(Photo by Lindsay O’Neil)
By Savannah Lawrence
Have you ever broken a plate before? Maybe it happened when you were little? When it falls, it’s loud and creates a mess. There are sharp pieces lying on the floor, and you must handle the debris with caution. There is always a cause to the plate falling. It could have fallen from a counter, or maybe if you live in California, an earthquake could have caused it!
Just like a plate falling, our own lives have many causes to our brokenness. Sometimes we are as fragile as a plate. Have you ever had a time in your life when you felt broken and scattered all over the floor? I have, many times.
Brokenness is a common term I use whenever I share my testimony with someone. I grew up in a Christian household with my mom, sister, and my dad. My dad had a drug addiction when I was growing up. Whenever he was using, he would abuse me mentally and emotionally. There were times when I would believe that what he was doing was normal, because I was never around anything else. He would constantly be in and out of jail and rehabilitation centers. He was never a constant father figure in my life and I was never able to understand why.
Around my eleventh birthday, my mom confessed to me that dad was not my biological father. She than began to tell me that she became pregnant with me when she was twenty-one, and my biological father felt that he wasn’t ready to become a father. When those words came out of my mom’s mouth, it felt like someone took a hammer to my world and smashed it into millions of pieces. I kept thinking about the fact that the man who did those horrible things to me wasn’t my biological father. I was young and naïve when reality set in. I began to question God asking Him what I did wrong to deserve this, and if I would ever have a father that wouldn’t leave or hurt me.
As time went on, the brokenness became more apparent. I knew I was broken, but for some reason I never wanted to except it. I kept telling myself that I needed to be strong for my mom, even though I was broken. I thought that if I taped and glued my pieces together I would be okay. I would try to fill the gaps with sports, friends, and other extracurricular activities, just so I could get my mind occupied. Have you ever felt that way before?
Everything I used to put it back together wouldn’t work, or it would only work for a certain amount of time. Even when I was trying to think of more things I could use, in the back of my mind I knew that there was only one who had the ability to completely put me together.
I was a junior in high school when I started to take my faith seriously. I was attending church regularly, Young Life, and a small group with other girls my age. We were going through the book of John and my eyes were glued to John 13: 7. It says, Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” That day I realized that everything that happened in the past is for a bigger plan that I can’t see now.
When I acknowledged that God has His own timing for the amazing plan He has for me, I accepted the brokenness that comes with it. I decided to use God to help cement my brokenness together to better myself and for His kingdom. John 13:7 was one of the many verses that has shaped my faith and my understanding of what brokenness means to God and to me. I know that my past will help me in the future to instill my own experiences into someone who will be as broken as I once was.
My pieces were put back together by God, but He arranged them in such a unique way. Have you ever seen a mosaic before? Artists take broken pieces and rearrange them into master pieces. Each broken piece complimenting one another. They are so different too, they each tell a story. There are pieces that are sharper than others, and others have more character. God takes our brokenness and uses them to create something that is truly magnificent. We may not see what the whole picture is right away, but God gives us reassurance and glimpses that there will be a day that it will all come together in perfect harmony.
When the brokenness is fresh, we feel as if there is absolutely no way for us to ever feel whole again. Little do we know that God is the artist shaping and molding us into what we were always meant to be. Maybe the brokenness is what I needed to see how great and loving God truly is.