One of my favorite songs is “All the broken pieces” by Christian artist Matthew West. Nearly every time I listen to it, I think about my life and all the times when it was nearly shred into pieces by the ways of the world and the hardship that life on Earth can bring. My surgery, the aftermath of it, the poor choices I made because of it, the anger I spewed out at times due to it….all of these things are just shards of what makes up my being.
My children also come from broken places. Their biological families have been torn apart by worldly challenges and poor choices. Broken homes, unhealthy relationships, and crushed hearts made up my children’s existence before they were even born. They got off to a pretty rough start in life. They were robbed of a normal, healthy pregnancy. They were immediately separated within a few days of birth from their birth mothers by being brought into protective services. They were placed with foster families and then a legal battle ensued for them to have what every child should and deserves to have – an unbroken, un-abusive, love-giving kind of home. Although they eventually (legally) got this, it was still a start to life that no child really deserves. Let’s face it, my family was put together by the falling apart of other ones.
I’ve always heard and agreed to some extent that it doesn’t matter how hard we fall, it’s how fast we get up that makes the difference. I believe this in most situations, but there are times in life when the breaking of our hearts, our minds, and our bodies requires more than just a quick jump up. There are moments when sorrow nearly brings us to our knees, stomps on us, tramples us, and leaves us in the pit of despair. It is during these times that we may question where God is, and why in the world will He not “fix” things for us, or cure the diseases, or take away the addictions of those we love.
Isn’t the world really full of broken pieces? We all at various times find ourselves searching for just one sliver of goodness to call our own. There is so much hurt out there. I cannot even imagine what the Lord must feel day in and day out watching His children break each other’s hearts.
My favorite part of the song by Matthew West goes like this:
I can take even your greatest mistake
every scar; every tear, every break
And I can turn it in to something more beautiful
than you have ever seen
so lift them up to Me
My children, and many children before them, may have started out in the world with fractured families. If left alone, I get the sense they may not have ever truly experienced stability, hope, and the substance of God. But, He took what could have been used as an early path to destruction and built up a road that led to the wholeness they so deserve. I know He has mighty things in store for them.
The scars, the tears, and the breaks are all put back together to make us whole in Him. He has taken the shrapnel of my wounds and the ugliness of my sin to build me back together again. He poured out His love on the cross. He was broken so that I would not have to be.
Some fortunate people go through life with barely a scratch; while others seem to be continually reminded that flesh is truly only flesh. I guess I fall somewhere in between the two. Flesh may fallible and vulnerable, but the spirit which dwells within us, is mighty. Our spirit is a survivor. God wants us to survive. He wants us to be resilient; He wants us to need Him, and to choose lightness over darkness.
I used to believe that I was just a broken girl….missing a uterus, having to be on hormones, not having babies…etc. Well, truthfully, I was broken. In the fragmented relationships, shattered dreams, crushed hearts, and broken bodies, God is able to sculpt healed relationships, better dreams, loving hearts, and whole bodies. I am a broken piece of this world. In my weakness, I found strength in the One who put me back together. Only God can create beauty out of ashes.