You may arrive at the Pure Desire Women conference, carefully towing the misshapen shards of your brokenness—surrounded by a large group of women, yet feeling so alone. Insecurities gnaw. Is that woman across the room a friend or foe—one betrayed or the betrayer? Do I drop my shield or draw my sword?
While we may assume we arrive on two sides of a divided and bloody cavern, we have much more in common than we allow ourselves to believe. We are women. Broken. Wounded. Messy. All of us yearning for relationship—longing for restoration. Is it possible to experience genuine hope, wholeness, healing, and freedom?
In the opening session, When the Heart Shatters, I will close the gulf between us—the gulf that pain causes us to dig. This gulf can only repair when the Father lifts our gaze to the finished work of the Cross. Whether we arrive at the conference the betrayed or the betrayer, or we straddle both sides of the cavern, the trail-head toward wholeness is the same for all of us. We stand together in the same deep valley of brokenness, needing the healing work of our Savior. Our shattered hearts and the pain that often divides us from one another is actually the landscape where Jesus does His best work. He is the Healer, the Overcomer, and the Master of Repair.
This session is an opportunity to lay down the pain we’ve caused others or the pain others have caused us. I understand the shrinking effect of pain, guilt, humiliation, and shame. It shrinks our dreams. It shrinks our relationships. It shrinks our hearts, our faith. It shrinks our lives to the level of our greatest failure—our deepest pain. In this session, I will share my personal story of brokenness. My goal is not to erase the past, but to reveal God’s power to heal the pain that was left behind.
We will discover the renewed strength that begins to flow through our life when we grab hold of God’s grace for us and then extend that grace as a healing balm toward others—even those who have hurt us.
Sound impossible? Giving and receiving forgiveness might be the single, hardest act of humanity. C.S. Lewis described the difficult act of forgiveness this way:
Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea until they have something to forgive.
Whether we are giving or receiving it, forgiveness feels unnatural, difficult, and unfair. Actually, apart from Jesus it is unnatural. We need to discover the kind of forgiveness made possible through Christ. This power to love and forgive doesn’t begin with us, it begins with Him. It doesn’t emanate from us, but from Him. He helps us love each other with a divine love, a supernatural love, a grace-filled love. He shows us how to extend forgiveness when people least deserve it and least expect it. He reveals the power to be set free from the devouring work of unforgiveness.
In my second session, I acknowledge this fact: the experience of certain days will change all of our days. By sharing more of my personal story, I hope to illustrate how we can begin to recognize Jesus’ immersion smack-dab into the middle of the pain we face today. We need to realize: the place of our deepest pain and every razor-sharp, misshapen piece of our soul is the place of Jesus’ most passionate pursuit.
This session will serve as an instrument to soften the cutting edges of our despair and shape a lovely mosaic from every piece of our story. If our life has been scraped raw with pain, this session will provide God’s healing salve to our deepest wounds and reveal God’s presence in the place where our heart hurts most.
My prayer is that you will discover the whispers of Christ’s love during those times you have felt most abandoned by Him or too ashamed to face Him.
In Colossians 2:7, the Apostle Paul admonishes us, “Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught.”
How do we allow the roots of our faith to anchor into Him when the chaos of life seems to up-end all our efforts toward healing? How do we develop what Author Eugene Peterson coined, “A long obedience in the same direction?” How do we acknowledge the source of security that recognizes, “Even if_______, even there God will hold me fast?”
Everyone wants to experience a miracle. I’m sure every one of us wants to experience the miracle of complete wholeness. But here's the catch—no one wants to be in a situation that necessitates one! Author Mark Batterson writes,
The prerequisite for a miracle is a problem. You can't have one without the other!
In the midst of the circumstances we face, how do we cut loose from those self-defeating thoughts that seek to drown us in despair? How do we train our thoughts to align with God’s promises? What if this could become the pathway to experience the miraculous hope and freedom Jesus died to give us?
During the final session, we elevate Jesus’ promise to reclaim our past and rewrite our future. In our culture where a multitude of strengths finders and personality profiling tests exist to help us discover and hone our strengths—in a culture that trains us to believe our strengths have the most profound use for God’s Kingdom purposes—it’s hard to know what to do with our weaknesses. We are trained from childhood to put our best foot forward, but what if God is most glorified when we put our weak foot forward and allow people to see our wounds?
In my personal experience, it’s not my strengths God has used most. My accomplishments have not brought Him the most glory. In my life, God has used the rubble, the mess, and the waste to bear fruit.
Could it be our greatest pain—our deepest failure—is the raw material Jesus wants to use to produce an abundant harvest from our life? Sometimes when it seems Jesus is thinning our life, He is actually thickening our character. Dr. Alicia Britt Chole writes,
Jesus decreases our fullness to increase our fruitfulness.
Betrayal has a way of forcing us into a harsh winter season. Our brokenness is no longer hidden by the dense fullness of summer. Like the bare trees of winter, fractured branches and twisted limbs are exposed. The beauty of winter is our ability to more easily discern what is broken and offer these areas to Jesus.
It would seem we don’t have much left to work with, yet Jesus still calls us His one-of-a-kind masterpiece. Life unfolds in glorious ways when we hand God, not only our brokenness but the pen of our life and offer Him full editorial rights to our script. When life looks much different than planned, God’s master blueprint remains intact. When reality fails to reflect the life we dreamed of, may He open our ears to listen. The etching of the Author’s pen is still writing—reclaiming our past and rewriting our future.
The painful experience that prompted us to register for this conference is not hidden from His view or beyond His power to heal and restore. Whatever rocks caused us to trip and scrape our soul raw, God sees them as stones that hold the power to amplify the roar of the River of Grace. Maybe those rocks represent things in our path that provoked our ruin, those decisions that caused our shame, or the circumstances that incite the chaos in our days. As God’s healing water rushes over them, it is often those same rocks that reflect His goodness and beauty.
He redeems everything we allow Him to touch. Our rocky valley of trouble can become a doorway God uses to bring hope. Our failure, the hinge on which those doors of God’s grace swing open. He uses the one who is aware of her need for grace. She is the one who can show others what God’s grace is capable of.
Though the enemy would like our worst day to become our defining day, Jesus doesn’t put a period at our point of failure and pain. The uneven terrain we are walking over right now, Jesus has already walked on our behalf. In the words of Steven Furtick,
He is working out everything you are worried about. Just because we can't always see him working, doesn't mean his work isn't already in progress.
Join me at the Pure Desire Women conference. I pray you would come expectant, allowing Him to reclaim your past and rewrite your future. Nothing is so broken that it can’t be healed. No one is so lost that Jesus can’t find you right where you are. The place of your deepest brokenness is the place of God’s most passionate pursuit.
Beauty awaits, my friend!
Patty has enjoyed the privilege of serving as a teaching pastor and conference speaker to audiences around the world for the past 25 years. Her riveting journey amplifies God’s ability to transform the devastating landscape of our lives into fertile ground. Patty shares deep insights from Scripture with a simplicity that offers shattered hearts hope and healing. Every story she offers confirms Jesus’ ability to redeem anything we allow Him to touch.