Texas from Florida.  But not now.  Certainly not right now.”

Once Kate finished praying over me and returned to the “new mommy row,” I found myself unable to control the waterfall that flowed from my eyes. “Great, now I’ll be working on pair #4 of contacts…”

As the worship time ended, I managed to clean up my face enough to not feel entirely soaked from my encounter with Kate and God.

The pastor’s wife, who I recognized from my first visits to the church, made her way to the stage to speak in honor of Mother’s Day.  (If this church is the church of pretty Christians, then Ashley is more than worthy to be the queen of them.)  With shiny golden hair, a gorgeous complexion, a teeny-tiny petite figure, and a pair of big, beautiful eyes and smile to match, there is no way one would guess that Ashley is the wife of a full-time pastor and mother of three small children.

Ashley shared her recent story of an ended pregnancy, complete with the ugly, vulnerable details of her journey to trusting the Lord to be enough in her time of grief.  She spoke of the transfer that took place inside of her during this time: the more things that died within her, the more Jesus could replace the death with His life. 

With all the garbage I’ve been believing, with all the hurt and pain I’ve experienced lately, and with all the bad choices I’ve carried, I think I’d be up for a trade like that.  Death for Life.  Death of my inner life for His Glorious Life.  My busted tires and smoking engine and broke down ’98 Toyota Camry for His brand new Ferrari.

“…There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy place where the Most High dwells.
    God is within her, she will not fall;
    God will help her at break of day.”

As I remember how this Broke Down Jesus Girl got to where I am, I realize how much I do not deserve the help of a Perfect God who cares enough to get me rolling again, who offers me a Ferrari in trade for my broken down Camry, who offers me the life of His Son.  I mean, I don’t deserve a Ferrari.  (I’m a passive driver as is.)  I deserve to stay in the highway ditch.  I don’t have the self-respect it takes to drive such a car, and here He’s offering me the keys!

So how does a Broke Down Jesus Girl get back on her feet?

I think it starts with making the trade-up. It starts with taking the keys to a Ferrari even though you wrecked the ’98 Camry.  It starts with accepting Grace undeserved so that you can get back on the road again.

I’m going back to Antioch Community Church this weekend, by the way.  I’m hoping to re-meet Presley or Kate or even meet a new friend.  I’m still very afraid and feel unworthy of a stranger’s kindness or care.  I’m still hurting over recent events.  I’m still not sure how God could offer me so much of His Grace and yet proudly claim me as His daughter.

But alas, “decision precedes emotion.”  And I’m going to decide to not be a “broke down” Jesus Girl anymore…


  1. Pztricia Cooper · May 12, 2015

    My precious Valerie, you have once again touched my heart to its very core. I know that you don’t have any idea how beautiful or intelligent or wise that you are, but please know that you are all of those things and more. You are a willing vessel being broken and apilled out for the Lord…just where He wants you to be. I love you and am watching prayerfully to see what wonderful things God is going to continue to do in your life. God bless you,

  2. Cheryl Lay · May 12, 2015

    You are an amazing writer! Val, We love you dearly and miss you so much! You are far from a Broke Down Jesus Girl, God has given you so much talent, and we are very proud of you!!! I believe we all feel broke down at times, but then when we realize that God’s Grace and Love “NEVER” leaves us !. It was beautiful to see how God placed those ladies in your life at the right time- He always goes before us, and never leaves us. What a comfort. Love you Valerie. Have a wonderful week.

  3. michelle pritchard · May 12, 2015

    God uses the ordinary for extraordinary stuff. You won’t always be a broke down Jesus girl….and even broken – HE still shines. It certainly sounds like HE wants you to plant roots at that church – for now. Stay, return….and let HIM move you when he wants. You once told me that my blogs refresh you and spoke life… Your blog reminds me of another — another girl. HE is indeed proud of you. HE is indeed the one that will change your thinking — you are not broke down – just in a transition time that GOD will use in your future ministry.

    Lord, I pray right now, that today– Val will go to her mailbox or something will happen and she will know that she knows — she is indeed a princess – righteous in every sense and YOURS — and perfectly esteemed through YOU. Lord, may your Holy Spirit speak LOUDLY to her, and may she allow HIM to comfort her — and then as she feels the arms of her loving Father- may she just EXHALE and enjoy YOU — IN Jesus name.

    I know you are pretty busy! I am glad you honored your mother’s day request – she is right – amen.

  4. Pingback: You’ve Never Exactly Been a Wall Flower, You Know. | A "Val"iant Effort
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