Life definitely is not easy. And this has perhaps been one of the most difficult, painful seasons I’ve faced so far with March, April and May being the hardest months of 2018. Though it’s been extremely difficult, I know I will emerge from this season with new thoughts, new revelations, and a new understanding of God’s unchanging love.
I’ve been broken by life before. Being broken is honestly terrible, but I’ve learned so much from it. I know what it’s like to be heartbroken over a relationship that didn’t work out, and to feel so much pain that it’s like someone punched you in the stomach. I know what it’s like to be depressed after something that I hoped for so much and for so long falls to pieces. I know what it’s like to want to stay locked away and not move or do anything because everything just hurts. But you know what? I didn’t stay depressed or broken. And you don’t have to stay that way either.
It’s okay to be broken, to feel as if our hearts are shattered. Go ahead; scream, cry, write a letter full of feelings then tear it up, but don’t hole the pain up inside and not deal with it. That doesn’t fix anything; in fact, it makes it all much worse. Covering up the hurt is like putting band-aids on: the wound may heal a little bit, but the band-aid isn’t actually doing anything. Beneath it, the wound is still throbbing and bleeding. The band-aid provides the illusion that it’s all okay, however, the person with the wound feels nowhere near okay. Of course, the wound eventually closes up and that’s when the healing actually begins. However, if we attempt to heal ourselves without God, the effect will be damaging instead of helping.
There’s nothing wrong with with reacting to the hurt we’ve experienced; it’s a part of life. But to remain broken and not accept the healing that God is holding out to us doesn’t make any sense. When we try to heal ourselves, we become a haphazard mess of bitterness and pain. But when we allow God to heal us and put back together, we become more like who He made us to be. Sometimes opening up to God and giving Him our hearts to heal requires us to be broken all over again. As painful as it sounds, we have to be broken again so God can put us back together the way we’re supposed to be.
We cannot achieve healing on our own. If we could, we would not need Jesus. Our God offers the healing we desperately need but we have to be willing to admit we can’t do it by ourselves and that we need His healing touch in our lives. We have to lay down our pride and our pain and let Him take over.
As Christians, we often place so much value in our brokenness that we forget we have been made whole through Jesus Christ. Yes, we have been broken, but we do not have to remain that way. We have the choice to be whole.
During one of our 3-hour phone calls, my best friend told me her testimony. Afterwards, she mentioned how so many Christians dwell on the brokenness of their past and present rather than focus on who Jesus made them to be, which is whole and free. I’ve never forgotten what she said: “That brokenness is not my identity. I was broken but I’m whole now. I refuse to call myself broken because I am not broken anymore.”
Her statement has stuck with me since. Don’t wallow in your brokenness. Although our past is broken, we are not made to dwell in our brokenness. Our brokenness is not our identity. Our wholeness in Christ is now who we are. Even when we feel broken, we must remind ourselves that we have already been made whole.
Jesus was broken for me so I could be put back together. He experienced the deepest pain so my heart could be healed. He felt unimaginable sadness so I could have true joy. His sacrifice was not in vain. The same goes for you as well.
Maybe you’re reading this and you’re saying, “But Kayla, I still feel broken.” I understand that feeling, but do not let it drag you down. Remember that you are made whole in Christ and that you are not made to remain broken. Do not let those thoughts convince you otherwise. Fight with everything you’ve got against those feelings of distance between you and God. Run back to Him no matter how far you feel. Refuse to be defeated by the trials of this life. Don’t give up hope. Hand over every disappointment you face in this season to God and lay all of the pain at His feet. There is no one more caring and gentle than He.
Despite the pain I have experienced during these past months, God kept reminding me how much He loved me. He would remind me through worship songs, the words and prayers of good friends, and the Bible itself. I was constantly reminded, even if I wasn’t completely certain, that He was there through it all. I wasn’t lost nor was I forgotten by Him. When you feel broken, it’s easy to feel as if you’re alone. Even when I felt so far from Him, blinded by my own hurt, He was still there drawing me back to Him.
I’m not saying that God causes disappointments to happen so that we’ll be broken or hurt enough to turn back to Him. I don’t believe that’s how the Lord works. However, I do believe that He takes the pain of our lives and uses it to draw us back to His heart. He turns our hurt and brokenness into something beautiful. He redeems even what feels or seems irredeemable in our lives. With God, not even our brokenness is wasted.
There is something beautiful about a broken object being put back together. In Japanese culture, there is an art form that uses broken pieces of a porcelain vessel and repairs it through a process called kintsugi. Instead of repairing a broken cup or plate with glue, the process uses melted gold, silver, or platinum to fuse the pieces together. Through kintsugi, the cup becomes a valuable work of art and although it isn’t the same as it was before, the result is something more precious and beautiful than the original.
The thing is, when a plate is repaired with kintsugi, it is now stronger than it was before because it’s been ‘glued’ back together with metal instead of actual glue. Repairing the plate with glue may work at first, but it won’t hold as long and the plate won’t last.
When I think of kintsugi, I think of what it means to be made whole in Jesus with all of your cracks repaired. Your past does not define you and your past brokenness does not make you any less valuable. In fact, through Jesus, your brokenness is used in the restoration of your present. Because of Jesus, our brokenness is redeemed.
Our scars don’t disappear but through Jesus, they are no longer something to be ashamed of. Instead, they are evidence of what He brought us through and what He delivered us from. Brokenness is not exactly we are proud of, but our wholeness is something to celebrate! We celebrate that although we have been broken, Jesus put us back together. For once we were sad, but now we have joy. We were lost, but now we are found. We were broken, but now we are beautifully restored.