Have you ever had a broken heart? Do you know what it feels like to encounter profound brokenness in your life? Maybe it was from a tough relationship, wounding from a spouse, kids, even work colleagues, and of course past church experiences.
How we handle brokenness matters. Quite often we deal with bad experiences by blaming everybody but ourselves. Other times we simply want to avoid the situation all together. We think that if we ignore brokenness,
“time will heal all wounds,” which may sound nice but it’s not true.
Time is an agent that helps us forget, but if we aren’t intentional in dealing with our hurt the next time we encounter similar emotions the old woundedness will emerge and we will realized time hasn’t helped very much at all.
The final weeks of Lent are a reflective moment to honestly look at our past (and maybe our present), and confront brokenness to begin a process of healing. If you’re in a place where you need ‘new’ then there is no greater moment, no greater point in history, than resurrection Sunday, to ask for renewal.
Where are you on the journey from brokenness?
Usually we don’t want to deal with brokenness head on. In fact, we do the opposite–we try to escape. It’s normal to default to avoidance. If we can avoid remembering old (or new) wounds by pretending they don’t exist it seems easier to deal with. Ignoring doesn’t mean healing. Part of healing is finding good people to help. Hopefully, you reach a point when you realize although we you don’t want to be around people (because we don’t want to risk being hurt again) we need good people.
Conversely, if you know someone who is hurting then simply being present, without offering ‘a fix’, is an important reality of being a good friend.
Broken people are normal people on the mend.
Too often when we see people in broken moments we try to give answers. Some religious folks would say, “just call upon the Lord and He will answer,” always with the caveat, “maybe not in the time or the way you want, but you’ll get answer!” Of course, this does little to help those in need now who wait and wait yet never hear. “Maybe you’re not listening”, or the classic, “it’s not God’s timing.”
There are certainly times when God may respond in this way. But the truth is when you’re dealing with despair and brokenness you may not hear from God at all. And you know what? That’s OK.
Scriptures are full of people who struggle with God not delivering them from their pain. The struggle is normal. In fact, if you don’t cry out–dare I say lash out–to God in times of upheaval then you’re not taking your faith seriously.
If we believe in a God who turns the rights wrong then lament and cry out in confusion when this doesn’t happen. It’s a therapeutic exercise to deal with pain. It happens all over the scriptures. For example, some call Psalm 88 the “blackest of laments.”
Here is an example where the Psalmist calls out in despair, “where are you God?”
When you cry out the answer may not come, and if does, it may not be what you were looking for.
But here’s what we do know and what brings us full circle back into the Easter story. We know, because we have the stories, about a profound reality that our God draws near to those who are broken (Psalm 34:18; Psalm 51:10; Isaiah 57:15). The very nature of the Christ, the Messiah who comes to rescue all of creation, is that He experienced and propelled himself into utter, total, and complete brokenness.
Despite our choices, God’s grace somehow still encounters us. In the very least we have a Saviour who sympathizes with the pain that we go through.
But how do you get out? My prayer is that through the process of dealing with brokenness you will have road marks along the way suggesting you’re on the right path of healing. The road to restoration is one that ebbs and flows; deeper wounds take longer to emerge from. Be intentional with getting out of the mire. Maybe try new things in your life. Small things at first, and bigger things later. Develop new positive relationships, seek professional help, find a loving community to come alongside. Rebuilding is scary because it means doing something new, but it’s also the start of restoration.
This week as Easter approaches let’s be honest with our own brokenness. Share them with a Saviour who connects with your struggle. Get ready to ask–demand even–for the newness that arrives with the cataclysmic event of resurrection.
In time, there is a hope our story will get better. Our story as Christians is to be a participant in, and to tell, a renewed story. Maybe, and eventually, you’ll be an overcomer in yours.