Friday, May 13, 2011


By Elisa Morgan

Can I ask you something?

Are you in a ditch? A what? A ditch. You know, a rut – whether within an existing road to a known destination, or just off the shoulder of such a road. A ditch.

A few weekends ago I filled in for my ailing pastor and preached for the four services. My topic was “Broken Families.” The big idea of my sermon was that I come from a broken family…my family is still broken…we all come from a broken family…because God’s family is broken. In each service, God poured healing and hope out on families of all shapes and sizes. I was humbled to participate. (You can catch the audio of this message at and the video at

After one of the services, through the winding line of folks waiting for prayer and to be anointed with oil, an elderly woman hobbled toward me with the aid of her cane. Her shock of white hair was every 70-year-old’s dream shade of wisdom and came not from a bottle but from life. Her eyes shown with brilliant emotion.

I tipped my tiny bottle of oil onto my finger and reached to her forehead where I anointed her broken family in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. I prayed that God would hallow her broken family, hold her broken family, help her broken family and heal her broken family. She accepted the blessing and then opening her eyes, she took my hand and said, “Elisa, God wants to heal the little girl that is you as well.”

I met her gaze of love and nodded. I knew. I’d known for years. Through multiple seasons of therapy, prayer, Scripture application and life, I’d experienced layers of God healing my “little girl”, the one that was so frayed from my original family. But in this woman’s choice of present tense: God wants to heal, I understood that while God has healed, he still wants to heal me. In fact, in the months preceding that weekend of the broken, God had been gently peeling back a new layer of release in my soul – one where I was accessing his love for me without platform, place or title. His “just because” love.

In our lives: our relationships as friends, wives, moms and workers, we tend to fall into the same ditch over and over again. Motoring along toward our planned destinations, we note the traffic signals and adjust our speed to the traffic around us. When all at once we find ourselves on the shoulder of the road, stuck in the very familiar ditch of a past definition, in the rut of a scar from an historic wound.

So stunned that we here – again – we stare down at ourselves as the injury reopens and pulls us in. A sinking stuckness surrounds us. Eventually we come to our senses and realize while we’ve been here before, we’ve also found our way out before. We remember. We look up and God comes and offers – again – a hand up and out.

We are wounded, broken folks who were and are in the process of healing. We get stuck not when we remember this, but when we forget it.

Need a hand up?


  1. Elisa, This is beautiful. You speak of God healing our brokenness but also I get the sense from your words that we need to embrace it at the same time (as God heals us). I hadn't ever thought about God's family being broken too, but it is. Thanks for the hope.

  2. So good, Elisa! Thanks for being vulnerable and sharing. And I love how He used your preaching!

  3. I have nothing but pure loving family growing up memories and an extremely protected upbringing. Not that I EVER wanted struggles - but hearing everyone else's horrible tales of childhood always made me wonder what I could possibly have to give.

    I finally know - thru my writing and personal mentoring of the young single adult women at our church I can offer hope - God's hope. My parents demonstrated an earnest authentic walk with God and now He has allowed me to lead others. I oversee over 100 volunteers a in our ministry and I believe it's a direct reflection on the leadership I saw lived out.

    My heart grieves deeply that your life is ever robbed of minutes dealing with whatever injustice you faced my friend! God loves you and is the perfect Father!

  4. Elisa contact me

  5. Such a powerful post, Elisa! We need God as our present-tense Healer every day. Thanks so much for your authenticity and compassion!

    Cheering you on,
    Jodi Detrick

  6. Amen! That is a very affirming truth. When I stare in the face of "being there again," I remember Phillipians 3:12-14
    12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus...
    Sincerely, Kathy DeWitt