There is beauty on the other side of brokenness.
This phrase keeps floating in my head.
It’s really hard to see beauty from a broken place, from an unexpected end.
Or an expected one.
In hard seasons, the path seems long, daunting. The sky grey, the landscape, and trees broken, burned black and lifeless.
Of course, I want to get out of this wasteland as quickly as possible. No one wants to linger in the desert.
So I take off.
Spotting a trail, I run down that path as fast as I can, rushing through the hurt, pain, and brokenness that is lies sprawled before me. I have no idea which way is out, so I just run.
Because I don’t know the way, I trip up on uprooted trees, their roots blocking my path. I fall constantly, but I don’t care; I want OUT. If I can just run through it quickly, I believe that the way out will make it’s way known and you can be free of this wasteland.
Relate to feeling this way?
If so, you know that unfortunately, running away doesn’t work.
When you don’t know the correct way to run, you get lost. You constantly fall. You get scraped and bruised by the rocks and roots you encounter on this unknown path. Soon, you are so bruised and scraped you can no longer run or walk, and you must resort to crawling. There are more roots and rocks on the ground to trip you up, and now there is mud you must work your way through.
You tire out.
You give up.
You realize that you’ve been running in your own strength. The pain of brokenness and tears are blinding you, tripping you up as you try to run.
So you stop.
He waits for you to be still.
He waits for you to stop striving.
He whispers, “Aren’t you tired of running? Give me your brokenness. Give me your pain.”
I forget that Jesus can handle my–our pain. Sometimes I fear that He will be offended by my sadness or anger. I often tell myself to just suck it up and keep my feelings and questions to myself.
This line of thinking is wrong.
God isn’t a tyrant; He’s a loving father.
God isn’t offended by our feelings or questions. In fact, I know He welcomes them. He wants a relationship with us, and that involves communicating with Him.
In good times or bad, God can handle it.
He can handle our questions about things that did not turn out like we planned:
“Why can’t I get a job?”
“Why did I get sick?”
“Why didn’t my marriage/relationship last?”
“Why can’t I get pregnant?”
Or our feelings about a situation:
“I feel so alone.”
“I’m angry I lost my mom.”
“I’m scared to do what you’re asking me.”
“I feel like a failure in my job/relationship/life.”
He just wants us to come to Him with our struggles and express how we feel.
When I finally stopped running away from God and choose to tell him how I felt, there was complete and total freedom. All the junk that I had “stuffed” inside me was released.
God was able to comfort me in my brokenness and show me that He has good plans for me.
What freedom there is in genuinely expressing to God how we feel!
One of the greatest examples of expressing brokenness is the Book of Lamentations, a book supposedly written by Jeremiah after the fall of Israel. In his time, he saw the temple burned, the Israelites captured and exiled to Babylon. Everything around him was destroyed.
There seemed to be no hope left; all was lost.
I can’t imagine the grief he felt.
Or the horrible things he saw.
Amid his brokenness, he reached out to God.
He tells Him how he feels.
Here is just a glimpse of the distress that Jeremiah felt from Lamentations 3:1-9:
“I am the man who has seen affliction
under the rod of his wrath;
he has driven and brought me
into darkness without any light;
surely against me he turns his hand
again and again the whole day long.
He has made my flesh and my skin waste away;
he has broken my bones;
he has besieged and enveloped me
with bitterness and tribulation;
he has made me dwell in darkness
like the dead of long ago.
He has walled me about so that I cannot escape;
he has made my chains heavy;
though I call and cry for help,
he shuts out my prayer;
he has blocked my ways with blocks of stones;
he has made my paths crooked.
In these verses, there is so much heaviness, despair, and hopelessness. Yet he tells God about all of it. He doesn’t hold back.
I think that is why I love this book so much.
It’s a reminder to me that I can tell God anything.
He wants to know my heart, even in the darkest of times.
If you read down a bit farther in the passage, Jeremiah suddenly switches to hope. It doesn’t say it this in the passage, but I wonder if because of his lament to God, he was now able to see hope:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.
Remember, in your desert seasons, run to God instead of running away. Never be afraid to tell Him how you feel; He absolutely loves you. He will comfort your soul, bring hope to your heart and show you that there is beauty after brokenness.
Alexis is a 35 year old lover of Jesus, loose leaf tea, roller coasters, writing stories and going on adventures. Originally from Marietta, GA, Alexis now resides in Fresno, CA. You can always find Alexis outdoors enjoying a walk in her neighborhood, scoping out the newest food truck, hanging out with friends or planning her next trip. Her church, The Revival Center, and family mean the world to her. They have supported her through the loss of her mother and her own cancer diagnosis. Alexis enjoys encourging others by reminding them not to look at what they see, but to always look to God, who is working in the unseen.