Pick-Me-Up: Broken Fences

“Broken and Vulnerable,” © Lynn Abbott Studios. Used with Permission.

© 2018 Lynn Abbott

Perhaps, it’s just me.  But frequently when life knocks the wind out of me, someone or other shows up–ready and willing to take me “out.”

This world just seems to work that way. Have you noticed? When we are broken, we are vulnerable.

If you have grieved over any kind of loss, you understand broken fences.

Sometimes an image says it all.

People often ask me, “Where do you find inspiration for a painting?”  And the answer to that is varied.

It depends.

Yet, often, a landscape painting reflects my heart at the time of painting…

One day, in search of artistic inspiration, I wandered a favorite local haunt with camera in hand.  A historic site, the estate is open to the public.

At the edge of the property, I spied a broken fence. It particularly spoke to me because I had recently experienced loss…

Often, a landscape painting reflects my heart at the time of painting…

In truth, brokenness characterizes so much of our lives in this imperfect world.

And just as in the case of the meadow beyond the fence, my life seemed overrun by wild animals.

When the ship goes down, sharks circle the lifeboat.

Yup. The enemy prowls, and attempts to pick off the weak.  You can count on it.  It’s his modus operendi.

Yet, our heavenly Father infinitely cares about every aspect of our lives.

When sharks circle, He draws near to His child.

When hearts break, Abba longs to comfort.

No matter how small, no matter how insignificant we believe our pain to be, our tears are precious to our Father (Psalm 56:8).

In truth, brokenness characterizes so much of our lives in this imperfect world.

And there is grace. Always grace.

It may not come immediately.  Sometimes, we find ourselves praying year after year.

Nevertheless, we can depend on Abba, (Psalm 55:22).

He hears. He knows. He loves.  And He ultimately provides.

The days may appear dark but Abba will never forsake His child (Hebrews 13:5b).

Indeed, Psalm 34:18 promises, ‘The LORD is near to the brokenhearted, And saves those who are crushed in spirit.’

You and I don’t have to “do.”  It isn’t a matter of proving ourselves by bearing up under our grief.

We find rest in Abba’s arms because He not only knows our hearts, but He loves us perfectly.

His love and grace cover everything in our lives, and so, as John writes in his first epistle, “perfect love casts out fear,” (I John 4:18).

There is grace. Always grace.

What a relief that is!

I don’t have to put on a brave face. I don’t have to hide my weaknesses.

Instead, I run into Abba’s arms and weep.  I can be completely transparent with my heavenly Father.  He loves me like no other.

For this reason, I know I don’t face the wild animals on my own.  In fact, because my heavenly Father is near, the enemy’s snarling and snapping mean nothing.

Without a doubt, God is in control. His light breaks through even in the darkest and murkiest places.

After all, our heavenly Father is in the business of mending our broken and vulnerable fences.

“The LORD sustains all who fall,  And raises up all who are bowed down…The LORD is righteous in all His ways, And kind in all His deeds.  The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth.  He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry and will save them,” ~ Psalm 145:14, 17-19

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted,” ~Matthew 5:4

135 Replies to “Pick-Me-Up: Broken Fences”

    1. Thank you, Bruce! Your encouragement means so much to me! I’m so grateful for all that God teaches me… even though it has meant facing a few broken fences along the way 😉 God bless you greatly, my wonderful friend! Your friendship is truly a gift from God. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Aww, you too! I hope you check out my new site and feel inspired there as well. 🙂 :heart: Where is the link to the award you gave me for Message In Stanza? I have time to do it . I’ll put it up on My Ink Smears sometime. 🙂 :heart:

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  1. Yes absolutely, what a comfort He hears us, sees us, always there, and He feels what we feel. When that realization sunk it blew me away. He isn’t like us, when some one is going through some thing and we feel “for” them. God FEELS our pain, troubles, hurt, joy, happiness, ALL of it. He is inside of us. I love your painting of the broken fence. I think it is my favorite so far :):) I thank God for always blessing you Lynn :):)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love your beautiful description of our heavenly Father, dear Margaret! Thank you; thank you! And thank you as well for your truly kind words about my painting. It is an older piece, but it has always resonated with me. I’m so glad that it speaks to you as well. That means the world to me! ❤ and huge hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I think we all try to do the same, Gary. So much easier to turn to Abba, though, isn’t it? Thank you for your wonderful insight! Your words truly encourage me and I’m sure they will encourage all who read here as well! Thank you; thank you! God bless you big time!

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      1. I owe you an email… just have been so overwhelmed with work lately that I stumble to bed at night in exhaustion. I just don’t know how you are managing to take care of sweet Autumn! Praying you are able to catch up on your rest soon! ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

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  2. When my husband was doing his camping internship, and friend and I walked the back camp property and came across a scene like this! The tree was a loaded apple tree, and rather than let the deer eat it all, we picked some and took it home to make THE BEST applesauce!! Such a fond memory, and your painting brings it back so clearly!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Immensely poignant. When I first came to Christ I was ‘sold’ a Christianity that tried to assure me he was bigger than the big blue genie! That if I kept away from ‘sin’ nothing would ever go wrong …

    Once I’d gotten to know my Jesus (my Lord) and many (many) years later, I can like you honestly say JESUS IS FAITHFUL – even when the Fences are broken and the ship’s gone down!

    Like the song – When I call on Jesus, all things are possible! X

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love that our journey has been a similar one, Warren. Yes, I think there are some who preach “faith without sacrifice.” And it gives many a false impression of what it means to follow Christ. Sigh. But Jesus is so much greater than anything we may face! And like you, I’m so very grateful! Your posts, by the way, reflect your deep understanding of life and Christ’s faithfulness. And that wisdom continually touches my heart and encourages me! God bless you greatly, my friend! 🙂

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  4. Another really good painting Lynn, I can imagine standing right there!

    There is an intensity to this post but I love the words that stand out “There is grace, always Grace”. That’s always comforting, especially when the crap is hitting the fan right?

    God is in the business of mending our broken and vulnerable fences – WowzR, I think its awesome that Jesus was a carpenter and I can imagine him knowing exactly what to do.

    Thanks for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So true, Dave! The Master-carpenter knows just how to perfectly mend our broken fences 🙂 Excellent! Thank you for your kind words of encouragement! It means so much to me. God bless you big time! See you and your lovely bride soon! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Your words lifted me this morning. I seem to be most vulnerable when I don’t feel well. I become impatient and easily give up. This is the time to turn to the One who provides complete healing and relief. Your thoughts got me back on track. Love the painting too.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, Kathy… I’m so sorry that you aren’t feeling well. And how true it is that we are vulnerable when we are not well physically! I have been there more times than I can count. I will pray that you feel better soon! Love you much!! Huge hugs! ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I like your painting, with the broken fence. You are a very sensitive artist, Lynn. You cannot paint a broken fence if yours is still intact. My life too has moments when my fence got broken. It was very painful. The event that precipitated the pain was not always something tragic. It may have been a careless word, a betrayal attitude, a silent cold shoulder… But then the pain came with a fury like a hurricane… and broke my heart… During the lonely hours of sudden pain one lesson I have learned is that the devil hates me with a passion but Jesus loves me with a greater passion. I could not see this difference well during the times of ‘everything is well’. Pain made things clear for me. After the first tide of tears retreated light came to my soul. Pain made me ‘artistic’. I could sing ‘a new song unto the Lord’. I removed my house wife apron and I sat down at the piano. The song was not about frying potatoes but about my Beloved calling me at spring time ‘for the rains have gone’. Pain made me crazy with love. Pain killed my apologies to my enemies. Pain lifted me up! And for that, I am grateful…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh, Lia… You express this so beautifully. And your description is not only poetic but rings with so much truth and authenticity! Thank you; thank you! I wish I could hear your beautiful playing and singing. I look forward to hearing you play and sing one day in heaven if not before! God bless you, my dear sister! You are a treasure! ❤ and huge hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, dearest Vicki! You encouragement has always meant the world to me! And I love the Isaiah passage! Thank you for including it in your comment. I know it will minister to others! And ha! You have found me out… my Pick-Me-Up and Revue posts are just that… the going back to older paintings and/or writings. I only post new paintings once a week. Just too difficult to post a new painting two-three times per week. God bless you, my dear friend! So glad you have migrated to WordPress! 🙂 ❤ and hugs!

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    1. Oh, thank you, dear Efua! You are so thoughtful and kind…one of the many reasons I love and appreciate you so! The loss I refer to in the post was something I experienced quite some time ago, and so I have definitely experienced God’s healing. Yet, even so, I don’t think in this world we will ever fully get over “loss.” When we are separated from loved ones, there is always that “missing” even when the initial grief subsides. And so, I am grateful for your prayers. ❤ and huge hugs!!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Amen! So comforting to know God is in control, even when things seem out of control, and that He cares about every little thing going on in our lives. ❤️ We just have to learn to give it over to Him and rest in His comforting embrace.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I think the reason we have children is so that we can gain an inkling of how much God loves us.

    Matthew 7:11 New King James Version (NKJV)

    11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Oh yes, Lynn. That enemy certainly does take advantage of our brokenness. I’m so grateful Abba will never let him have the ultimate victory over us. I love this truth – “I don’t have to put on a brave face. I don’t have to hide my weaknesses. Instead, I run into Abba’s arms and weep. I can be completely transparent with my heavenly Father. He loves me like no other.” It’s so easy for me to try to put on a brave face. I’m so grateful our heavenly Father sees past it, empathizes with our brokenness, and invites us into His arms! Thank you for this beautiful encouragement, both through your painting and your reflections! Love and hugs to you!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. And I am grateful for Abba’s protection and victory as well, dear Trudy! What beautiful thoughts you express here! You are such an encouragement to me. I truly treasure your friendship! Thank you for your thoughtful comment! You are truly a special lady. I pray God blesses you as you so regularly bless me. Love and huge hugs!! ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, my, Anne… What happened? I find no record of a comment from you. I never saw a comment here on this post from you. This is the first one that has recorded on this post. I’m so sorry. I wish I knew what happened, but I don’t because I never saw the comment and it isn’t in my spam folder. Have you had problems with your comments posting on other blogs? ❤ and hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dear Anne… I will both pray and look into the “like” issue further, dear Anne! But please know that I have also been very delayed in answering comments recently. This may be part of the problem. I didn’t get your one comment, but I have received this one and the previous one. Anyway, I would be so grateful if you could please be patient with me. I am working a 50-60 hour week currently, and thus, I don’t get around to moderating comments very swiftly. It is likely that your comments are just going into my “moderate” queue, and then I don’t get to my blog for several days after the post. If you are looking for your comments to show up immediately, I’m afraid that won’t happen. Unfortunately, I must moderate comments because 7 years ago, I had a blog that was hacked. Thus, I am very careful about comments being published on my blog. I only wish for comments from my valid followers to publish. By moderating comments, I prevent what is called Spamming or Trolling. But sadly, for a blogger who is as busy as myself, that means my friends and followers must be patient about when their comments appear on my blog and when I respond to those very kind comments. Thank you with all my heart for your understanding in this. Much love to you! ❤ ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hi Lynn, I think I’m also being Hacked perhaps by Cults but it does not explain why WordPress Staff were so evasive unless someone is using their Controls and Settings but I agree from now one I will Moderate Comments too.

        I’m not sure what to do about the Likes but Please don’t worry about contacting WordPress until you have some free time, I know your very busy and they may not reply anyway.

        Hopefully Lynn, I will be able to Comment sometime today on this Post, I have been in a lot of Pain after they removed another tooth, it’s the 3rd one and more to go up top at least 5 but surprisingly as I shared with you before, I have not been tired and have had no Heart Pain which is not normal with my Heart Valve Problem but I’m very Thankful, God knows how much we can endure and gives us His Strength so we can and He carries us when we can’t.

        Christian Love my dear Sister in Christ Jesus,
        Anne

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      3. Hi Lynn, I’m not being hacked, it’s WordPress Gravator blocking my Likes and not sending responses to my Comments from other Blogs because they are doing the same with Grannie Annie my Pen Name which is separate from my Freedomborn Blog and has a different Gravator, so it is deliberate
        and could be someone using Google controls and settings or someone connected with WordPress.

        Perhaps they don’t like our Christian Focus like the recent Cult Member that commented on Freedomborn. I had marked him as Moderated yet they still posed his Comments but as he wasn’t reading the Scripture I shared about the Trinity or Godhead as They are called in Scripture, instead he just kept arguing that they didn’t exist, hopefully he will lean otherwise before it’s too late.

        Take Care – Blessings – Anne.

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      4. Oh, dear… I will pray for you, dear Anne! Oh, and I’m not sure you can mark an individual as “Moderated.” I think you have to “moderate” all comments for a blog in order for that to occur. Perhaps, you might wish to check your general settings to see if “moderate comments” is the option you have selected. Just a thought. <3, prayers and hugs!

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  10. Lynn……

    Loved your painting of the broken fence…….you have such a wonderful eye. I can see why it spoke to you friend. My instant thought was this: when we are broken, we are beautiful in the LORD’S eyes. When we run to HIS arms, for HIS comfort…….HE is always there! And that is GRACE! HIS amazing, abundant GRACE!! Thanks for this wonderful post!

    Liked by 3 people

      1. You’re utmost welcome, Lynn. I love reading your posts. They make me smile and make me reflect on my very own walk with God. 💙Hope you’ll have a blessed weekend!

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  11. I was enjoying reading all the responses so much, that I had to go back to your post and skim back through it to remind me of what you said. 🙂 Short term memory loss, I chuck it up to.

    This stood out to me the most, I believe:

    “For this reason, I know I don’t face the wild animals on my own. In fact, because my heavenly Father is near, the enemy’s snarling and snapping mean nothing. Without a doubt, God is in control. His light breaks through even in the darkest and murkiest places. After all, our heavenly Father is in the business of mending our broken and vulnerable fences.”

    I found this so encouraging. God is absolutely in control! No doubt! Tonight he has had me just sit quietly with him, not doing anything in particular, just being still. That is hard for me to do. I feel often like I have to be doing something. Yet, I was to be still. He gave me a song on that subject a few years ago:

    When in The Stillness: https://vimeo.com/126984144

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    1. Oh, thank you, dearest Sue! I’m so glad that the post resonated with you and what God has been doing in your life as well! I can’t wait to have a listen to what will surely be another beautiful song! Love you and your Spirit-filled songs!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Yes so True Lynn, Jesus was known as a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief and He cried but He also tells us when we are Heavy laden to come to Him and He will give us His rest. But my favorite reminder of His Love and Care for us is below.

    Isaiah 43:1-3 Do not be afraid Lynn for I have ransomed you. I have called you by Name Lynn you are mine. When you go through deep waters and great trouble Lynn, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty you will not drown! Lynn When you walk through the fire of oppression you will not be burned up the flames will not consume you. For I am the LORD, your God Lynn The Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.”

    As we also see confirmed below Lynn, we are to ask and receive what is needed from God, sadly many don’t know what to ask for but we know that none of us were Born with God’s Wisdom or His empowering by The Holy Spirit and without them we can’t understand His Truth.

    Proverbs 4:7 Wisdom is the Principal thing therefore get Wisdom and with all thy getting get Understanding.

    James 1:5-6 If any of you lack Wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all Men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in Faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that Man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded Man is unstable in all his ways.

    Luke 11:13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your Children: how much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?

    John 16:13 -15. Howbeit when He, The Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all Truth: for He shall not speak of Himself but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for He shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that He shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

    1 Corinthians 2:9-16 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of Man, the things which God hath prepared for them that Love Him. But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what Man knoweth the things of a Man, save the spirit of Man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no Man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which Man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost Teacheth; comparing spiritual things with Spiritual. But the Natural Man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are Spiritually discerned. But he that is Spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no Man. For who hath known the Mind of The Lord, that he may instruct Him? but we have the Mind of Christ.

    1John 2:26-28 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. But the anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you and ye need not that any Man teach you but as the same anointing Teacheth you of all things and is Truth and is no lie and even as it hath Taught you ye shall abide in Him.

    Matthew 10:26-28 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed and hid that shall not be known. What I tell you in darkness that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear that preach ye upon the Housetops (KJV) perhaps our Computers today.

    Christian Love Always dear Lynn,
    Anne

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  13. Lovely painting Lynn, and such a great reminder! I know this painting will come back to mind when next I experience a break in the fence.

    Also reminded me of Max Lucado’s children’s book about Shaddai…I think it was I Love You SO Much

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you with all my heart, Nanette, for your kind words and encouragement! You have blessed me more than you can possibly imagine! I often wondered if God could use my art to do more than simply illustrate my writing; your words reassure me that God can use a picture to communicate so much more than “a thousand words.” Thank you.

      And I love Max Lucado’s writing! That’s such a beautiful children’s book. Thank you for reminding me of it. God bless you greatly as you have blessed me today! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you with all my heart, Jeff… yes, this remains one of my favorites even though color palette and style have changed a little since I painted this. Nevertheless, what God taught me through that fence means so much to me! God bless you, my wise, talented and witty friend!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. ❤ I love the painting. I love the message you've shared. God finds beauty in our brokenness. Sometimes He connects the pieces, and other times He just gives us something completely new.

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    1. Amen! You are so right, dear TR!! You speak with such wisdom always. And I always look forward to reading your thoughts here or on your blog. My heart invariably echoes your words. So much truth in your posts. God has certainly given you the Spirit of Wisdom! God bless you, my dear friend! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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