On Brokenness

The prayer that prevails is not the work of lips and fingertips. It is the cry of a broken heart and the travail of a stricken soul. ~Samuel Chadwick

We have all broken something entrusted to us or have been the recipient of a broken item, tangible or not. We have dealt with broken appliances and broken alliances. We’ve nursed broken limbs and broken wings, whether our own or those of a loved one.

I hate to admit that I have broken the spirit of my children a time or two and have had my own broken many times. Every time it was devastating, resulting in broken sobs.

Each of us have experienced broken promises and broken trust. Most of us have even had our hearts broken. Unfortunately, many of us have been the ones who caused others to suffer those very afflictions of brokenness that we inflicted on others.

I remember growing up and hearing the term “broken home” and not having any idea what that meant. My mother explained that a certain child was a product of a broken marriage. I still didn’t quite get it. To me broken meant something like my dolls head falling off.  I could understand a broken mirror because I could see it. And because people warned me, I anticipated bad luck. Like any child, I broke plenty of glasses while growing up. Breaking things was simply a part of life,and very much a learning experience. I never knew that so many things could be broken in a lifetime. I got married and broke the chains to my family. Throughout the years I’ve broken ties with people in my life whether it was family, business, or personal. I met people who spoke broken English. I experienced broken health, and was witness to broken terrain. I’ve often thought life to be a mosaic.

Though I had experienced the breaking of things in my life, I still had not experienced “brokenness” until much later. It wasn’t just a defeat, a disappointment, a loss, or a painful experience. It was a downright crushing of my soul on a level I’d never felt before. It came in the aftermath of a holdup. It came with vulnerability, the loss of confidence, a void in my life, excruciating emotional pain, and a total lack of direction or guidance. I suffered. I cried. And I reached out to the only One I knew to be greater than all things. Only then was I able to begin healing.

When I was broken, I only knew of two choices. I could have deemed myself wasted and given up (which I did for a while) or I could surrender to what was higher than me (which I finally did and will never regret) and allow myself to be restored. We often feel hopeless and accept defeat. When we allow love to enter and meet us in that dark and lonely place, we begin to heal.

Currently, I am experiencing what I first thought was brokenness again as I was helpless and hopeless. I could not see the bigger picture, and I still struggle with understanding. However, I see His hand placing the pieces of mosaic. Though many of us in this situation feel pain, ultimately He is taking away the suffering. So often in circumstances where we are key players though not the main player, we focus on our feelings and how things affect us. Though we might be involved, there is often someone else whose struggle is much harder and more painful than ours. We need to focus on the person it is about and offer love and support any way we can. We have to surrender to Him to guide us as we are not in control nor do we see the whole picture. I’m not saying we have to give up hope. I am saying sometimes the hope is not at all in the outcome we choose. There are often bigger issues that we don’t have the capability to understand. Ultimately, we have to trust.

So as I am in this dark place, I am not lonely. I know that I am supported. I am surrounded by love and lifted in prayer. Though I hurt, it is not about me. I choose to focus. I choose to accept His plan. I have hope in Him.  And mostly, I trust that He will heal us all.

27 thoughts on “On Brokenness

  1. you certainly are not alone, you have all of us with you along with God.

    never forget that. whatever the condition of your life is we still are with you and always will be.

    lots of love.

  2. Blessings to you and yours, Suzi. I understand your words, “Though I hurt, it is not about me.” When it is not about us, personally, all we can do is pray and trust. Trust. You have it exactly right. Praise God, the trustworthy One. I, too, struggle in this dark place, waiting for the light to penetrate those hurting hearts I love.

  3. when something bad happens, the vulnerability, hopelessness and crushing of the soul do have the ability to break us. however, were we not to go through these things we would not recognize that we actually are a part of the whole. being part of the mosaic connects us to each other and those connections provide strength to both the main and key players. i like that you continue to write when things are tough and not just through the easy times.

  4. You had such kind words when it was my turn to feel broken. I hope the dark places you find yourself in now still let in warmth, even if not light. And I hope the kindness you’ve turned toward so many others who read you here is reflected back to you where you most need it.

  5. Suzi, I love how you said this…..

    “I’ve often thought life to be a mosaic.”

    What a perfect analogy!

    Thank you so much for sharing this experience because it is truly a great reminder for me that….

    “We have to surrender to Him to guide us as we are not in control nor do we see the whole picture. ”

    That’s so true. In times of darkness, I’ve always been shown the light.

    ((((( Suzi )))))


  6. “We have all broken something entrusted to us or have been the recipient of a broken item, tangible or not. We have dealt with broken appliances and broken alliances. We’ve nursed broken limbs and broken wings,” (Can I just pause to say…nice writing?!)

    You and I have talked about this idea of the mosaic before, I believe. This is exactly how I see it as well. No broken pieces that cannot be re-placed into the new picture and art form that is newly emerging.

    I can’t wait to see what you are currently gluing together in this time of rearranging.

  7. Faith. Trust. Such strong, necessary words. I could not imagine trying to cope with pending loss/loss without faith and trust.

    Life might be a mosaic, but so must the heart. Because with a lot of the situations you describe is does break, but can heal. It gets put back together. Stronger? Eh, not sure about that, but it can be better. It can be MORE than it was. Once its broken, might is still hurt? Yes, unfortunately. Yes. But I believe it will know more, understand more, care more, feel more, BE more.

    I love that it sounds to me as if you are not only seeing His hands, but you are focusing on them. Sensing your heart breaking you are still waiting to see as Rebecca stated “the new picture and art form” that will emerge from your heart and from life.

    Hugs and prayers!

  8. Although I don’t know what you’re going through, I can definitely feel your pain and I’m so terribly sorry. I’m glad you have your faith as it is often the only thing that can pull us through the dark times. I agree that the end results are not always what we were shooting for, but God has a plan and sometimes we don’t understand it until much later. Big hugs!

  9. He is the All-Compassion, the All-Merciful, The Giver of Life, The Taker of Life, Knower of All, Responder to Prayer, The One, The Only One.

    I pray that you would be strong. You have surrendered to His will, remember, the pain is not more than your soul can bear, and remember after each trial, there will be relief. God willing.

    Please take care my friend. I am concerned.

  10. I am very new to your blog and so happy to have found it.
    This post, so full, so honest and heart-felt has resonated with me very deeply. It seems that it my blog reading catch-up, this same theme comes up.
    So often I have heard the term “surrender” from people I trust and admire. It seems sometimes that I am the only one who doesn’t know how to do this. I pray every day that the lightening bold will find me.

    • Thank you for your nice comment. Surrender is something that will happen when you trust enough to let go of control. It’s a power struggle to let go of the control. It’s all a matter of faith. It has taken me a very long time in life to learn to surrender. Anything that I know I can’t control the outcome of I know to “let go and let God”. You’ll get there, just have faith.

  11. i would love to say something profound and helpful and supportive… but i too, find myself in that dark place right now… it’s been about 6 months… devastating changes in life as i know it spun me down that tunnel… slowly but surely i will find my way back to my “new normal”… and then there is the grieving process of the life i once knew and the one i was planning for that are now gone…

    prior to this i was such a centered and balanced person, i was able to surrender and live my life in that place of trust and faith… and although the faith remains, it is the giving up of control and the building of trust that has been keeping me down…

    anyhow, i am very grateful that my friend Paula sent me your way… i look forward to reading more of your blog!

    • Sometimes, it takes time to build back up. I do hope you find your way back to happiness and balance. Keep your faith and you’ll get there. Thank you for visiting my blog.

  12. Not knowing the details doesn’t change anything. Prayers of comfort and peace to you during this time. I believe times like these are sent to remind us that we need to lean on Him and trust in his providence. It is the times when we physically, emotionally, financially and spiritually cannot do it ourselves where we are made strong through Him alone. Blessings to you.

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