Strength and Brokenness
Are you broken? Or had pain at some point in your life that felt like too much to bare?
We’ve all been hurt — broken — at some point, in some way in our lives, haven’t we? Parents hurt us, dads leave, alcohol destroys, marriages end, friends abandon, abuse happens, loved ones betray, illness takes lives, and on the list goes. But what do we do with pain?
Recently, I’ve had the privilege of being a part of a women’s group through a church in Nashville. We are all very different in our walks of life, demographics, personalities, and passions. Some are vivacious and animated (and keep our group exciting); others, more reserved and when they do share, we listen closely. Some women are married, others are single. We range in ages from 24-45. The incredible part of our group is we never would have met apart from our Monday night meetings and most of us you never would have paired as friends. But now we are.
Beautiful is the only word to describe what happens on Monday nights. We go to share life together–real life– not just the details our Facebook profiles advertize. Recently, we’ve talked a great deal about brokenness–and began to identify the ways it has affected our lives. We are each learning in our own ways that unforgiveness, clinging to the past, and blaming others has not worked — will never work — and frankly it will ruin any chance of true life and joy in the future.
How do we grow strong in the broken places? It’s not a blind process that just happens because we ‘get over it’. I would argue that you either deal with it or it deals with you, harshly.
I believe it takes a heaping dose of courage to dig deep and refuse to rely on crutches–alcohol, busyness, men, food, drugs, perfection–because we want real life. Abundant life. I’ve seen too many friends ignoring their pain, heartache, or whatever they are dealing with and usually consuming large quantities of alcohol, overworking themselves for distraction, or serial dating men to try to cope with it. And I was queen of numbing myself. But I believe that by living in community, refusing to allow crutches to deaden our hearts to the life we’re meant to live, and pursuing healing and forgiveness and mercy and grace is the only way we grow stronger. And find joy again.
I’ve felt broken almost beyond repair at several points in my life — but I am slowly learning (very slowly) how to stop piecing myself together and allow the Great Physician to do His mending. And I can tell you those stitches are more beautiful and lasting than anything I was ever able to do.
Everyone has pain and feels broken at some point along the way. The question is will you allow brokenness to destroy you? Or will you grow stronger in those places that hurt the most?
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