I am broken.
Speaking these words out loud leaves cuts along my tongue, each syllable a jagged shard of the secret I have always kept hidden in the quiet spaces of my soul.
If you’re anything like me, the parts of you that hurt and ache are the parts you are least willing to put on display. I have dedicated so much of my life to running away from my shadows, that eventually I became one myself, hovering at the walls and corners of rooms, empty and lifeless, too afraid of the world to become a part of it.
I guarded my pain fiercely, so naturally, God asked me to surrender it.
I felt Him begin to lead me down paths that left me vulnerable, and I followed along, hesitant and stumbling into the wilderness. Allowing others to know my true self left me feeling naked and terrified, but instead of being rejected as I had feared, I found the more of myself I revealed, the more people drew close to me.
After hearing my testimony, a woman in the congregation who I have long admired and thought of as a fierce, spiritual warrior, approached me and said “I look up to you. You have something in you that I want.”
She looked up to me? Little old me? All I had done to deserve those words was be broken.
It was my brokenness that her spirit recognised, and she wanted it because it is a blessing.
When I look in the mirror, I see shattered glass and spots of rust, the sheen of my polish long ago rubbed raw by human hands. In those moments when the whole world suddenly forgets to be noisy all at once, in the stilted silence I do not hear the reassuring hum and whir of cogs turning in harmony. I do not hear a steady tick, tick tick from within. I hear nothing.
I am broken.
I am empty of everything but an undeniable need, desire, hunger to be mended, and made whole.
And that, is a precious gift to be thankful for.
“But He said to me, “my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness…” Corinthians 12:9
You know that saying “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”? Restoration is only available to the broken, and though we are all in need of repair, sometimes we are blinded to that fact by the glittery lights of good fortune, or distracted by the lies the world feeds us to keep us looking in the wrong places.
Perhaps God’s glory is best seen in the midst of hardship, just as we wouldn’t be able to see the stars from the sky if they were not pinned against such a contrasting backdrop. Specks of brilliant white against deep, relentless black.
I think about where I would be now if I had walked different paths, lived a different life, and a heart stopping thought occurs to me: Would I have never loved you, known you, called you if I did not know the reality of your absence, Lord? Is that the secret to entering our stony, little hearts; the world has to shatter us first before we are ready to recognise our need for You?
Maybe God moves in the suffering of this world because it is the only way He can truly have us.
When I face my brokenness in it’s entirety, I know my small, shaking hands are not capable of opening myself up and removing what has rotted inside. My soul howls, longing and desperate for Jesus and my anguished cry for His love and forgiveness does not travel into the night unheard and forgotten on the wind.
I feel His hand reach within and grip the dust and rubble of what is left of me, replacing it with something that bleeds and breathes, and setting me free in a world that is both present and eternal.
I am broken! I boast in my weakness now because I know my shortcomings are just spaces for God to occupy within me, just as He has filled the holes in my heart where pain once lived.
I am being renewed, repaired, returned to my destined glory. My life so far has pulled me to pieces, but I will spend the rest of my days seeking to be rebuilt in His image.
To be restored.
“For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong. Your restoration is what we pray for.” 2 Corinthians 13:9
By Amelia Isaac
Amelia is a blogger and can be found at oldsoulnewheart.net