What Brokenness Brings

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." (Psalm 147:3)
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." (Matthew 5:4)
The year has come to an end. As I look back on this past year, I remember the memories alongside all of the highs and the lows. This was a year of struggle for me. I fought depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts once or twice, shame, and all of the consequences of finding myself enslaved to a situation that abused me emotionally: guilt, unmerited shame, humiliation, self-criticism, inferiority, intimidation, and feeling a loss of self-dignity and self-worth.
It was a year with a lot of brokenness in its second half. I know many people in my life who have walked through some difficult times this year and even this holiday season. People all around me were and are still hurting. It hasn't necessarily always felt like the promise of hope that the Christmas season was supposed to bring.
Yet, when the night is at it's darkest and all we can see is the end, we forget that for every nightfall, the sun dawns anew another morning, and for every end, there's a new beginning awaiting us right around the corner. 
This year brought tears and cries out to God, but it also brought Hope. Incredible, incredible Hope. It brought the first glimmer of a brighter tomorrow. The promise of the full light that will flood this place when the sun finally breaks above the horizon and forth into day again.
In brokenness there is humility. There is healing. And there is hope.
Brokenness brings forth Humility.
Pride and proud emotional self-reliance has ever been a flaw I fight. For as long as I can remember, I've wrestled with pride and humility. Many of us have a public reputation, a certain way that we have portrayed ourselves to those around us. We don't show the whole world our flaws and our struggles. Mine was an image of dignity, of direction, of perfection, and of composure. I've always had my life all together, or so it would seem. But that's really not who I am. Perhaps it's who I once was, but it isn't who I am anymore. With the seasons of brokenness in the past few years, I've had to acknowledge to myself and to others that I'm not that perfect person. I've had to give up that public image. I've had to come down from a level of perfectionism to rolling up my sleeves and admitting that my life is messy - really really messy sometimes. 
It's taken humility to take that mask off and to be vulnerable with where I'm actually at in my life and in my emotions. I've had to take the chance that people who read my open-hearted writing might look at me differently. It's been hard.
And yet, I've found support and love and understanding because of it. Family is vulnerability. Ministry is humility. Support is sharing our stories and our struggles and helping each other bear our burdens.
All throughout Scripture, we see that God esteems our humility before Him and others more than He does a well-groomed tidy face in public. Denial and supposed perfectionism is not how He's called us to live.
It takes courage to admit that we're hurting, that we have wounds, that we're struggling. Yet, the humility of acknowledging where we are spiritually and emotionally and even physically in difficult situations at times is where the true brokenness begins. The brokenness of a contrite and bruised heart that the Lord sees and draws near to. "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise." (Psalm 51:17)
Brokenness brings Healing.
The place of brokenness is where healing begins. It takes humility to admit that you're struggling, that you're hurting, and that you're broken inside. But it's in the moment of acknowledgement to yourself, to God, and to those in your life that you trust that healing finds you right where you are. Healing meets Humility.
A problem can't be fixed until it is recognized that there is a problem. You don't put a bandaid on a cut that doesn't exist. You only treat a wound or fix that which is broken when you realize that it's broken or that the wound exists.
It's when you admit your brokenness before the Lord that He can begin healing and comforting and restoring in your life and in your heart. It may feel like one of the darkest, lowest points that you can get to, but until you reach that rock bottom of humility and brokenness, God can't move and do what He does. The brokenness prepares our hearts for His healing. It becomes the fertile ground by which the Lord can begin growing a new thing, and you can begin the process of starting over together.
It's in the brokenness that comes Wholeness and Healing.
Brokenness brings Hope.
Brokenness brings Humility. It brings Healing. And, lastly, it brings Hope.
How in the midst of hurt or heartache or grief can you see hope? Because...Jesus. God promises through His Word that in our brokenness, He will draw near to us. He is close to the brokenhearted. 
"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." (Psalm 34:18) 
He comforts us when we mourn and grieve. He collects our tears in a bottle, or as another translation says, He records them on a scroll. 
"You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book." (Psalm 56:8) 
Not a single tear that rolls down your cheek has escaped His notice.
And He says, Trust Me.
He says that tomorrow is a new day. That He will make everything beautiful in its time. (Ecclesiastes 3:11) He picks you up, puts you on your feet again, and together you can pick up the pieces and start over. And through it all, He wraps His arms around you when it stills hurts and you still cry.
We have a HOPE and a promise found in Jesus that in lingering regrets, we are now a new creation in Him, washed and sanctified again every day by the cleansing of His Word and of His blood on the cross. We have a HOPE and a promise found in Jesus that even in our grief and mourning of loved ones passed away, there will be a day when we'll spend eternity with Him in a place where there is no more sorrow and tears and where, if our loved ones accepted the Lord's gift of salvation, we'll even see them again. And we have a HOPE and a promise in Jesus that even when our dreams and expectations may have fallen apart or brought wounds to our soul and bruises to our heart, He is our Healer and our Comforter and He is still King reigning on His throne. He still has our lives in His hands and He is the Creator of all things, including new beginnings.
If we place our brokenness into His hands, He promises to take that which is broken and to fix it, making something even more beautiful in the process.
2016 was another wonderful gift from God, and for me, I know that it held a lot of joy, a lot of laughter, a lot of love, and a lot of purpose. Yet, it had its struggles. For some of us, it was emotional challenges. For others, it was relationally, academically, or even the loss of a loved one. Almost a dozen people I know personally grieved one or more deaths of family members this year.
Yet no matter where you find yourself or how good or bad last year might've been- no matter how you're heading into the new year- we have Hope. Because of Jesus.
It's a new beginning and a time to start over, to heal, to restore, to pick up the pieces, to move forward. I am fully confident that the Lord has incredible plans in store for me and for you this coming year. It might not be easy. The breakups still happened, loved ones are still gone, challenges stilll exist. Sometimes problems don't go away overnight (they rarely do) and sometimes life and families and situations won't ever be the same as they once were. I'm not going to pretend that a new year is going to make everything better.
But I know this: 2017 has purpose. 2017, like 2016, has a plan. 2017 will challenge us and test us and grow us, and we'll end it stronger, closer to the Lord, and looking more like Jesus than before.
I'm starting over this year. I'm turning the page of my life and allowing God to write a new chapter and to do a new thing within me and through me. I'm going to be more fearlessly who God created me to be than ever before. I'm going to let the voice He's given me be heard louder and farther than ever before. And I'm going to pursue Him more passionately and relentlessly than ever before. 2017 or any of its positive or negative events doesn't define you or me.
This is a new year. A new slate wiped clean from grief, from past, from regrets, from pain.
Let's not despise or deny the brokenness that might still remain, but let's take it to Jesus and let Him do the restoration in our souls that only He can do. Brokenness isn't a bad thing. It brings humility, healing, and hope.
Join me. Let's start afresh.
"...Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent." (Psalm 30:5, 11-12)
Lord Jesus, I thank You for this past year. I thank you for the beautiful memories and the amazing times that You gave each us and for the ways that You poured out Your blessings. I thank You for the ways that You're going to bless our lives even in this coming year as we seek Your face and follow in Your will and in Your ways. For every hurting and grieving heart today, God, I pray for healing. I pray for Your comfort and I pray for Your hope to surround them and to take captive their hearts again. Restore hope in Your daughters, Lord. I thank You that every day with You is the chance to begin again. Place new dreams within our hearts this year. I thank You for the future that You have ahead this year for us, and I pray that You help each one of us to receive a greater revelation of Your love and of Your goodness in the coming months. You are faithful. Amen.
Where do you find yourself as this new year begins? What did 2016 look like for you? Are there events that happened in the year that have left you still healing, still grieving, still just trying to feel whole and healthy again somehow? You're not alone. Embrace the brokenness and allow it to bring humility, healing, and hope into your heart again. Acknowledge it. Don't ignore it. It's okay to not be okay all the time of every day. Place your hurts into the hands of Jesus this year and allow Him to bring His light that brings restoration and joy and hope again. His light never fades.
Written by: Julia Glover

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