beauty in the broken
Do you ever read something or hear something that just resonates with you so much, that helps you process and identify things that you really didn't even know you were feeling and needed to process? Or maybe you know there's something, but you can't quite put a finger on it? And then you hear a song, or listen to a message, or read a devotional or a blog post and it all comes into focus? That happened to me this morning and I wanted to share it, just in case it might help someone else the way it did me.
Sometimes I feel great. I know my worth, I feel confident and peaceful and full of joy. But sometimes I feel like an absolute mess. Like I should have it all together by now, like I'm still broken and overly sensitive, like even a glance in the mirror reminds me of all my flaws, and I fee like I have nothing good to offer anybody.
That's how I felt this morning. My feelings were hurt, financial stress was weighing me down, there were grounds in the coffee, and I felt ugly and exhausted. And then I read this post on Ann Voskamp's blog:
When I got to this part I really started to pay attention:
… and you feel like something’s broke.
Like the world’s gone mad, like your heart and head have just up and shattered over night and you are sitting in a mess trying to put the pieces together again and we all get old and there’s no defying it and you aren’t all you want to be and neither is anyone you love.
Because although Ann's life and circumstances are very different from mine, we all feel the same things from time to time. We are not alone. We all get weary. For me it's not about an upcoming birthday, but it may be subconsciously about a date on the calendar that means it's been three years, and this is not what I had pictured.
I know that God is working in ways that I cannot see and when I am discouraged, I find hope in His Word.
Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good. (Romans 8:26-28, The Message)
It's like I told my kids three years ago, and I still remind them now and then: Even though this is not what we planned or ever wanted, God can turn it into something good. He specializes in taking broken pieces and arranging them into something new and beautiful. Things will never be the same as they once were, but we are not ruined. We are being made into something new. Sometimes the process is long and hard, and even painful, but He's doing a good work. It will be worth it in the end, but it's also worth it now. Because in the waiting and in the process, He holds us so tenderly. He loves us in ways that we only get to experience through brokenness. It's humbling and hard and so beautiful all at the same time.
When we feel unlovable, His perfect and unfailing love reminds us that we are His treasure. When we blow it, He restores us with His amazing grace and mercy. When we are heavy laden, He gives us rest. NOTHING can separate us from His love.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? …
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us…. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth –
nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” ~ Romans 8
If you haven't yet, I encourage you to go read Ann's blog post. It's also about wanting to be found and letting yourself be loved. I'm still getting the hang of this. It's challenging, but also rewarding. And so very worth it.