“Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice.”
A year ago, this verse probably wouldn’t have meant anything to me. It would have been just another pretty sounding verse, but I wouldn’t have understood the meaning of it like I do now. Why? Because brokenness really wasn’t a part of my vocabulary. I was the girl who had to be strong. I didn’t have time to be broken and vulnerable before the Lord. I had to look after my brothers, and my friends, the kids at my school, my dance team, and the youth group kids. I had to be strong, always. It’s not like anyone really put this pressure on me, but over time, I think I put the pressure on myself. I wanted to feel like I could protect, care, help, even ‘fix’ somebody. I wanted to feel strong and important. The truth is, I was not strong, I was weak. I did not have it all together like I tried so hard to make it seem. I was broken and hurting, but I suppressed those feelings so I could take care of someone else. My problems, my fears and insecurities, didn’t matter, and I really didn’t feel like I was worth anyone’s time. I became so caught up bearing the weight of everyone else’s burdens, that I neglected my own pain, and I didn’t bother coming to the Lord. It was just me against the world. Looking back at who I was a year ago, even six months ago, makes me laugh. I really thought I could make it through this year unbroken, doing everything on my own. I genuinely believed I was strong enough to walk through this life, but God knew I wasn’t, and if I have found anything in Ignite it’s this: brokenness.
My friend gave me this verse a few weeks before I left for Ignite. Hosea 6:1-3. “Come, let us return to the Lord. For he has torn us that he might heal us; he has struck us down, and he will bind us up. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up that we might live before him. Let us know, let us press on to know the Lord; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.” Slowly but surely, God used the power of this verse, to show me what a wretched sinner I am. The mask began to fall off, and I saw myself for everything that I was not, and in return, I saw God for everything that he was, is, and forever will be. He broke me in the most beautiful of ways. He revealed to me my never-ending cycle of self-sufficiency and the independence I so desperately try to have apart from the Lord. It’s pride that told me I was strong enough, good enough, even that I wasn’t important enough to come to the Lord in honesty and openness. And for the first time in my life, I longed to be broken by the Lord. I longed for him to carve away pieces of me, and fill me with the fulness of him. I longed for Jesus to tear me apart, rip my heart open, and shine his light in my dark, messed up heart. I needed my eyes to be opened to who I really was—broken, prideful, self absorbed, and battered by the world. But now, my broken bones rejoice. They rejoice because the Creator of the Universe, the Maker of my inmost being, my Friend, my Father, my Redeemer, is mending me back together. He is trading my sorrow for joy, my ashes for beauty, and breaking me apart to build me up to be the woman he designed me to be. Now, being broken isn’t about being weak, it’s about being willing. Being willing to be exposed; being willing to listen to God’s voice; being willing to come to Him; being willing to change and be renewed day by day. A.W. Tozer says this, “It is doubtful that God can use a man greatly, until he hurts him deeply.” We have to know who we are not, so that we can remember who God is—faithful, loving, gentle, holy. He died for me, and I think it’s time that I let pieces of myself die for Him too.
Application: There were a few people in my life who saw right through me, and poured out their hearts, and so much of their time, mentoring me and loving on me. I want to write to each of those people and thank them for how they have pointed me to Jesus, and helped to heal parts of my heart.