I just had the privilege to travel with a team of very exceptional youths from our youth group to another church, where they ministered to the congregation. Their message was about brokenness. Even though it was the second time I heard that message, it struck me.
We are all broken in some way or another.
If we think about it, we all carry extra baggage around we really, truly don't need. Our brokenness comes from a refusal to let go, I think. Our brokenness is partly because we feel entitled to our pain, and believe me, I understand pain and I know how hard it is to look past the end of my own nose. We sometimes don't even know that we're holding on, but we do. Our fists are clenched and we have a death grip onto the hurt we carry around.
So we drown our sorrow, the difficulties of life that come our way no matter who you are. We bury ourselves in work, in drugs, in alcohol, in extramarital relationships. We numb our minds with hours of watching movies, playing games. We fill our lives with things to clutter it, to drown out that reality that we just can't deal with what is going on. We spend money, we fill our homes with useless things we don't need. Believe me, as someone who has lived in exceedingly primitive circumstances for the past 5 years (oh my goodness, has it been that long?!?!?!?), we don't need half the stuff we have in our lives.
Underneath it all, we are still busted!
No matter where you live, no matter what car you drive, your heart has a hole that won't be fixed by the next promotion. Nothing will cover your brokenness. It doesn't matter what good things you've done, although they certainly are worthy and good. But if you are honest with yourself, it's not enough. It's never, ever going to be enough.
Life, no matter what, is messy.
I was sitting outside last night, staring at the beautiful cerulean blue sky, angry at God. I just can't understand why? Why is life so painful, so difficult? I know the answers, I was just venting. It seems that every time we take a step forward, something happens and we get knocked back down! I had an exceptional week. Until...
We decided to take a detour after church with the youth to drive up Okemo. In the back of my mind, I kept on thinking, Okemo has not been very good to our cars in the past. But me being me I ignored the thought. Waiting for everyone to show up, I parked in the shade and turned off the car. And that was the end of it. It didn't turn over when we went to start it. Five guys (and I don't mean the restaurant) worked on it for about 45 minutes.
Nothing, nada, zip.
Okay, Okemo 2, Perreault cars 0. The score isn't very uplifting. My thoughts went to how we were going to get home. There were 3 of us and all the cars seemed pretty full. Just then, my daughter texted me that she was in town. We don't have cell reception at the house, so there was no way to get hold of her. Her day quickly changed when I outlined to her what she would be doing in the next forty minutes or so. Ahhh, I love family!
But I digress... Car: dead. I had it towed to the mechanics this morning.
That's a repair bill we hadn't expected.
Life is painful! We can camp out on that, or we can realize that there is so much more to this painful life than what we see. Our brokenness can only be fixed with one thing. A life surrendered to God.
Once we realize that our life is in someone else's hands, we can perhaps allow Him to fix that hole in our heart. Are we going to be exempt from the pain? HA! I wish. The pain is a reminder that we need to seek Him first, not things of this world. It is not easy, by all means, and it takes courage and humility. I've talked about humility before.
So, I can focus on how my car is busted and I now have to depend on my daughter to give me a ride everywhere. I can ignore the fact that God knew and provided for me. See, my daughter wasn't going to go into town. She was relaxing, taking it easy on her day off. But she felt the need to go in, thus enabling her to get an earlier text and allowing me to get hold of her. So, does that mean that it all worked out great? Well, I suppose. We made it home. But I'm learning, and relying so much more not on what I see, but what God is doing. God provided! He didn't take us out of this situation, He just provided a solution I didn't know I would need. Let's just face it. The more my focus is on myself, the less I see God.
Life is just a training ground. What lies beyond it is the real prize, and that can only be reached through the blood of Christ.
When I write, those are the things I focus on. Broken people with real problems. They have to work through the difficulties of life and either embrace the choice of following and surrendering to God, or continuing in the path of their own choosing. It is a choice, the most important one they have to make.
All around us we are inundated with people in pain, loosing everything they own, a hurting loved one, losing someone close to us. The news is full of stories of pain and despair. I don't watch the news. My life is complicated enough that I can't focus on what is going on around the world. It might be a bit small minded, but I can barely make it through one day. Focusing on whether America is going down the toilet – well, when it does, I'll still have to live. All these things just add to our brokenness and makes us focus on the negative, on the now. News doesn't sell if it's not sensational.
We forget that in our brokenness, there is a healer. Little by little I feel the parts of me that have been broken for my entire life become lined up and mended. If we just look at the shattered pieces of our lives, we can't see the beauty of our life. We can't see beyond this existence.
I want to encourage you to look beyond. Open up your hands and allow the Healer to make you into the masterpiece He already sees you as.
If you came up to me and asked what I do, I'd have to tell you that I'm a wife, mother and teacher. A writer? you ask. Wow. Now that is something I never thought I'd be. But through God, all things are possible.