grace is one of those topics that the more I discover about it the more the mystery grows. I peel a layer and unearth a beautiful facet about grace, then another layer is revealed and I begin to peel that one away as well. Sometimes during the process I feel I lose all that I know and understand about grace, but as the next layer is revealed what understanding I lost crystalizes as it comes into focus.
Brokenness. It’s a facet of grace that I wouldn’t consider. Unless I experienced it.
I thought I knew brokenness. I am a child of a broken home. I am the descendent of broken relationships. And with the brokenness comes all different kinds effects: insecurity, fear of rejection, fear of success, emotional issues, physical issues, self-image issues, God-view issues, and a host of other problems. If you had asked me, I would have described myself as a broken plate that, through the power of the Holy Spirit, God put me back together again–with my cracks showing and empty places where the missing pieces were too small to replace. That’s the kind of brokenness I understood. And it’s a kind of brokenness we all can relate to.
We all have cracks. We all have missing pieces. We all have the ‘what-ifs?’ We all have spots in our lives with missing pieces that we ask ourselves ‘would that piece be missing if…’. I say let’s let God piece us back together, but let’s let Him place the pieces as He sees fit.
Brokenness. It was my companion. It was integral to my integrity. It still is. But just as with my understanding of grace, I needed to have a new understanding of brokenness.
The brokenness I experienced was a direct result of my life’s circumstances. Many were not even my own choices. I didn’t choose to come from a broken home. I didn’t choose to have a generational line of broken relationships. Those weren’t my choices. The effects of those choices–were they mine or were they an unavoidable consequence?
A toddler or young child doesn’t have the emotional maturity to deal with the heart sorrows that affect him or her. But, they grow up with a residual feeling that they can’t define, yet it defines their life, their choices, and their worldview. In my case, insecurity and fear of rejection were the core results of my broken life.
It was by God’s grace, by His tender, pursuing grace that He brought me to a place where I was willing to be broken by Him. Insecurity and fear of rejection were my armor. They don’t make good armor, but I had fooled myself into thinking that they did. I hid my true self, the self God wanted me to be behind that faulty armor. I tried my hardest to make sure that people liked me and I would mold myself into being whatever someone wanted because then they wouldn’t reject me.
People had become my god.
But my heart wanted God to be my God.
Brokenness. Broken by life’s circumstances or broken by God? Both are facets of brokenness and God’s grace is at work in both. God will love us and pour His grace on us throughout our circumstances. He will walk us through the fire and the storms and the fields of beauty.
However, He will also break, if we’re willing, the things in our lives that prevent Him from being God in our hearts, our lives, and our homes. My battle with insecurity and fear of rejection was broken by a gracious God. It was a painful journey, but He poured His grace into the broken pieces and has begun the process of putting me together in His plan and in His time. And He longs to do the same for everyone. The question remains….will you?