I wish there was another word for broken, I thought.
I’ve had my heart broken, had my collarbone broken and I’ve been broke, close to destitute quite a long time ago.
You’ll hear speakers talk about it, writers write about it, how we must be “broken” to be whole, to truly be who with and through God we are supposed to be.
Women, broken and beautiful.
I prefer words like surrender, words like committed, words like fully aware that I ain’t able own my own.
I need God every hour.
I prefer to believe if I’m a vessel that I don’t have to be cracked open, broken to be used.
Broken seems so physical, to me so much more body than soul.
My tendency to circle back to old ways because I’m not fully broken still rears its ugly secretive ways.
Yesterday evening, the house was mine alone. Just as quick as I could get in the door, my hand reached for the refrigerator door.
Eyeing the savory tarragon chicken salad with almonds so creamy and heavy on the flavor, I grabbed the container and a spoon and dug in.
Standing with the refrigerator door open thinking just a taste, I went for more and then thought, so salty, I need sweet, need so much more.
The apple pie was going to waste, I decided. Just as quickly as before, I dipped out a chunk not a slice and dug around in the pan deciding I’d just have the apples but, then adding the buttered up crumbles.
Popped open the microwave, turned and opened the freezer for ice cream and my timing was synchronicity, the beep beep saying “it’s warm”.
So, I sat with my pretty little bowl and I enjoyed the dessert I decided must come although there’d been no meal.
I thought I’ve been here before but it has been a good long while.
I could go for more, take advantage of the indulgence opening up an opportunity to eat more, even more, to go over the edge like I used to before.
Empty house, pie and ice cream and salty, savory, sublimely good things, they could be all mine.
It could be just like before, I could simply go back for more and more.
All in my control, this at least I know.
Instead, I paid attention to my body’s reaction and my mind caught on. Was I allowing the breaking? I know, at least there was a slight bend, not so unwelcome an idea as before.
I went for my walk/run, returned to shower and spent two hours doing something tangible, demonstrative and intentionally in control of my part with my writing.
I organized what I could imagine coming together as chapters, moved the art covering the cork board and planned it all out, quietly, visually, assuredly.
For me, this was a new thing, a turning in my road, a smoother stretch than ever before.
When we don’t go back to the place of before, the struggles that harmed us but feel so very much like rewards, could it be we’re being broken?
When we reject our default responses, the self-medicating maneuvers to avoid the unpleasantries of our days, could it be we’re accepting the tiny opening of cracks in our tightly sealed vessels?
When we anticipate the good stretches, don’t get off kilter by the interruptions of uncertain or not as good as before, could it be we’re broken more than ever, we’re believing in our God of so much more?
We worry less about the wilderness of unknowing while waiting and we don’t fill ourselves up with all our hungry hearts can hold, no need to hoard the good. We don’t have to do that anymore.
I made a turnaround last night.
I embraced the frantic fringe of my almost choosing to binge, to fill up my empty spaces and be in control. Instead, I recognized the misery of me, did what I could to pour my mind and body into the alternative, filled myself up with intention, followed it up with action and had a moment or two when the pieces fell together.
It caused a chill up my spine, my breaking, and a pause that said,
Yes, Lord you are bringing all of this together now, you are leading my writing way. You’ve broken me of myself, it had to happen to make room for so much more.
“For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing out in the valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey,”
Deuteronomy 8:7-8 ESV
Like Moses reminded the Israelites, God reminded me of the horrible places he’d delivered me from and promised me that with His help my turnaround was leading me to so very much more.
Broken, surrendered, open to new directions, to making space for Him, clarity for my making known of Him.
Just as sovereignty and providence would have it, I heard a pretty song this morning that made being broken feel quite lovely and welcoming and well, just exactly what and who I should be because of who I was before.
A rebel, a prodigal, imperfect and scarred.
I suppose I’m quite beautiful after all, broken.
If it’s true you use broken things, then here I am, Lord, I’m all yours.
Matthew West, Broken Things
Linking up with the Tell His Story community and a post today about Jennifer Dukes Lee’s new book, It’s all Under Control. Timely for me and I’m thinking lots of others. Visit here: