- Melinda K. Bowens
So About This Brokenness Thing…
#BreakingTheCycle: So About This Brokenness Thing…
When I was in graduate school, I had a friend that loved to make mosaic artwork. She said that it was something she enjoyed and she took such pride in her work. Now, I had no idea what mosaic artwork was, I just knew she was my friend and she was excited (which is really all I needed).
I learned a little later that this form of art involved break sheets of glass and piecing them together again. My first thought was to just use the glass as it was, but she explained it was more to the work. After breaking these sheets of colored glass, she would sift through the pieces she needed for the perfect finished project. To me, all the pieces looked pretty similar, but to her each piece had a special location and purpose. She was meticulous and spent hours working on her craft. While watching her work one day, I noticed how she would lay out the pieces of broken glass, all the supplies she would need and then she would just envision the finished project before you ever made a move. Her carefulness and attention to detail were equally as impressive as her finished masterpiece. Even though I did not understand much of her process, I could appreciate the beauty of what she had created. She was able to take something that already appeared whole, beautiful and complete, essentially shatter it, and create something more beautiful (and useful) than before.
The more I look back on this time with my friend, the more I realize that this process is much like the one we go through with God when we’re seeking to be made whole. Now, I know being made “whole” means 87,451 different things to 87, 451 different people. But one thing tends to be common to us all in that stage of our journey; we know something is missing (or off) and we’re ready for it to be different.
We have experienced those times where we appeared (or at least wanted people to believe we were) whole, beautiful and complete to others; all while we carried around our personal bag of broken pieces (that we had no idea what to with). That bag was full of anxiety, timidity, shame, regret, fear, trepidation and anything else we want to include, but we had it. And over time that same bag picked up more and more weight, becoming heavier to carry each day. Then one day, we decided we were over it and the bag had to go. But there was still the issue of where exactly this bag was supposed to go. Many of us hit a wall when it came to disposal.
For days, months and years we just tried to leave the bag in the past and not look at it. But it was still there, looking at us. But while we were trying to ditch the bag altogether, God wanted all those broken pieces so He could create His greater image. Only the creator of all creators could take the shambles of our previous selves and build someone amazing. And not just someone amazing, but shape us into someone who exceeds our wildest expectations (Ephesians 2:10). Because the time and dedication my friend took to create her artwork with those broken pieces of glass is nothing compared to the time and dedication God takes to create His artwork in us with the broken pieces of our heart.
So, the God that loves us can take our shame and turn us into advocates. He can take our regret and turn us into teachers. He can take our anxiety and turn us into adventurers. He can take our sack of misfit pieces and turn us into the greatest leaders a generation has ever seen. (Psalms 34:18)
But the questions isn’t what can God do with our brokenness. The question is, will we let Him close enough to work with our brokenness?
Chat with God
What’s in your bag?
What is stopping you from handing your bag to God?
What is your one sentence prayer in this situation?
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