Broken & Beautiful

Have you ever seen something so breathtaking you wondered how it could be?

How could a bush be on fire, and yet not be burning? 

How could blind eyes see the light of day? 

How could a dead man live again? 

This is the stuff of fairytales. This is magic and wonder. This is what we hope for, and even dare to believe. 

Recently, the wonder that has left me breathless, the question that has brushed my soul, is how can brokenness be so beautiful? How can the perfect dwell in the imperfect? How is there wholeness in this broken place?

I read a lot. I’ve noticed that my favorite characters and stories are about the ones who are imperfect. And not just by a little. I’m not talking about characters who have rough days, whose nail polish is scratched and dented, who sometimes lose their temper, or dissolve into tears at the end of the day.

No. I’m talking about the ones who are completely lost. Broken in the deep places of their soul. Hurting. Aching. Struggling. Fighting. Surviving. These are the ones I am drawn to. These are the storylines that resonate. Because, at the end of the story, I always find them to be the most real. The most raw. The most beautiful. 

It’s strange. How, in the midst of great brokenness, do they somehow have the very wholeness I long for? Is it possible that they are experiencing the perfect in the middle of their imperfection? 

2 Corinthians 4:7-10 says, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.” 

And that’s when I heard it. An answering call to the cry of my heart. 

That the perfect should choose to dwell in the imperfect is a beauty I cannot fully understand. We are jars of clay. Fragile. Easily broken. And yet, these broken vessels hold the very Spirit of God. And that is how we can be afflicted, but not crushed. 

We can be confused, but not driven to despair. 

We will be persecuted, but never forsaken. 

Struck down, but never destroyed. 

Because we have the very Spirit of God. And, where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 

And that’s why it’s so breathtakingly beautiful. Because, when we have Jesus, we have freedom. 

We are not bound by our pain. 

We are not bound by our brokenness. 

We are not bound by our imperfection. 

We are not bound by our failures. 

We are not bound by our past. 

We are not bound by others’ opinions of us. 

We are not bound by our struggles. 

We are free. Yes, we are broken. Yes, we are confused. Hurting. Persecuted. Struck down. And yet, because of the Spirit of God, these do not define us, and they do not bind us. As a matter of fact, they are the night sky behind the stars. In our darkness, Jesus chooses to shine his light. In our imperfections, he would come and dwell, letting His perfection be enough.  

And that is what’s so beautiful.

Take a moment to stop. Acknowledge your brokenness. Your imperfection. The realization that you are not enough. But then, do not despise that. Your Savior doesn’t. Let him come and dwell with you. In you.

You may not be a burning bush, but when you are broken & beautiful, struck down & not destroyed, it is breathtakingly beautiful, and it will draw people to Jesus like nothing else. 

So let your light shine. No, let His light shine through your broken pieces, and watch as the world is drawn to Him. 

Shaping the Shadows

Are there any shadows in your life? There have been many in mine. They can be different things: that fear which holds us crippled, that one secret burdening our souls, that sin we can’t seem to conquer, the struggle that doesn’t seem to get better. These shadows lurk in our hearts, hiding in corners. Maybe others can’t see them very well, but we know they are there. We don’t want these shadows, but it seems that no matter how hard we try to dispel them, they do not go away. They are always there. Lingering, and keeping us from experiencing unmarred joy and freedom.  

Continue reading “Shaping the Shadows”

Suffering for a Little While

God wasn’t fixing things for me. I was angry, depressed, frustrated and discouraged. There was really no good reason for it either. This must be hormonal, I thought. I’ll just pray and speak out what I know to be true from God’s Word and this awful feeling will go away. I don’t have to give in to my emotions. So, I prayed. I reminded myself of what the truth of God’s Word said. The emotions stayed. I was still very upset. Nothing changed. I went on with the day. Everything was a struggle. I just wanted to escape to somewhere Continue reading “Suffering for a Little While”

Be Still, There is Light

Life is hard. It’s not that difficult to notice, to see, and to hear the darkness around us. It’s everywhere and it affects everyone. It steals. It kills. It destroys.
Sometimes in my life, the darkness around me becomes stifling—constraining. Like a giant black dragon coiling around me in an ever-tightening circle. It’s ugly, it’s sickening, it’s terrible. I hear stories on the news, read articles, and come across traces of this dragon everywhere I turn. It seems like my life and other’s are full of darkness—of pain and suffering. Some of it we bring on ourselves, others times it has been forced upon us. So the question comes up. Is this life? Is this what we are here for? Is it even worth it? Will it ever end? Are there better days ahead?
God has been showing me something lately, something to remind me when I feel that dragon circling close.
“You have seen how dark the darkness is. Now let me show you how bright the light is.”
I imagine God telling me this. I imagine a protective glow of warm light surrounding me on every side, shielding and loving. Continue reading “Be Still, There is Light”