This is a topic that is very near and dear to my heart because even if we aren’t going through it right now, we have all dealt with it at some point of time in our lives. At some point or another we have all felt like we were broken beyond repair. I heard this term used in a movie I watched recently called The Heart of Man. If you haven’t heard of this movie or docudrama it is one that I highly recommend watching.
What does it mean to be broken? Broken is defined as having been fractured or damaged and no longer in one piece or in working order. This may lead to the second half of the definition that says having given up all hope; despairing. At times we truly believe that our own lives are an example of this. We feel broken beyond repair.
I was pretty much raised in the church. I wasn’t a pastor’s kid or anything but I grew up going to various Christian schools over the years and I had a foundation of faith. In 2013 I entered into a relationship where I pretty much neglected God. I was living in sin and because of this I was knowingly running from Him. Not only that but I showed Him daily that the relationship I was in meant more to me than my relationship with Him. Throughout the course of this relationship I felt like I was on a roller coaster emotionally. From 2013 to 2015 we engaged in a very unhealthy relationship where God was not first and we physically began to abuse one another. I want it to be clear that I do not blame him for anything that occurred, so please do hear my heart on this because it was a mutual abuse. I can recall the tears, I can recall the sleepless nights, I can recall the back and forth arguments that resulted in the blocking of phone calls or me showing up at his house unannounced. I was so broken throughout my time in this relationship. I recall thinking to myself where is God in this. I recall asking God to bless this relationship that was completely not of Him.
So many times I look back, I was ready to take my own life. I would do anything to please this man and living without Him was not an option. You can almost say that we were “crazy in love,” but really I was just going crazy. Cops were called, scratches and bruises were left. All the while I was hiding this from my family. I was living with this man when I wasn’t away at school. I had given up all hope that I was deserving of anything but what I had in that dysfunctional relationship. All the while I still wanted God, but let me tell you that my actions spoke louder than my words. I kept trying to do everything that I could to keep him. If that meant I had to work hard to loose weight I did it. I smoked, I had sex, and I was so broken by dysfunction that I allowed to take place in my own life. I cried, I screamed that it was my fault and that I deserved what I got. I stayed by this man’s side and he stayed by mine.
In 2015 he had been accepted into the college he wanted to go to and I had been academically suspended from mine. I had let this relationship be a distraction to the point where I wanted him more than I wanted to be in school. Was I disappointed in myself? Yes, but I still wanted him. I cried, I cared, but it wasn’t enough. He found an apartment in the same town that I used to attend school and off he went. It was my inability to really be around him that took me to a place of realizing how broken I truly was. I did not think that I had anything left to give or to offer anyone.
During that summer God began to deal with my heart in regard to the school that I currently attend. It seemed like the perfect escape from my problems, but I wouldn’t leave. I had to stay for him. If I wasn’t there how could I keep watch over him and make sure he only wanted me? Let it be clear that this was my problem already. I was always trying to keep tabs on him and make sure he only had eyes for me. I was deep in my own insecurity and brokenness. After he had left I was alone. I was in the spot that God needed me to be in. I did not think I was going to make it. I was broken in every area of my life. While my ex was gone I started attending church again after my friend called me to come to her son’s baby dedication. I told her I would be there, but I was still unsure about coming back. Two weeks later I decided to come back and it was that day, September 20th 2015 that I gave my life back to the Lord. Unfortunately I still had a lot of brokenness that I had to deal with and go through. By November I was dating one of the other young men at the church (I thought maybe he would help my brokenness) and he told me about his desire to come to the school. I took that moment as my way out. I knew God was calling me to attend, but I had given myself so many reason’s not to back then. I feared going there on my own and I feared not being able to keep an eye on my ex. All those reason’s were now nonexistent. Surely this man was my husband, surely this was what God’s plan was for my life after everything I had been through. Not so. We both had been accepted to the school and we broke up not too much later before attending.
Here I was AGAIN! BROKEN, HURT, ALONE, BEYOND REPAIR! I sat and shared my previous relationship with this man and all I had to show for it was the scripture in Mark 5:36 he had brought me to right before we broke up.
Mark 5:36 (NLT)
“Do not be afraid, just trust me.
I went from relationship to relationship for years searching for someone else to fix my brokenness instead of turning to my Heavenly Father! I cried. I asked God how was I supposed to do this. We got to school and within 3 months of breaking up he already had another girlfriend. When I found out I was heartbroken and depressed. I could not sleep and I was constantly anxious. One morning the school dance ministry I was on called a week of morning prayer. It was there I confided in my friend that I did not know how I was going to make it. I was broken and I was ready to check out. God allowed our Pastor’s daughter to speak into my life that morning. Unfortunately I was not totally convinced that I was not broken beyond repair. Over the rest of that semester I kept going back to that initial word God gave me when we broke up. I still could not see past to the other side of my pain. I did not know how to live without it. I was hurt by so much over the years. Rejection as a child, which is another story I will have to share at a later time, and this rejection now. I could not take it. I was tired of dreaming and having hope and being crushed. I was broken, but God used this place of brokenness to get me closer to Him. Funny that as I write the song by Tasha Cobbs, Gracefully Broken is playing. This it what I was happening before my very eyes. I was being broken and although I couldn’t see the provision or the purpose at the time, God had me in His hands.
In Daniel 3, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were thrown into the fiery furnace. Verse 21 says, “Then these men were bound in their trousers, their coats, and their hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.” In verse 25 we see that the men were somehow free, “He answered and said, ‘But I see four men loose and walking in the midst of the fire, and they are unharmed. And the form of the fourth is like the Son of God!'” And in verse 27 the men walked out of the fire with no evidence that they had even been in it, “The officials, governors, and captains, and the king’s counselors, being gathered together, saw these men upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was a hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor had the smell of fire even come upon them.”
Why did I mention this story? Because this is the story of any person who has felt like they were broken beyond repair. I was in the midst of a fire that the enemy had used to try to kill me, but in the midst God was right there walking beside me. The same way he walked beside the men in the furnace. Even when I couldn’t see Him, He was there. He made sure that although I walked through the fire, there would be no evidence left behind. There would be no scar, no blemish. Whether we realize it or not, fire produces purpose. It produces the passion for that purpose. God will allow the brokenness that you go through to position you on the path toward your purpose. Fire has the ability to take the pieces of your brokenness and mold them into a new shape.
Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something on the wheel. But the vessel that he was making of clay was spoiled in the hand of the potter; so he remade it into another vessel, as it pleased the potter to make.
I was spoiled by this world, spoiled by my hurt, spoiled by my brokenness, but I was allowed to be broken to be formed into a new vessel. Sis, if you are going through a season where you feel that you are broken beyond repair, I have good news. It’s not over! You were broken, but God is taking those broken pieces and shaping you into the vessel that he intends for you to be. Allow God the Father to minister to you in this broken season of your life. You life is in the hands of the potter and you my dear have been gracefully broken. Pain always has a purpose even when we can’t see it, but there is greater on the other side. Take it from me. This is the first time I am sharing part of my story like this. My pain allows whoever is reading this right now to be free today. The Word of God says in Revelation 12:11: “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony.” I pray that the blood of Jesus would just cover you in this time and that you be made whole even in your brokenness. My story was for His glory. My story was so that you could be made free. I love you so very much and I want to thank you for reading.
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