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The Broken Rose

I'm Jackie!

Through the years, It has been my joy to write words that have captured the essence of hope in suffering. That have encouraged countless people to boldly face their seasons of struggle.


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If you never go anywhere but where Christ leads the way, you need not be afraid of storms, for they will beat upon him more than upon you


Chemo day

I’m strong, at this point.. but I’m so scared…

I’m headed into my first round of chemotherapy and I am so scared.

I am scared of how my body will react to the treatment.

I am scared my children will fear their mommy because of how she will begin to look…

I am scared to look in the mirror and not see “me” anymore…

I am scared to be broken.

Have you ever been given a dying rose? A rose that looks broken?

Who wants a broken rose, right?

A rose that has been stepped on. A rose that no longer looks as it did when it was bought. It’s now bent with no thorns or stem to support it, and its color has gone from bright and shiny to dull and dim. Its exterior is ugly because most of its petals have fallen off.

If I handed you a rose with that description, would you take it?

In this world, broken things are despised and thrown out. Anything we no longer need, we throw away. And if it’s not attractive or pleasing to the eye, we pass right by it, sometimes STEPPING on that very thing.

So again, would you take it?

Probably not.

Giving a thumbs up to all of my family and friends back in the waiting room, Emilio, my sister and I begin to walk into the chemotherapy room.


My heart sank in fear. I thought I would be in a room to myself, but I wasn’t.

My first sight was a terminally ill cancer patient. She was identified as number 22. This was her second time having cancer, and she was currently getting a hydration shot. She was fragile and had no hair on her head or face. She looked so weak.

For me to see that brought such fear to my heart. My soul was in despair. I saw myself being her in a couple more sessions.

I continued into the room, and saw that there were four chairs inside. As I sat down, there was another women next to me. She was number 23.

She was on her 2nd round of chemo. She looked sad and depressed, but completely normal on the outside. She had a full head of hair and looked pink in the face. But I knew her heart was bitter. I felt it every time she looked at me.

I was in chair number 24.. The youngest one in the room.



At that moment, I felt like crying but nothing was coming out. Somehow, I feel like I have to be strong for the stranger sitting next to me and the one across from me.

Yet I’m breaking inside.

I closed my eyes and began to pray, pushing out the voices of all of the nurses around me and the thoughts of me being broken. I could hear and feel my heart beating slower and slower. Calming down… I began to rest in the presence of God, my fear slowly leaving my body.

Philippians 4:8
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

Visitors are now coming to see me. One visitor after another.

My heart is saddened that no one is coming to see the other two patients. They are both alone.
The lady noticed and began to tell me that it wasn’t going to last.

“You will get weak,” she said, “and this happiness you have now, won’t have forever.” She was so sad and defined by her fear and cancer that she had no hope.

I turned and said to her, “As long as I have God, I will have joy.”

At that moment, I knew I was being tested, but no matter how much I feared I still exalted the name of Jesus. I had to!

As those words came out of my mouth, Pastor Sammy Flores walked in.

He began to tell me the promises of God. He began to reassure me of His goodness! God used Sammy to strengthen me again. He was like an angel sent from God at the perfect moment!

The entire room heard our conversation and saw us cry. It was evident to all how much hope we had in our God! The terminally ill patient smiled the entire time as if she was receiving every word.

Unfortunately, number 23 didn’t.

Pastor Sammy began to pray for me. I could feel the tension from the other patients in the room. But God knew I so needed this prayer!

When Sammy finished praying, he stood up and immediately turned to the lost ones in the room. “May I pray for you?” He asked both women.

To my surprise they both nodded. Immediately, all chains of sadness, brokenness, depression and everything that was not of God was shunned out.

At that moment I was no longer trembling in fear, the enemy was, because he was facing the presence of God! A peace filled the room. Smiles filled both patients and we began to talk about my JESUS!

It was amazing! I walked in there broken, scared, in despair and so discouraged by what patient number 23 told me. But I ended up being restored, renewed, lifted, strengthened, cared for and loved!! Heck, I even made friends!

It’s now been about 6 hours and I have about 45 minutes left before I complete my first round of chemo!

I’ve laughed and cried and laughed again. At times it’s just been so quiet. A good quiet.


I began to consider what brokenness means in the eyes of God.

During the final week of Jesus’ life, He was eating a meal, and “a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head” (Mark 14:3).

The woman’s action of breaking the alabaster jar symbolized a couple of things.

Jesus would soon be “broken” on the cross, and all who follow Him must be willing to be “broken” as well.

That’s when I realized that to be broken is a beautiful place to be in life. The result of such costly brokenness is beautiful, indeed.

So, yes – I am broken just like a rose that has lost her petals and her physical beauty.

Yet here’s the beautiful part:

What happens when you step on the petals of a rose? Though it may look ugly on the outside, the aroma of the inside of the rose begins to fill the air.

God sees the broken rose and, most importantly, smells the aroma of my broken heart and soul. It is just as if I were washing His feet with the most expensive perfume!

He picks up the rose and begins to mend it.

Instead of it being something He rejects, it’s something He embraces..

My soul is an aroma to God in times of despair. In times of brokenness. When I confess that, I give Him the opportunity and all control over me to begin to mend and mold me the way He wants.
Today, He picked me up and began to mend me.

But for Him to do that, I had to be a broken rose.

Leviticus 26:13

“I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to walk with heads held high.”

Being broken opens worlds of possibility that don’t exist when everything is intact. If being broken can turn into something beautiful, then I will embrace my brokenness!

Real victories happen in weakness, where strength through Jesus is closer than my very next breath!

My sister and hubby are in the room with me now, counting down the minutes before my treatment is done.

It’s been such an emotional and tiring day. I got to see the sun rise in the morning and got to see the sunset as we drove back home.

When my nurse comes in to check how I’m doing, the room is empty. I’m the last patient there.

I boldly asked her, “Do you go to church anywhere?”

She replied and said, “Yes, I go to Life Pointe.”

I said, “What?! Is your pastor Travis Johnson?”

She said, “Yes!!”

“You guys have been praying for a young woman with cancer, right?”

“Oh my goodness,” she said. “How did you know?”

I replied with tears in my eyes, “That young women…is me. Thank you for your prayers.”

She was in shock and so honored to have been my nurse. I felt the same way, just vice versa!

All of a sudden, my sister shouts with joy: “In the chaos and rollercoasters of life, we will always have something to celebrate!”


My chemotherapy was done! Tears of joy and triumph rolled down my husband and sister’s face. And I, too, began to sob uncontrollably. It had felt so good to cry like that – to cry as I was held in the arms of Jesus!

“You did it,” Emilio whispered.

“We did it,” I said back.


God brought us through!

 Romans 8:37

“We are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”

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