Brokenness – quite the word! It brings such thoughts of pain and loss and grief. The news communicates stories of brokenness on a daily basis. Our personal lives often have multiple themes of brokenness happening at once. I’m learning that brokenness is a process and it’s very similar to an onion – layer after layer after layer is peeled back; often these layers are not even seen or recognized until I am walking through them. Brokenness is tricky because it hides easily and seems to be gone only to pop up again very unexpectedly.
So, how to deal with brokenness? Well, the first step is to identify where the breaks are – and that’s where I am right now. I can tell brokenness is there…and it’s bugging me and affecting me both personally and in ministry. The source of the brokenness is what I’m not sure of yet. It could be lingering church abuse or effects of the divorce or just the pain of life that I haven’t dealt with properly…who knows? The key is that I’m listening and searching and embracing input from others – I’m not okay with coming up short and losing…that’s not who I am!
Second, I must remember that my God has created me to be victorious – to be an overcomer – to be a leader and a minister. To care for others, to share Christ with people and to help draw people closer in their relationship with God. Brokenness can either pull and distract me from my call or lead me closer to Christ which fulfills my call with greater effectiveness. Jesus promises that His burden and His yoke are easy to bear – which gives me comfort that this isn’t His burden. Will I “fight” the brokenness in my own strength or turn to God and trust that He is still standing by my side?
This leads to the third step which is to live a life of humility. Brokenness reminds me that I’m not “all that” and that God has not created me to do this on my own – I can’t overcome brokenness by my own strength or even the strength of others. I must fall upon the mercy of God and allow Him to expose the source of the brokenness – it’s in my weakness that He is made strong. It’s in my pain and hurt and failing that I remember my dependence upon His goodness and love. I am a broken man; I am a flawed human – and this is where God shines! To pick me up, to dust me off and to allow me, by His grace, to become a source of hope for others who are broken like me.
Brokenness can lead to a strength and hope unknown in my life if I trust God, submit to him and allow the painful process of healing to continue. I’m nowhere near complete, but I refuse to stop in the middle of the process. I will run the race to completion – in my marriage, my family and my ministry. I will run and not look back, I will press on and embrace the future hope and destiny that God has for me.
It’s never fun walking through the fire, being in the storm, stumbling in the darkness…yet, in the midst of the brokenness I can hear God – I feel His presence and I know that He is with me through the pain. Brokenness hurts, brokenness disrupts and brokenness often involves painful memories, hurtful scars and deep anguish. But God will not leave, He will not forsake, and He promises to make beauty out of ashes. I have experienced this, and continue to experience it, first-hand and God will do the same for you!