Ruined Together

October 24, 2012

Everything caved in last Thursday. It’s hard to be ruined.

I am beat down- 4 weeks of speaking to a dad-gum lot of people, with Haiti in the midst, and dreaming about a future project in Nashville thrown in.

The fall out was intense enough that I wanted to run from every calling I have. I wanted shallow small things to still distract me, like they did back when I was not all ruined.

I had a weird few weeks- from Christian rockstar land to Haiti… people asking me to sign their bibles or their arm with a sharpie (I did neither) to children begging for food in tent city, Haiti.

UN freakin’ DONE.

About in tears, I called my kindred soul in this, Jen, Wednesday night after a day neck deep in the mecca of Fancy Christendom (Nashville).

We wrestled together…..

Are we ok?
Are we in our spot?
Is God for this American Christian thing we are doing?

We laughed- I cried.

Today I won’t run, we have been given favor and access to stages and books and blogs so we can gather and release our generation to….

be ruined together.

We are not here to sing and dance or make you laugh…we are not even here to teach you your Bible- though we certainly will.

We are here to grab your faces and lift them up…. up so you see God… so you remember He’s real and He built all of this and we are headed home soon. We are here to grab your hands and run with you and cheer you toward the stories He wrote for you here. We will stand on our stages and write our books or our blogs screaming that shallow small things don’t last and the things that ruin us do.

We are here to help you persevere- to remind you it’s worth it- He is worth it.

And it’s not glamorous and it’s full of angst and attack and cost…. but how could we ever ever remind you of God if we didn’t need Him so much it hurts. He is building things here with our ruined selves that may just go on forever. I don’t want to miss that.

A few weeks ago, my friend Lindsey Nobles was staying with us in Austin-  Zac locked her out and at midnight when she got to our house after a Tullian Tchividjian conference… we didn’t hear our phones or the doorbell or the knocking.

She gave up and slept in my car. Lindsey Nobles slept in our car.

The morning after “the car”, after a lot of pained profuse apologies, Lindsey chuckled and said, “the conference last night before the car sleeping was entitled ‘Glorious Ruin’. I slept in your car. I suffered a little and I kind-of liked it.”

I want to chuckle at ruin. I want to kind-of like it. Because this is a glorious ruin, the kind I would never ever want to miss. We who are most ruined- are most blessed. We have shared in His sufferings… I want to give enough of myself away, I want to be ruined enough to possibly share in something with Jesus.

Is it hard to be ruined? Are you craving shallow?

24 Responses to “Ruined Together”

  1. You’re experiencing things that most will never experience Jennie. I’m so grateful that you are undone before the Lord and that in your ruin He lifts you up! Keep being scary-faithful to Him. We love you! I’m praying for you in this season.

  2. Amen and Amen. You are so right…the shallow things are no longer distracting and discussion of them makes my skin crawl. I feel abnormal and sometimes I just want to be normal. Austin is a like a breeding ground for ex-fancy Christians. Yay!!! I am ruined for fancy Christendom. Thank God. There are some of us, as Jen H. has said, who are prophets…and no one likes a prophet. But what prophet has ever been able to suppress the message?
    Let’s see how God ruins other brothers and sisters. I can’t wait!
    PS We’ve never met. 😉

  3. So appreciate your raw honesty… in this blog and on the pages of your writing. I think it’s what motivates the rest of us to get real & be real with our sisters… and walls begin to crumble a piece at a time.

    I have a ladies Bible Study in my flower shop on Wednesday mornings. We began Stuck last week and all of us I think are feeling the Holy Spirit lovingly coax us out of hiding. Thank you, thank you for this work. One woman had the hugest breakthrough today in chapter 1… and she’s 79. Thank you Jesus!

    Thank you Jennie.

    • This is one of my most favorite things anyone has shared here… flower shop. Honest women. 79!! Swoon.

  4. I have to say: the parts of my life story that are the bleakest, where I am ruined and the plot is ruined and I can’t see a way out, those are the chapters I now treasure most. All those fissures let the glory through.

    (They also, apparently, let a lot of my brain out. But we’ll keep it spiritual here and not talk about how I can’t call my children by their correct names lately to save my life!)

    • Oh so true Kelly! And you’ve got nothin on me. Do not ask me my kids birthdays even on a good day.

  5. You’ve left me crying real tears this morning, Jennie. I needed this, and I need you in my life. Thank you for always teaching me, walking ahead on the path and pointing me to Jesus. Love you fierce.

    • Oh dear- I do love you too. What a gift to be ruined with some of my favorite people on earth!

  6. Carol Hulin

    I`m of an older generation, but I need to hear this too. I need to read my Bible. I need to have my face lifted up to God.
    Yeah I need to be ruined…..Ruined for Him, what a awesome thought….
    Thank you

    • Yes- we must never make this isolated to a generation- thank you for that.

  7. Meg Hughes

    I desperately needed to read this today. I begin leading “Stuck” at my church tonight after taking several months off from leading and teaching, and the enemy has been relentless in his discouragment as the time nears this evening. This morning as tears streamed down my face, I begged God to strengthen me for what He has already planned. I know this post was part of His Strength pouring into me. Thank you from a fellow ruined Sister.

    • Meg- praying right now for you. And let me say- there should be warning on the box- Spiritual attack has surrounded every one of my friends who has led Stuck. A good sign- I assure you- nevertheless hard. I am sorry.

      • My co-leader and I also faced attack before starting Stuck, but it has been amazing and God has done great things, This week we finish with Unstuck. Thank you Jennie!

        • Oh so happy you made it through. So exciting! Tell your group I say Hi!

  8. You do…you lift my face to the God who sings His song of redemption. Often I clamp my hands over my ears because I don’t want to hear it…again. I don’t want to need His grace…again. That I’ve failed again and I need this gospel…again. It’s humbling and feels humiliating. I CRAVE shallowness. If I could stay in la-la land and never engage the depths of my soul…oh would I. But He is asking me to walk honestly before Him and sit there in that painfully freeing honesty. So yes…ruin is hard and yet ruin helps us breathe again.


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