A friend of mine and I have been talking about our brokenness. How we know we’re broken. How we can feel that we’re broken. But I said one night, “You know what though? Just the fact that we know we’re broken makes us lightyears ahead of those who are but have no idea that they are. We’re actually the healthiest kind of broken out there.”
And I truly believe that. Recently I wrote the following in my journal:
“I am just so grateful for my quiet life filled with peace. Thank you for rescuing me and releasing me from that chaos and pain. I cannot believe that was my life but I will never again have to feel the way I felt for those twenty years. I am thankful to the point of tears. My home is warm and quiet and settled and my shoulders are no longer hunched and I am deeply calm and I am not trying to figure out an unmanageable situation every single moment of every single day.
I am not a mess anymore! I am being healed and restored and made whole and new each day. I don’t have to weigh my every word. I can trust the words coming out of the mouths of every person in my life. No one in my life thinks I’m an idiot or annoying. In fact, the people in my life today love me, support me, pray for me, fight for me not against me, encourage me and build me up.
I am not afraid all the time anymore. I am not worried all the time anymore. I am not angry all the time anymore. I am not confused all the time anymore. I am not sad all the time anymore. I am not stupid. I am not this mess that I felt I was all the time. You are healing me. I am more whole and stable and gentle even – with myself and others – than I’ve ever been.
I AM FREE. Jesus, thank you with everything in me for setting me free.”
And then I read these words from Psalm 66:
Oh, bless our God,who keeps our soul among the living,
and does not allow our feet to be moved.
For You, O God, have tested us;
You have refined us as silver is refined;You laid affliction on our backs;
You have caused men to ride over our heads;
we went through fire and through water;
but You brought us out to a place of rich fulfillment.
Listen, when I thank Jesus for setting me free, I do not simply mean from my marriage. When I say that I was living in chaos for twenty years – though I was – I am not implying this was one person’s fault. I was a participant in the mess. I was a participant in my brokenness. I was a participant in the failure and breakdown of my marriage. Jesus set me free from all of that, not from a person or an institution.
I used to hate the question, “how are you?” because for twenty years, I knew that I had to lie. I knew “awful” was not a Christian-culturally acceptable answer. Then I started to hate the question because I was beginning to feel better when a) I didn’t think I should be yet, and b) I wasn’t ready to give up being pitied. (I know, I’m a freak.) And now, last night, a couple I haven’t seen in a little while asked me how I was, and I knew they really wanted to know, so I said, “I’m the healthiest broken I’ve ever been. There’s more peace than chaos, more happiness than sadness. Things are really, really good.” And I meant every word, and I said it with a smile, and then, I asked them how they were and when they said, “crappy”, I was able to listen and empathize and take it in and not walk away immediately because I was able to hear it, and I told them I would pray for them and I meant it and hopefully, just hopefully, I was able to encourage them a little bit.
Because we’re all just various levels of broken. We really are. And knowing that and owning it can make all the difference in the world. Embrace the broken, sweet ones. The Lord builds up, gathers, binds and heals the brokenhearted. Let him.
I feel much the same way. While I am not yet as far on my journey as you…in being able to tell others that I live in total peace and happiness. I can relate to brokenness=health. Our group of Safe Women were reflecting recently that we find it odd that for as broken and crazy as our messed up lives are – we feel we are some of the healthiest women around. We each are digging deep into issues that promote our recovery and health, seeing things as they really are. It is HARD work and exhausting…and oh so good to be healing. Broken, yes. Healing…such sweet balm. Thank you for sharing your journey with us and casting a light of encouragement.
Your brokenness is completed. The bars that surrounded you are also broken, so that you are now able to move out of the cage you were in. You are able to see more clearly and to breathe more freely. Despite being broken your strength has returned and is growing. You are now in a place to minister to others in a fresh new way with more power, love and compassion than you knew before. This is exciting and wonderful for you to share this with others. It brings hope and meaning to the struggle. What a powerful message. God is continuing to rise up within you. This is only the beginning of what He is doing in you and through you.
Hallelujah and Amen!
AMEN! and AMEN!! I met a woman for the first time last night in small group, and she commented on how healthy I sounded. What an amazing gift from the Lord to read your post today on the heels of that comment! I am set free! I am working hard toward complete spiritual freedom. (will have to share my curriculum guide with you) I am so EXCITED to see what God has planned for my future!!
New International Version (NIV)
16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
17 My sacrifice, O God, is[a] a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart
you, God, will not despise.
It is in brokenness that we provide access to our hearts to God and those in our lives. Brokenness allows for greater dependence on the Holy Spirit and greater humility to serve others with compassion. I am loving that God answered my prayer and broke my heart. At first it looked like just a human story…but now I know that it was a gift of love from THE lover of my soul. Praising God for my broken and contrite heart and the healthy woman it is growing me into. So encouraged by your journey. Thanks for sharing.