Testimony: Cathy Woodside

23634240_10154747105245989_670128016_oPlease welcome our brand new team member, Cathy Woodside, as she shares part of her story with you! We are so happy and excited to be working with her. We know that God will use her to speak to all of you and we cannot wait to see Him do it!

Writing has always been a passion of mine. It has helped to shape my thoughts, clarify challenges, and process complicated emotions.

As a believer in Jesus Christ, I have prayed that my writings would be used by God to glorify Him. I’m honored to be writing for Beautifully Broken and pray that God uses his gift in me to bring others closer to Him.

In my early years, my life was complicated by living in a home with an alcoholic parent (dad) and an enabler (mom). I became keenly aware of those around me and tried to anticipate the needs of my family and friends.

I placed my identity and value in how well I could fix the people around me. As a result, needy people were attracted to me and me to them.

Growing up in a very Irish Catholic family, I always connected religion and faith with ritual and structure. I connected deeply with God at church services, but the idea of a relationship with Jesus during the rest of the week was foreign to me.

Instead, God became my crisis-interventionist and I would cry out to him only during tough times. I knew enough to recognize his power and ability to comfort but missed out on knowing his character in other ways. His grace, mercy, love, sense of humor, beauty and deep knowledge of my heart was only known to me years later as a divorced single parent.

I entered my first marriage with a desire to heal the broken places in my husband. Of course, it did not work and the marriage ended quite traumatically after seven years. He left for another woman when my daughter was 9 months old and my son was 4.

I realized during this horrendous period of betrayal and brokenness that I needed God. I called on him to help me survive and he was faithful to help me. After 3 years of single parenthood, I married once again and my journey with Jesus continued, becoming deeper and more of a daily relationship.

Last month my husband and I celebrated our twenty-second wedding anniversary. Despite the deep hurt I had suffered, God found a way to not only redeem my pain but also to fashion a most beautiful creation – a new “me” – out of the broken and shattered pieces of my life.

You may ask, “How can something broken be described as beautiful?” Jesus calls our broken places beautiful because those are the places he does his best redemptive work. He comes into the cracks and chips and fills them with his grace. Like cement, his faithful love takes the shards of our brokenness and binds them together to make something new.

We are all “beautifully broken”, aren’t we?

“For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19 (NLT)


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