What You Meant For Harm

God always meant for good, oh enemy. No podcast today, but a poem instead:


Meeting my adopted brother’s birth family in their mudhouse in Romania for the first time, before we adopted him. Ten years later I would meet them again and put them in touch with my little brother who has since visited them twice. Sadly, his birth father has passed away.


You intended to harm me
Power of blindness
As you lashed a child of God
In punishment, upon a heart so broken 
Crying out for Love
And me, his sister kept at bay
Fearful, helpless there she stood
Rejected, forsaken, she believed of God.

You intended to harm me
Power of blindness
As you spoke the words
As God’s and not your own
Words birthed in lies
Yeast wrapped around
For my wounded heart to feed.

You intended to harm us
Power of blindness
As the walls of fear you built
As the hardening you there grew
To hide the ache beneath
Your fear keeping us just beyond
Love’s tender whispers
Ever speaking.

You intended to harm me
Power of blindness
In sleepless nights
Daughter ever ill
Slave-driving an ever illusive perfection
Beloved mother dying a world apart

My soul now aching, breaking.

You intended to harm us
Power of blindness
Our family ripped apart
But for this daughter’s hands to love
And wash and hold, a world apart
As cancer stole and tore
From a mother in whose womb I grew.

You intended to harm us
Power of blindness
But God had always planned
Each and every wound for good
His love and grace
In power He displays
For no weapon forged against us prospers
For His children in His hands remain
Waiting for appointed time
They will yet wake to Life.

As my heart lay broken
My mother dying
Confession from her lips now pouring
It’s then God’s tenderness
In waves released
Not my many sins to punish
But God’s true Father heart to pour.


For the joy set before
Was not our countless sins
“Forgive them, Father
For they know not what they do.”
He wept in prayer, for He saw beneath
Not just our sin
But our suffering too, He bore.

And so
Not punishment
But Mercy speaks
Beyond all human fathoming
Christ’s crashing waves
Each hidden crevice meets
Of broken open hearts
His love He sends to balm and bind
To restore each broken child
His own.

Blindfolds ripped
Each lie at cross now bows
His Love there speaks
Word in Spirit
Not of fear, but Truth
As hearts begin to see
No longer idols set before
But Christ alone
The Way and Truth and Life
Beckoning all His children come
Just as we are.

His face
His tears
His wounded hands
And open arms we see
“Return and rest” He calls.

Not turning us away
For all the many sins
But curtain ripped
Our curse on cross He there became
Whipped and scorned and bleeding
From His own beloved Father torn
His bleeding heart in us He lays
In Spirit breath our souls to claim.

Each hardened heart He
And pours.

And now His children 
Walk towards those arms
That hold us as we cry
That speak the truth
And give us courage bold
Our hearts to bare
Our Truth to speak.

Rejected, scorned and turned away
By children aching
You break our tired, hardening hearts
In Yours to bleed again
To live and breathe as One.

With grace for every sin
Confession flows
From our selfish hearts
Love calls us grow
To lay us down
To know the length
And depth and breadth of Christ.

Not to punishment or hate
But to Love and Mercy
Our Christ and King us calls
His hands and feet
Beyond the camp to tread
His heart to bleed and bare.

Christ’s Church
As One in Him now grows
Prayer of our Savior
Our Amen we gift.



From deep grief and terror to joy and peace and more and more healing in the LORD. This is what Jesus brings.


11 thoughts on “What You Meant For Harm

  1. Amen, so very beautiful, Anna. I love that precious photo of you as a child. Your deep heart is so visible! Jesus is so merciful to meet us and to bring us along His pathway as:

    “Each hardened heart He
    And pours”

    Oh, thank You Lord Jesus, for tethering us to Yourself all along this process. We are never left alone, even in the middle of what the enemy means for harm, Jesus is still transforming to bring about His own dear good. Thank you for these precious words today, Anna. xo


  2. Amen. Oh what a precious Promise that is: He truly never ever leaves or forsakes us. I am so thankful for my parents never excluding us from ministry but always taking us with them, even when it was dangerous. I will never ever ever forget Romania and the rows upon rows upon rows of babies rocking to and fro in their cots, nor the AIDS ward, with babies left all alone in isolation. It still leaves me in tears. So thankful for all your love and prayers, Bettie. You are His Promise (oath) to me 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That must have been awful for such a young heart to experience in Romania, Anna. My heart wrenches at the thought of all those babies. I can’t imagine the pain it caused you to see it all. Did you have nightmares? The look on your face in the child picture looks so heart-wrenching. But in the present picture of you, your eyes portray the peace and healing God is giving you. I’m so grateful
    “His love He sends to balm and bind
    To restore each broken child
    His own.”
    He is so faithful to heal us and to “tether” our hearts to His, even when our hearts harden. Love and blessings of further healing to you!


  4. Thank you so much for your sweet comment. I can’t remember having nightmares. But I think that’s when I began praying in a new way. That’s why it was so very hard for me to watch what unfolded with my brother. God’s heart in me broke in two. I see God teaching me so much though.

    Romania birthed my listening to God in new ways. It has only gone deeper: He’s teaching me to see and feel His heart from both sides. My Mum loved my little brother, but couldn’t get through to him. Being a Mama now, I can only imagine how much that broke my own Mum’s heart. He is healing my heart by breaking it in new ways. Thankful for you xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So beautiful, Anna. From a feeling of rejection to a knowing of acceptance and love to share with others! I love the whole poem and especially this ending:
    “Not to punishment or hate
    But to Love and Mercy
    Our Christ and King us calls
    His hands and feet
    Beyond the camp to tread
    His heart to bleed and bare.”
    Much love with blessings and hugs to you, dear sister! xoxo


  6. Like everyone else here, I concur that your poem is beautiful! God never, ever let’s us go. I’m glad of His peace that now resides in you. Yes, God softens our hearts and His mercy is new every day.


  7. Amen. And from a body captured by trauma to a body healing daily through each and every trigger. May Jesus keep cleansing us, His Church and Bride, to make us One in Him. May His Father heart shine brightly. Sending love and hugs across the oceans xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Amen. Oh our Prince of Peace never ever left me. He kept residing in me and has called me ever deeper into that peace…even through my Prodigal journey joining His Body together, sowing seeds of peace even in my blindness. I now look back and marvel at the peace He gave me in my years as a Prodigal- I now see it was because I was arising in who He had created me to be. Freed from legalism and sitting with “sinners” knowing myself to be one too. Those 20 years were His gift to me. His Body – the Prodigals with the heart of Jesus still beating strongly beneath the hardness – embraced me…and Jesus softened and opened us up more and more. It won’t be long and SO many Prodigals will be coming home. Jesus has used the rejection some of us have faced in the church that first sent us packing to lead us out to draw His Body unto Himself. Nothing is outside of His sovereign purpose.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Lynn: the lack of peace you see in this piece came at the beginning and end of my Prodigal journey. The beginning was when I arose in Jesus and faced attacks of the enemy. The end was the same … and now, this time, I am choosing to walk through the attacks and let them be used by God to strip away the lies I agreed to as a little girl: the lies spoken over me as I arose in the truth to speak of the finished work of the Cross.


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