In Others’ Words: Learning to Live with Brokenness

Beth Vogt brokenness, In Others' Words, Life, Quotes 10 Comments

Brokenness fascinates me.

It seems the theme of brokenness intrigues a lot of people — a lot of writers, to be specific. Elisa Morgan wrote about it in her book The Beauty of Broken. Then there’s Nancy Leigh DeMoss and Henry T. Blackaby’s Brokenness: The Heart God Revives; Finding God’s Blessings in Brokenness  by Charles Stanley; and of course Ann Voskamp’s best-selling book,The Broken Way.

I admit, I resisted brokenness for a lot of years. I was fine, just fine, thank you very much. But only as I admitted I was broken beyond all pretense and beyond any self-repair was I able to allow God to be fully God in my life. Seeing myself as both broken and redeemed gave me the freedom to release the lie of perfectionism and step into the wide open space of God’s grace. (Romans 5:1-5 The Message.) And yes, I know some people don’t care for The Message version, but read this:

By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us—set us right with him, make us fit for him—we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that’s not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.

We don’t escape life unbroken. But each one of us needs to find a way to realize that’s okay. Not painless, but okay.  God’s original plan for our lives got wrecked and perfection awaits us in eternity, not here and now. But His presence — His peace, His comfort, His lovingkindness — awaits us new every morning.

In Your Words: How do you feel about the word “broken,” especially when it’s applied to your life? What helps you accept the broken relationships, broken promises, broken expectations in your life?

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Comments 10

  1. Broken?

    No way. I can’t be broken, I can’t be killed, and I refuse to lose.

    Right now I’m being torn to pieces by pain and an uncontrollable infection, and I can’t take a decent breath nor walk across the room, but I’m still whole, and I’m taking that wholeness with me to the Streets Of Gold.

    Badass don’t break.

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      Andrew:
      I knew your perspective would be different, even as I wrote this blog post. I know that you conquer your daily battle by gathering your strength and an unwavering determination to “do this” — be who you are despite what you are facing. And I know, too, that you are a man of faith — not just a man of “I can do this myself.”

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  2. “Lord Be Merciful to Me a Sinner” is a phrase that my husband and I have printed and in a prominent place over our desks. It reminds us constantly that it is ALL HIM! Only when we recognize our brokenness can Christ come and put us back together! We can’t be pompous and demand anything from God! He delights in us and our brokenness! We must humbly recognize that we are nothing and He is EVERYTHING! God, You are the Potter, I am the clay.

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  3. I believe the truth is that every human is flawed and broken in some way. There’s no shame in that, it’s simply the human condition. Recognizing it and being open to receive input, strength, healing, in our empty places, puts us in position to be more than we ever could have been standing isolated in pretense–AND fills our empty places with strength and beauty to share and encourage others along the way.

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  4. There’s something about acknowledging our own brokenness that opens the door to healing. I know I still walk with brokenness, even though God’s done amazing healing work in my life. The word used to scare me. Now, I see it more as a place of relating with other people who are broken. It’s not a lonely place, unless I refuse to let God work in my heart, my life.

    GREAT post, Beth!

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