God wants to use us broken.
Some people don’t like that word. “Broken” like something is inherently wrong with us, like we are less-than because of what has happened to us, or what we’ve done.
But I don’t mind it.
I think of it like broken: in need of a fixer. And I know the most wonderful Fixer of all.
It wasn’t always this way. I used to struggle with feeling like I needed to be fixed.
When I was young and struggling to sing and Mama would say, “No, Tasha, you’re singing that wrong,” and I would hear, “No, Tasha, you sing terrible.” When I was making a sign one day and my best friend frowned and said, “Your ‘S’ looks funny, let me fix it,” I heard, “You aren’t capable.” When I spoke too quickly and the reprimand came gently, all I heard was, “You are a failure.” When the day came that I stared at my doctor and listened to her explain my inability to bear children, I heard, “You are fat and unlovely.”
None of it was true, of course, but my hearing was tuned away from truthful, tuned right toward twisted. My lack of singing ability was a flaw that left me raw. My lack of handlettering ability felt like something sharp and painful. My lack of spiritual maturity was proof that I was a bad Christian. My infertility felt like a huge piece of me had been hacked off and I was a bleeding mess of agony.
So I hated it all. I hated the feeling of inferority. I hated the feeling of not being right. I hated that I was lacking.
But over time, over days and weeks and years of reading Scripture and choosing truth one tiny piece at a time, I started learning.
I learned that brokenness isn’t scary.
Painful? Yes, of course. But I don’t have to be afraid.
God wants to use us broken. He wants to pick up all these ragged, bleeding pieces, smooth our edges, and set us firmly into the lives of those who are also broken. We have something deep, something beautiful, when we are living with an acknowledgement of our brokenness without Christ.
We have wholeness and the ability to know shattered pieces, both. Much like the Savior who lived, and broke, and broke Himself, and gave to all who were hungry, and yet He is whole and not afraid and living still.
Sitting pretty in traditions will never touch the lost with hope.
Painting pretty over broken. Thinking that following God meant I had to get it all right, that being “broken” meant I wasn’t really worth anything, so I had to pull it together. I couldn’t sing offkey, I couldn’t mess up my “S” on the sign, I couldn’t say anything wrong, I couldn’t fail to bear children.
I’m not afraid of the word broken anymore.
Now I know that broken is really another word for ready. Ready for the Fixer. Ready for the Truth-Giver. Ready for Redemption. Ready for Grace. Ready for Hope. Ready for Feeding the Hungry and Giving Water to the Thirsty and becoming an Image-Bearer of Christ.
May we, the Knowers-of-Light, be willing to acknowledge our brokenness. Not as someone who is less-than, but as someone who is ready.
I’m broken, unable to bear children, so I’m ready to know the Fixer who smooths out the rough edges, who stops the bleeding from this wound and cleans up the mess. And I’m ready to know the Truth-Giver who speaks into the blackness and creates light and beauty. I’m ready to know Redemption that takes emptiness and fills it with good things. I’m ready to know Grace that reveals God as He leans toward me. I’m ready to know Hope that pours promises and delight into barrenness. And I’m ready to Feed the Hungry and Give Water to the Thirsty– to scoop up these broken children who have come into my home with lost families and lost dreams, who are so hungry and so thirsty they are barely surviving, and I’m able to break myself for them– and yet be whole and not afraid and living still.
God never meant for us to serve from smooth containers. He has purpose in cracks and scars. He longs to give us springs of living water within and He desires, more than anything, that we leave trails of life-giving water behind.
Don’t fear brokenness, dear ones. Don’t fear being ready.