Well, so much for trying to be consistent with posting! I’m sorry…once again, life and time have gotten away from me. But here I am!
Lately I’ve been pondering a lot on brokenness. We often view brokenness as something bad, undesirable, or less valuable. However, God, in His amazing ability to take a paradox and turn it into a profound truth, receives brokenness as something valuable and takes it, and makes us even more valuable. He makes us whole, with a twist. Isn’t that amazing?
There are a number of verses in the Bible that reference brokenness. Here are a few that speak deeply to me:
The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit.
For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it; You are not pleased with burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.
He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds.
I’ve been thinking about brokenness as it relates to my current situation. Right now, me and my daughter live in a state of brokenness. My husband is broken, therefore marriage and family is broken...and has been for some time. We’ve gotten used to it, my daughter and me. I think it helps to see the situation through the lens of understanding why our situation is what it is.
Although my husband’s official diagnosis when we got married was Bipolar I, over the years I have come to the conclusion that this is not exactly accurate. I’m not a mental health professional by any means. However, in doing a great deal of reading and research over the years, and because of the fact that my husband spontaneously recovered traumatic memories from his childhood, I am certain that his situation is much more complicated. It is an extremely difficult and complicated process to receive an accurate diagnosis in mental health, and it is not uncommon to be misdiagnosed. Especially since symptoms overlap. Nothing is really cut and dry. In the psychiatric community, there are a hodgepodge of acronyms and names for various disorders and symptoms. There’s PTSD, OCD, DID, BPD, schizoaffective, bipolar, depression, SAD, GAD, and the list goes on. Particularly when it comes to childhood trauma, or any trauma for that matter, there is a fragmentation that can happen to the individual in the mind, and in the soul. It can have a profound effect on a person’s life as they grow from childhood into adulthood, and manifest in various ways that are interpreted by the psychiatric community by categorizing symptoms and naming them. But at the heart of it all lies one thing…deep brokenness.
I believe we are all broken in some way, shape or form. Look at our world. We are surrounded by brokenness. Physical, mental, and every other kind of brokenness. Where is the hope?
God loves to take those that are broken, and make them whole. He wants us to bring our brokenness to Him so He can make something beautiful out of it. Sometimes, that requires Him to do the breaking…like when a doctor has to break a bone that did not heal properly, in order to reset it again. No matter what way it comes, brokenness in any form hurts. Ouch.
I read about this Japanese art form called kintsugi. It’s where they take broken pottery and put it back together again, filling the gaps with some type of gold dust. It not only repairs the object, but turns it into a new object. It actually ends up more beautiful than when it began. I'm certain that no two pieces are alike, since no piece of pottery breaks the same way. So each new piece is also an original copy.
In the midst of my own personal broken situation, I have seen God fill in the gaps of my life time and time again, with Himself. My daughter and I have walked an unusual and unique-to-us road. It has not been easy, but God has been with us every step of the way, providing beautifully for us in ways I cannot even number, there are so many. Whether it be relationships, provision, opportunities, experiences…we are rich indeed.
But…what about my husband? What will God do for him? It yet remains to be seen, but I hold on to the belief that God will take his brokenness and make something beautiful out of it.
There are many ways I could have handled this situation, I suppose. But I have chosen to just sit tight, trusting God to somehow, some time, bring wholeness to my husband and eventually to our family. I have my deeply personal reasons for making this choice, but I am confident that for me and my daughter, it is the right one.
I look forward to see how God is going to make kintsugi out of my husband, and my marriage! I want to see what kind of diamond comes forth from this particular coal mine.
A new artist friend I met recently made what I think is such a great depiction of the process of brokenness. Starting at 3 o'clock and moving clockwise, you get imagery of how the process of brokenness has us starting out one way and ending up another.
A picture, as they say, is worth 1,000 words.
In what areas of your life do you feel broken? Share in the comments below. May God take the broken places of your life and make kintsugi out of them!