They called her Jane. She was a sweet, grey, rough-legged hawk with keen amber eyes.
I met her on a crisp, sunny January day. A recent storm had blanketed the countryside with fresh snow that gleamed and sparkled in the morning light. My man and I had gone for a hike at a local conservation area, following bunny and deer trails through the woods. Our walk ended at a small raptor center where birds of prey, found injured, are nursed back to health.
I lingered at the hawk habitat snapping slow, careful photographs. Jane had been hit by a car while hunting roadside. One of her wings had been partially amputated to save her life and this small habitat was her new home.
To see such wounded frailty was heartbreaking. What is it to be a bird without a wing?
Her brokenness resonated within me: my near-shattered heart grieved the emptiness of a useless womb. Infertility had left me wrecked, feeling trapped and betrayed by my own body.
As I put my camera away I whispered, ‘You are beautiful. You are still so beautiful.’
The tears came then.
There, with the sun high, the snow bright, and a stunning majesty that held beauty despite brokenness, my heart was pricked by the finger of truth. Who am I to the Creator who formed me?
Beautiful, though broken.
Precious, though crushed.
How often aren’t we hit midflight only to find ourselves broken and bleeding at the side of the road… grief-spattered, dream-shattered. And lying there numb and shocked, don’t we often feel empty of potential, use or hope?
In Isaiah 43, God whispers (sometimes shouts!) His truth:
Listen to the Lord who created you:
“I have called you by name… you are Mine.
You are precious to me… You are honored, and I love you.”
He is Creator God: painter of sweeping sunsets and Northern lights; architect of mountains, deep ocean beds and unseen galaxies; He is the composer of birdsong, rolling thunder and the sweet symphonies of falling rain. He is the sculptor of flesh from dust, the Breath of life.
We are daily awed by the gift of beauty all around us. We see past the fallen, busted state of this world to see the wonder of God’s hand but our weary hearts are reluctant seekers of the beauty within us.
You are Mine…
If my wing is clipped and I am afraid, He shelters me beneath divine wings, strong and healing.
If I am weary and bruised, having fallen hard at the roadside of life, He scoops me up and carries me on the wings of eagles.
If I cannot see past the grief of dreams lost or shake the profound grip of brokenness, He sees me whole in Jesus. O, sweet mystery of grace!
He sets me free.
You are beautiful, friend. Even when (with your wing tattered and heart grief-stained) you cannot see it… believe that He does. He sees straight to the beauty He created.
You are His. You are precious. He loves you.
With Him, you can fly again.
Will you let Him set you free?
By Thelma Nienhuis, Life as TwoLeave a Comment
Linda Thomas says
Oh, that is beautiful! A friend’s 8 year old son had his leg amputated at the knee a few days ago due to cancer. They will cherish your perspective. I will send them a link to your post. Thank you for your blessings.
Oh Linda.. that sweet little boy! I just said a prayer for him and his parents.
Words like that can only come from the heart of a women who knows brokenness – yet also knows, and has experienced, the tender care of a Father who heals. Who comforts. Who councils.
Thank you so much for sharing. Just beautiful.
May you be blessed as you go about your weekend 🙂 And may He reveal Himself to you in new and refreshing ways!
What a beautiful post! Thank you so much for sharing. May the Lord bless you! ♥
Thelma!! You have such a wonderful way to say things…. I’m so blessed having you as my friend…
A beautiful picture, indeed. Thank you for your heart and words of encouragement.
beautiful writing. i was crying with you when you were crying. that bird IS beautiful, and so are you! so are all of us in His sight, covered by His blood, and we just can’t see it. Satan whispers in our ear and spreads lies. i, too, lost two babies, while in the womb. they are in Heaven waiting for me. i went on to have more children, so i cant say that i know your exact pain…but some of the feelings you described and the brokenness i know. God really is our Healer, isnt He, and He does heal all things. thank you for being such a blessing with your story! how you will touch the hearts of women who have lost and are broken!!!
Nacole, thank you for your note! Thank you for sharing here about your two precious babies that you weren’t able to hold on this side of grace. I am so grateful to read the hope and healing in your words.
God is good!
“Will you let Him set you free…”
That is the question for my life right now. I know He can, never have doubted His ability. However at this point I’m not yet willing to stop fighting in order that He may free me.
Thank you for sharing your heart, thank you for sharing your struggles. It is comforting to know that while our situations are usually all so different we can still relate and encourage one another. May He bless you for your openness.
I well understand ‘the fight’, truly I do. And most days are still a daily walk of surrender. Praying for you as you walk what is clearly a road of pain. May His nearness and love be a banner over you.
Robin ~ PENSIEVE says
Oh, Thelma…beautiful. The imagery, the brokenness, and the precious redemption. You’re gifted to write and thank you for sharing your words and encouragement in this space. I know it will reach those who need to hear.
I so pray the same, Robin!
Beautiful post, my friend. ♥
Living the Balanced Life says
Wonderful, healing words today.
Begin again, each and every day
Sarah Harmony-Powell says
Beautiful and so true. What a great reminder to all as we each struggle with our own inward doubts and hurts.
Such beauty and truth. Thank you.
I really needed to hear this AGAIN today. my life was completely changed after a car accident/brain injury 10 years ago. Everything I knew of my self and the work and “ministry” I did was wiped out…i get to have a life again, and it is a reimagined one, very different from what I always thought I would be doing. I know that my Creator doesn’t expect me to be who I can’t be now, but I sure did need to hear those words ” Beautiful, though broken. Precious, though crushed.” and know that if we humans can respond with such love and compassion to a wounded bird, how much more can our God love us, broken or limping though we may be. Thank you for sharing…bless you.
Kathi, your words moved me. Especially where you wrote that our Creator doesn’t expect us to be who we can’t be now… I really need to pray about those words, because I think there is deep truth there that impacts the way we choose to view ourselves. Thank you so very much for posting this.
Lynn Mosher says
Oh, my! I forgot to breathe! So beautiful!
Katie @ Imperfect People says
So beuatifuly written! Wow I love it!
Connie@raise your eyes says
“You are His. You are precious. He loves you.
With Him, you can fly again. Will you let Him set you free?”…beautiful…Thelma, I praise GOD that as you let Him free you, He brings those who need what only you can give into your circle of flight.
All for GOD,
Thelma! So wonderful to see you here – shining your bright light for Him! Pointing us all back to the One who loves us in all of our broken and battered glory.
This is wonderful and I wish I could print this up and hand this out to every person who doesn’t know how to respond to my husband and my acceptance of God’s will. Isn’t that what we are supposed to do?? Goodness!! I am exactly as God created me and so is my husband. Our bodies are doing and producing exactly as He created them. That means we haven’t gotten pregnant and I choose to joyfully accept God’s will. it’s tough and there are some days that it sucks but we aren’t called to only be happy when He gives us what we had been hoping for. This is only part of my life that is meant to be lived for His glory. Only part of it. Praise the Lord!!!
What a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing what God is teaching you through your struggles.
(in)courage: Free says
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