As I give speeches, I marvel as a roomful of women listen attentively to my story of brokenness. Legless Judy perched in her wheelchair peers out at seats filled with beautiful women with whole bodies. I always wonder: What can they glean from my tale of broken dreams?
Once again I watched His Majesty in Brokenness mesmerize an audience. This time at a ‘Tea with Judy Squier’ in Santa Cruz, California. Antonelli’s Clubhouse felt more like London’s Buckingham Palace with Bonnie Smith’s linens, china cups and saucers, tea pots, centerpieces. (Bonnie’s collection takes thrift shopping to a whole new level.) We all were pampered savoring scones with Devonshire cream, finger sandwiches of all kinds, dipped strawberries and so much more.
I wrapped my life stories around Beth Moore’s statement:
Practically every little girl has at least four dreams –
1) to be a bride
2) to be beautiful
3) to be fruitful
4) to live happily ever after
Born broken, I never risked such dreams, nor did my parents. But God did. Echoing through my lonely childhood and wilderness teen years was His Promise: For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)
With book in hand, I read portions of Celebration on Hold, Wedding Miracles, Courage Begins with Fear. The stage was perfectly set, as Lynnette, Emily and Rose sang El Shaddai – my all time favorite song (which daughter Emily keeps practiced for my memorial service). Yes, the All-Sufficient One showed up at our tea party, rekindling hope in the hearts of women whose dreams had been tried and tested. Together we laughed at God’s sense of humor. We stood in awe of His wondrous deeds.
Indeed my story is a Cinderella tale with His Majesty being the Prince, Who longs to make dreams a reality in each of our lives. Hand over the broken pieces so I can create a Masterpiece, Jesus extends this offer. Yet, too often, an ever-present seed of skepticism retorts from deep inside, Surely there’s no such thing as living happily ever after!
Together with His Majesty, I, the little crippled girl who was too afraid to dream, provided living proof that in Christ there is a happily ever after. But it’s not like in the fairy tales. In fact its quite different.
I closed my talk by describing my formula for happily ever after. For me it involved:
1) exposing the shame
2) embracing the pain
3) extracting the precious from the worthless.
As I greeted individuals in the book line, one conversation brought life to my three points. Jenny introduced herself and told me she was blind. Immediately she asked if she could feel my wheelchair. Then she asked if she could feel one of my stumps. She gently held on to my left stump as we talked.
At that moment in time living happily ever after happened: Judy’s shame came out of hiding, Jenny embraced my pain and together we extracted the precious from the worthless.
What about you? Where has happily ever after shown up for you recently? Tell me about it and we’ll celebrate with a tea party. Let’s call this one Tea with His Majesty….
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JUDY SQUIER has authored His Majesty in Brokenness, Living in the Names of God and the Living in the Names Bible Study. Husband David and she have three adult daughters, three sons-in-law and seven grandchildren. Never did Mr. and Mrs. Squier dream that their long-awaited golden wedding anniversary would coincide with David’s memorial service. Judy resides in southern Oregon, alone, yet not alone. Thanks to the Good Shepherd!