Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Day 30: Broken Bread

I heard this song by Rend Collective Experiment at the beginning of the semester: Broken Bread. I love it. Here are the words.

May I be broken bread, may I be poured out wine
May I incarnate Your kindness, Lord

Spend my life, Jesus, anyway You please
Whether on great things, or what seems small

Your will done your way
Your will done your way
Your will done your way

I will not fight You
Take me past the line that my heart draws
I will not fight You
Take me beyond the laziness of my thoughts
I will not fight You
Lead me further than I've gone before
I will not fight You
I'm abandoned to Your call

Do not let there be, any part of me
That’s untouchable, unreachable

Let my delight be living out Your dreams
Washing dirty feet, and kissing yours

God, let Your dreams come true, dream through us
God, let Your dreams come true through us

While the last part about God's dreams may sound a little too Americanized, I love the rest of it and want it to be my theme song.

The broken bread imagery sticks out to me. Broken bread is a theme through the gospels.

Jesus thanked Father, broke the bread, and fed thousands.

Jesus thanked Father, broke the bread (His body), and passed it to His disciples.

Jesus IS the broken bread. Broken. And we are healed.

It is through His brokenness that we can be fed and healed.

And Jesus? I come to You. I come to You as You are the One who was broken. This should change the way I come to You, shouldn't it? You are so tender-hearted. So gentle. So powerful. Powerful enough to let Yourself be broken. 

for me.

This should shine a light on each sharp edge of my brokenness, shouldn't it? You were broken first. You sacrificed first. Let me follow You. My heart aches, but can I be broken bread for You? I don't know what I'm asking, do I? Lord, I'm not even sure my heart is there to really mean what that question implies. Can we reach this place? Can You grow me up to this? 

To this point of full surrender? Of giving everything? Of loving You in such deep ways that I desire any opportunity for sacrifice? You know I am so selfish. So. Disgustingly. Selfish. 

I get claustrophobic in the process and afraid that I'll never get out of this selfishness. So sick of what I see in myself some days, forgetting that You're working on me, and this looks like process.

I've got a lot of ideas for how I want the end to look like, Jesus! Oh. Uh. You already got that covered, don't You? ;) Okay.

Well, thank You for being broken for me. Wow. For doing it so willingly and lovingly. I don't deserve You. But thank You. So, soooo much.

I love You.
Simply Yours

Monday, October 29, 2012

Day 29: Alabaster Something Or Other's :)

I am so tired tonight in more ways than one. So much on my heart. A giant or two smashing through my mind, leaving shreds of incomplete thoughts.

And brokenness. What about brokenness?

How do I follow the King who lets Himself be broken for His people?
How do I let myself be affected and broken-hearted as Jesus seems to have been affected by others' pain?

Steep me in Your presence, LORD.
I am tired, but maybe You could strengthen me in order to break me like that Alabaster Jar?
Does that analogy even make sense?
I don't know, Lord. 
I don't know. I don't want to pretend to know tonight. 
So hold me? Please, will You come near and let me feel Your breath? I love You, my King. I am so glad to be safe in You. Thank You for such love. :)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Day 28: All the Broken Pieces

I'm lame, but I'm feeling sick, so I'm going to post a brokenness song today. ;)

This song sings about surrendering the brokenness.

I think so much of our brokenness comes from our pasts, or at least, I feel many associate brokenness with their pasts. It's so tied to shame.

I have seen a lot of my friends walk in cruel, relentless shame . . . it has ripped and tattered them. I know there has to be freedom from this; I'm just not sure what that looks like. I'm sure there are much more complicated answers than simply "Give[ing] them up to [the LORD]," though I'm sure that must happen.

Anyways, these are my thoughts for the night. Now it's time to sleep. :)

Have a good night, world.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Day 27: Survey. Others Define Brokenness

Awhile back, I sent several of my friends a survey to fill out on brokenness. I wanted to share some of the results that I got from that with you! :) I'm learning that "brokenness" is a very broad term with different nuances, something that comes up in the way people answered my questions. Here's the first one for now:

How would you define brokenness?

Something that is not whole and that needs to be put together that is stopping the said thing from being what/who they are created to be.

comfort or security being split apart, taken away, disintegrated

reaching the end of yourself

Brokenness lacks one-ness--it is disjoined. Brokenness inherently begs and calls for restoration.

being at the point of being unable to make sense of the mess of your life on your own

Brokenness is wounds of the soul--the pain, suffering and discouragement that come from living in a fallen and sinful world.

"""He must increase, but I must decrease."" John 3:30
""We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.""2 Corinthians 4:8-11

Brokenness/suffering is a catalyst that allows for manifestation of Christ in our daily lives.  He must increase, and we decrease in order that he may be fully known not only to us, but to those around us.

The Lost Day 26: Feelings & Truth

So, it wasn't until the clock struck midnight . . . okay, it was after midnight to be honest . . . that I realized I didn't blog yesterday! Ah shoot. So, I'm going to try to do two blog posts tonight. Really fast. :)

So, here's to the lost Day 26.

I wonder if the Lord has been showing me about feelings this week. Oh My Sweet Goodness. And what a week of feelings. :)

I'm threaded into a post-modern generation. I believe in absolute truth for sure, but I am heavily influenced by my generation's culture and the way we prize experiences and value feelings. We're the "I feel like . . . " generation.

There are definitely really positive things to this, but there is also this subconscious suggestion that feelings equal truth, and that just isn't true.

Truth goes farther than my feelings. {postmodern generation}
It plunges deeper than my even my human logic. {modern generation}

Anyways, I know "brokenness" is used in so many ways, but it can be a feeling word for sure.

When we're broken, sometimes we don't feel like God is close. Sometimes, God feels like He's slipped out of the room. A passive-aggressive God who will not sit with me in my self-inflicted pain.

I don't think God's like that.

I believe He is holy. I believe He hates sin. I believe that consequences for our sin come.

But I think He remains true to His faithfulness and His love along with His holiness towards us in our moments when we arrive broken.

When I feel like running away from Him in my brokenness, will I run? Or will I stay?
When I feel like He is far away, letting me feel the shame as punishment for my sin, will I believe my feelings or question them?

YHWH remains consistent in His character . . . no matter how I'm feeling. Feeling does not determine truth. Jesus does. Even in our brokenness.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Day 25: Wholeness Prayer


What does it mean to be whole? Restored? Redeemed? What does it mean, after all the pieces crack and shatter on the tile floor, to submit to Your hands and Your piecing back together all the ruins?

I've talked about brokenness, but Jesus, what about wholeness? How do I learn to walk towards You and to walk towards healing from sin?

Please grab me by the hand and lead me. Home.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Day 24: I'm {truly} Okay

The feelings of brokenness hit today. The lonely, heart-aching.

But it was perfect.

It sent me on my knees in a little prayer chapel in the Northeast corner of Portland. :)

And I prayed, and He filled that little chapel with His presence and His peace.

I remembered that He is the One I want most of all and that I would rather be driven to pain as long as I run into His presence bleeding than be aimlessly chasing rainbow ends without a cloud in the sky. :) This isn't easy to say, even though it sounds kinda pretty, and sometimes, I don't feel it, but I know it. 

I should confess though that I didn't always feel peace in my brokenness today. When I first woke up, I woke up desperate. I HATE that feeling, the feeling of desperate loneliness like there's nothing you can do to be free. I don't feel it too often, but when I do, I want to panic. My mom prayed for me over the phone though and the peace came.

His peace will meet us in brokenness, and when His peace is there, we'll make it. :) I'm sure of it. I'm not sure His peace will always feel the way we expect it to feel? (I don't know), but I'm sure He will come into it with us.

Brokenness doesn't have to be bad. Especially if it propels us into the presence of our Savior. Especially if it causes us to trust Him more, as one of my best friends reminded me.

I'm not prepared to say "It Is Well" for every wildly horrific situation that could come into my life (Jesus would have to prepare me each time), but the Lord gives me grace in the now and in this time to let the words seep and sing, and I want to say it honestly, but by His grace, it is well with my soul. Jesus is trustworthy. I may not feel safe or extra energetic or good per se, but His arms will keep me. alleluia. I'm okay. :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Day 23: let the waters rise

let the waters rise
if You want them to
i will follow You
i will follow You.
- mikeschair

the waters are rising, and i wonder if the past weeks of incredible joy were the preparation, the rest, before it's time again for the dam to be opened . . . for the water to rise again.


okay, Jesus.

You and me. 

let the waters rise. it's okay.

but i don't want to say that because i think i can handle it. You know i can't. i know i can't.

but when You put me again back in these moments of dependence, like one of Your sons said, 
it's all worth it. and You will come like the spring rains . . . You're right here. :)


let the brokenness come . . . let the waters rise higher. "it's just You and me here now. it's only You and me here now." 

i am safe in Your arms. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Day 22: Teach Me to Hate Sin

One of my sweet friends had me over for dinner tonight. We laid the blanket down on her bedroom floor and had a picnic dinner of yummy, homemade soup and bread and chocolate for dessert. :)

She asked me what I've been learning. I wasn't really sure, but I told her that I've been focusing on brokenness this month. To be honest, I really don't feel like I've been learning what I expected or that I've been changed in the way I expected. She wondered if maybe I've been changed in different ways though. I hope so. I guess God rarely works in ways we expect.

One thing that I've really wanted God to do in my life is to teach me to hate my sin. To HATE. With passion. I struggle to hate. This evening though when I was praying with one of my friends, I asked God to forgive us for our sin . . . that feels so good. Sometimes, I forget to ask Him to forgive me. I forget that I sin. That sounds dumb. It is dumb, but it's true. Sometimes I focus so much on relationship with the Lord that I forget that He is still holy and righteous and that anything I do or think that doesn't align with His character is sin. Anyway, as I prayed that, it was so refreshing and freeing, and I wonder if maybe I'm getting it a little bit . . . what it means to come to God, realizing I am broken. I don't function properly yet. He's working in me and redeeming me, but until Heaven, I won't be fully restored.

Coming to God with the understanding that I sin and that it affects Him should leave me with a broken heart.  A contrite heart. I want this. I want this to affect my prayer life. To affect the way I see others. To affect the way I see God's goodness . . . a goodness that comes and loves me, even in my dirty. I want brokenness to change the way I see and change the way I love. It can. I know it can.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Day 21: Don't Stop the Madness

I'm heading out to a Tenth Avenue North / Audrey Assad / Rend Collective Experiment concert in a little less than 2 hours. Jesus is INCREDIBLE. I had been looking at this concert near the beginning of the school year, thinking it would be fun to go but not so much for $25. Well, through a series of events, a radio station gave me FREE TICKETS!!!!! when I wasn't expecting them by any means. The Lord answers some crazy desires so unexpectedly . . . He is such a good gift Giver!

Well, anyway, I've been listening to a few Tenth Avenue North's songs on YouTube before I head to the concert, and I heard this one.

It's a song that asks God to let the pain and the chaos and really the brokenness come in order to keep us on our knees.

This truly is an upside down kingdom.

I LOVE this line:

"If you promise pain it can't be meaningless
So make me poor if that's the price for freedom"
I have been so recently aware of the wonderful life I'm living right now. Seriously. I have the best friends. I get to study the Word of God. I have two great jobs. I have my own space. I have been so blessed by others' love and gifts and words this past week . . .

but am I putting too much weight in this? Do I really desire Him to do WHATEVER IT TAKES to keep me on my knees? To keep me worshiping God?

And I am sincerely faced with the very real question:

Am I leaning on the goodness of my life?
Am I leaning on the Giver of all Good, the One who works even our pain and the rough, soul-tearing experiences for our good?

Lord, please reveal my heart. Show me my motives . . . please bring me always on my knees. Do what You have to, Lord. I would rather be with You in pain than run away from you in what I think is happiness. Please.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Day 20: God Knows Brokenness

"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not! See, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see Me again, until you say, 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD.'" - Jesus

Do You hear His heart? 

"Yet I will leave some of you alive. When you have among the nations some who escape the sword, and when you are scattered through the countries, then those of you who escape will remember me among the nations where they are carried captive, how I have been broken over their whoring heart that has departed from me and over their eyes that go whoring after their idols. And they will be loathsome in their own sight for the evils that they have committed, for all their abominations. And they shall know that I am the LORD. I have not said in vain that I would do this evil to them."  - God in Ezekiel 6:8-10


God knows brokenness for those He loves who have left Him.

Our Jesus knows a compassion that makes Him cry in brokenness over loss (remember Lazarus' story?). 

Our God allows Himself to be affected by our sin and I would venture to say our pain.

 Do I know this? Does this cross my mind when I cry to Him in my pain or when I sin against Him? 

The Creator knows brokenness. He understands. How do I respond?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Day 19: Chaos

Brokenness doesn't have to be chaos, does it?

Send me broken in Your peace.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Day 18: His Words

There are limits . . . even to the brokenness we experience as His.

"But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh."

2 Corinthians 4:7-11 ESV

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Day 17: Same Sun

This brokenness topic is spinning me dizzy. I was asked today if I felt like I've been broken through this process of focusing on this topic, and I had to answer that I don't think I'm as broken as I should be, but I do wonder if the Lord has changed me more than I can see at this point within these past 17 days. Regardless, I don't want to just experience brokenness for the experience . . . I want to do it/live it/feel it right.

Well, maybe what I mean by that is to respond to it well.

One of my Bible teachers in high school liked quoting Amy Grant in that "the same sun that melts the wax hardens the clay." Her point was that hard stuff can either bring us toward God and a softening or we can respond with hardened hearts.

In my brokenness, in the moments when I'm fully aware of my weakness and sin, in the moments of my wrestling (and sheesh, I have plenty things to wrestle over), I can either soften to God's hand at work in my life, to praise Him through it, or I can try to grab my shattered life and turn angry toward God. I can defend myself and blame the One who is purely good. I can argue against His character.

I don't want to do brokenness this way.

I want to be singing through the brokenness. I want to present each fragment into the Father's hands.

How will I respond to my own brokenness?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Day 16: Being Broken By Friends

Back in day 3, I mentioned one of my favorite verses.

Hosea 6:1
"Come, let us return to the LORD;
for He has torn us, that He may heal us;
He has struck us down, and He will bind us up."

You know what I just thought of? Shoot.

Proverbs 27:6
"Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses."

The LORD wounds us, breaks us, in order to heal us.

I can take that. I can trust Someone who loves me fully and knows me most intimately to break me, even though I may still argue with Him and not understand, I know without a doubt He will remain faithful. He can't deny Himself.

But friends also wound us. God can use others to break us, and this is uncomfortable, especially for a stubborn girl like me who doesn't want to trust. I don't want others to break me.

Um, this is problematic.

Because you see, I think sometimes God wants to use others to bring a brokenness into my life that will heal me better, and my response can either be to harden up or to let my heart be soft.

Am I humble enough to let God use others to point out my junk? To point out my contradictions? To do surgery in the sensitive places of my heart?

Will I be soft?

Will I trust the wounds (brokenness) from my friends?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Day 15: Brokenness Aside

I'm at a loss.

Fifteen days and fifteen + more to go, and I don't know.

Maybe because I'm tired.

Maybe because brokenness is hard.

Maybe because I still feel like it's such a broad topic.

Maybe because it's just not fun, and I'm just not good at it.

I don't know.

But I have little today.

 So today is a song day. :) Thank you, All Sons & Daughters. This is "Brokenness Aside."

Brokenness Aside 
Leslie Jordan and David Leonard
lyrics found: http://www.newreleasetuesday.com/lyricsdetail.php?lyrics_id=70411#_

Will your grace run out
If I let you down 
‘Cause all I know
Is how to run

‘Cause I am a sinner 
If its not one thing its another
Caught up in words 
Tangled in lies 
You are the Savior 
And you take brokenness aside
And make it beautiful 

Will you call me child
When I tell you lies 
Cause all I know 
Is how to cry 

I am a sinner 
If its not one thing its another 
Caught up in words 
Tangled in lies 
You are the Savior 
And you take brokenness aside
And make it beautiful 

You make it beautiful
You make it beautiful

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Day 14: Inspite of Me

They say God uses the broken.

Yeah, not sure who "they" is, but I think they're right.

Abigail must have been broken in her relationship with a selfish, cruel man.

Rahab's heart must have been broken as a woman who had sold her life into prostitution but who dared to believe in Israel's God.

Ruth must have been crushed after losing her husband.

Brokenness. Weakness. Helplessness.

And God used these women miraculously.

God uses the broken.

One lady quoted Pamela Reeve in my ministry to women class . . .

"God works inspite of us."

And for some reason, that's stuck with me this week. There is no purpose for God to use broken, imperfect tools. He could work much better without us, but instead, Jesus uses the broken. Beautiful grace.

There are moments when I feel so used up or so unusable. Brokenness. But I wonder if I have a pretty limited view of how God uses us . . . When God uses us, He works inspite of us.

So friend, if you're feeling broken tonight, may Jesus hold you tightly. You are not beyond His use.  He can still do miraculous things in you and also through you . . . be open, love. Be open.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Day 13: No Room for Cliches

As I sit with my friends and listen to stories of brokenness, I'm reminded . . .

there is no room for cliches for the broken.

I've learned this from the pieces of brokenness crushed into my journey and how bitter it tastes to drink others' words when they have been mixed as cliches, phrases too common and too empty to nourish me.

Yet even with this head knowledge, sometimes I forget and the "nice," manicured clippings come out as disgustingly distant, empty attempts to cheer the wounded. Forgive me, Father. Forgive me when I've betrayed others' experiences and broken hearts by my flippant words of false peace. I am betrayer. Please, please heal me, forgive me.

One of my biggest faults is being "nice." Nice people know their cliche's well and can pick the right one for the right situation. Nice people will tell ya what you want to hear when you're aching. Nice people can be liars. I'm a nice person.

I desire to be a kind person. I want to be like Jesus. I want to only be a mouthpiece, speaking silence and words only when the Spirit desires to use human speech.

Oh Jesus, please teach me to listen to You while speaking to others. Please teach me how to offer real, healing words that REALLY represent who You are and where my friends are at. Teach me to be okay in silence. In listening and holding and loving and saying nothing sometimes. 

I believe that there can be TRUTH spoken amidst pain, but in the moments when words are required, they must be watermarked in love, and they must fit within real life. Yes, YES, our God is good, and we will see His goodness in our pain, but we must remember that while God is good, sometimes our situations are NOT good. That's okay. It's okay when friends are questioning. It's okay to let them struggle through things. Sometimes we all need that period of struggling. But teach me the balance of sympathizing and empathizing, Lord. Of agreeing with them and simply standing near them while believing bigger things than they can at the moment. Is this the right way to pray about this, Lord?

Well, ha . . . this is kinda a different post, but I've been reminded of that lately. I have a really good friend who is very anti-cliche. I can tell whenever those easy, go-to Christian phrases slip out of my mouth, and he gently responds in a way that makes me think through what I'm really saying. Cliches are safe. For us. But for those receiving them, they can be destructive. As followers of Jesus, let's be creative. :) We don't need cliches to speak healing. I want to do better! Ya wanna join me?


Friday, October 12, 2012

Day 12: Brokenness as Bankruptcy

One of the definitions of broken is bankrupt.

Makes sense.

It's a pretty common college phrase to say, "I'm broke." aka Not. Much. Money.

And I wonder if this idea of brokenness fits with Jesus' words about poverty . . .

Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.

The New Living Translation goes so far as to say:
God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

Poverty. Brokenness.

I have a dear friend who's making it to the end of her thread-barren rope. She needs $300 by next month to pay rent. She has no job (though she's searching), one incredible son in fifth grade. She ran out of bus-tickets. She's overwhelmed and afraid and worried . . .


But she still tries to seek God, to trust Him . . . even in her fear. She is amazing.

She knows poverty.

She knows poverty of possession. I wonder if poverty of spirit is similar. I wonder if to be poor in spirit is to be weak, to realize we are in BIG TROUBLE if God doesn't show up. I wonder if poverty of spirit means that we have cut back every "fluff" in our lives, every aspect that makes us comfortable . . . too comfortable but not healthy. I wonder if brokenness is about awareness of our need. We need Jesus.

What do you think? Any ideas?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Day 11: Plea for Brokenness

Jesus? I'm such a mess. I'm not orderly. I'm not the kind of broken that's "all put together," that's submissive and fully trusting. 


I'm the broken that doesn't quite break clean. I'm not the clean cut. I'm the broken of the tree trunk that's been sawed down with a dull saw, part of its stump still trying to stand tall. Shouldn't I be like the cracked, clay pot, God? Fully broken, fully surrendered? My brokenness looks more like messiness and rebellion sometimes. 

I can't even break honestly. 

And I really don't know about brokenness, Lord. I know about selfishness, but what do I know of brokenness?

So, I come to You so tired tonight but expectant. 

Break me in order that I may follow You, God.

Please break me in order that when people look at me, they sincerely see YOU because You really are in me . . . not because I know all the right words. 

Please break me so my tongue's natural response is "Yes, Lord! Yes, Yes, Yes!!!"

Please break me so that my knees are always bent in adoration.

Please break me, Lord, so I can really know You, so that all other distractions dissolve.

Please break me, Lord, so I can see just how much my sin has cost You. Oh God, please. 

I can trust You with the knife. 

With the pressure and the stresses and the heartache that You allow to come my way.

As long as You promise to stay . . . 

please do what it takes to make me closer to You, to make me love You more and to know Your love more . . . as long as You stay right next to me and give me what I need to walk through it. Please, please Jesus!

Thank You for being so trustworthy.

I love You. Thank You for being broken for me. What an incredible Savior!

In Jesus' name,

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Day 10: Broken Towards Willing Submission

One of the definitions of brokenness is "tamed, trained, or reduced to submission."

The example that goes with that is a horse that's broken (trained).

This reminded me of verses that the wise, wise Muriel Cook shared in my Ministry to Women Class a week or so back. 

Psalm 32:8-9

"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; 
I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding,
which must be curbed with bit and bridle, 
or it will not stay near you."

Muriel described the horse as a skittish creature that would much rather run away than be obedient.

The mule is known for its stubbornness. 

Both need to be broken in order to be maneuvered, in order to move them in the direction they're meant to move.

Jesus? I am so immovable some days, aren't I? You instruct me, and my heart runs south, aggravated and distracted.

Lord, will You break me? Train me into Your ways, breaking me out of my ways? What does this look like, Jesus? Is there something I need to do? or is it all something You do?

Thank You for how personal You are in leading me, counseling me. The word submission rubs against the grain of my soul, and I don't want it to be that way. I'm so messed up, Jesus. Please teach me submission, a brokenness that leads me to full, willing, excited obedience. You are worth obeying. You are Most High. Alleluia.

In Jesus' name,

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Day 9: Restore

The broken need restoration.

Restoration: "a return of something to a former, original, normal, or unimpaired condition."

Psalm 23 is one of my favorites. I know it's used all the time and is so commonly familiar, but to unpack the metaphor is absolutely stunning.

And ever since that night when I was stretched out on my bunk at a camp in the middle of nowhere, wondering what in the world I was doing there, and I read these words . . . they pierce my soul into healing.

"He restores my soul." 

God is the only One who can bring back my soul to what it is meant to be.

He welcomes the impossible cases, and to take my soul back to a restored state is an impossible case.

But He's good at that . . . the impossible things.

He is Restorer. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Day 8: Save Me

Standing in the presence of YHWH daily. Soaking in all that He is. Love. Peace. Power. Grace. Justice.

And still, one of the most powerful beings fell from heaven.

Because of pride.

Y'all, that SCARES me. I think it should scare me more than it does, to be honest.

If pride can destroy an archangel and make him into devil, what will pride do to me?

I think about that when my pride thoughts are whirlpooling me, waves up to my forehead, and I can just picture . . .

If some of my wretched prideful motives would be exposed, my ministry could be destroyed.

My friendships could be ruined.

My witness to Jesus . . . gone.

{I'm not a nice gal.
Take that back. I am a nice gal. That's the problem. Nice-ness doesn't take you to the kingdom gates. It's kindness that is of Christ. They are very different things.}

And niceness and pride are sick, germ-swarming illness, and I don't know the answer to healing of this disease,

except to be broken.

One of my professors says that gratitude is the key to humility. And somehow, brokenness plays its role too.

I think of a plant that needs to be replanted into a bigger plot. I don't know why, but I was taught that you always need to break up the roots a little before you replant it.

And Jesus? I'm that stubborn plant that needs to be replanted into You. Will you please break up my roots a little bit, so I can grow into You, deeper and deeper? You know the innermost cavern of my being. The dark places. And You know how pride is so frustrating to me because it's not a self-contained sin. It filters into everything, and I'm sick with it. Sick of it. Sick in it. And more often than not, I don't understand just how awful it is. Help me, Lord! I don't want it to destroy me. I know it will if we don't do something about it. I can't do anything on my own. Please, please kill me. Crucify me with You. Break my reliance and my self-worship. Please break me, Lord Jesus.
In Your name and by Your power.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Day 7: Brokenness is Weakness

At this point in my brokenness blogging adventure, I'm feeling like the word "BROKEN" is such an ambiguous term. We say we're broken when we're hurting. We call it brokenness when we're lonely. We synthesize brokenness with humility on some days. Oh my. So, I'm not fully sure what words I should be looking for in the Bible to seek out brokenness, but I think weakness might be a good synonym. 

So tonight, I'm sticking with the dictionary definition of brokenness being "weakened in strength, spirit." (dictionary.com).

And I can't get around Paul's conversation with Jesus . . . 

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 ESV
"But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'

Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions,  and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

If this is a safe synonym, 

than maybe it's okay to say that we can boast in our brokenness. Brokenness is something to be grateful for.

than maybe we can say that it's okay to be broken. To live in our brokenness. 

than maybe brokenness is key to strength . . . 

is the intersection where Christ's power comes and meets us, completing our brokenness . . . wholeness.

Maybe? Maybe?

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Day 6: On the Same Team

It's been a wonderful day. Haven't done any homework yet, and while that's kind of a bummers, it's been really refreshing. I've been able to rest, meet with a mentor, pray in downtown Portland with a big group of Jesus-lovers, and in a little while, I'll get to hang out with church people.

But still, my spirit has been restless. Obviously, I've been pretty distracted as seen from the way I've been looking at Internet Mobile Banking and Checking Email in the middle of writing a blog post. Sheesh.

But anyways, back to the restlessness.

So I went to the prayer chapel after taking a refreshing nap. I was needing some re-centering. I thought for awhile at how the Lord had taught me so much of His love this summer, and how we were so close near the beginning of the year, but now, I'm the distracted child with the dazed look in her eyes, needing to sit down for a second and remember. Remember who He is. Who I am.

And I fidgeted in that chapel, hoping for a quick, divine fix so God and I would be golden again, and I'd march right out, all refreshed, ready to nail homework, and live my life.


Epic Expectation Fail.

I expect God to magically fix my brokenness on the spot some days.

Okay. Most days. 

And as I sat there, I had to apologize to Jesus for just wanting a quick fix and then life as usual.

NO. He wants me, and really, I really want Him. Not just fast solutions.

And I also realized that I could spend a lot of time in that chapel, chatting at God and explaining myself and how I just wasn't feeling quite with it with Him and why was that again? and What did I do? 
I could see myself as the guilty failure who somehow forgot how to stay connected with the Lord. I could see myself as the enemy and in some awful ways, see God as the enemy for not connecting Himself with me (that's awful, but I'm so guilty of it sometimes. Jesus, please forgive me!!!).


I could side WITH God against the sin and the disconnection by asking Him for His brokenness that leads me to humility and healing

I think the Lord was trying to show me that asking for brokenness realigns me with Him. It's a request that realigns me to His side, His "team", and to relationship with Him.

I'm not sure I communicated that very clearly, but maybe more clear words will come. Regardless though, our King is so gracious. Brokenness is an avenue towards connection to Him.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Day 5: Dictionary Definitions

Words are imperfect, incomplete shadows, but there is something powerful about finding a right word, a word that stands on its tiptoes to reach closest to the reality.

Dictionary.com's definitions of the word "brokenness" help me re-evaluate this word and maybe brings me a little closer to what this idea really is. Here are some of its definitions:


ruptured; torn; fractured.
not functioning properly; out of working order.
fragmentary or incomplete: a broken ton of coal weighing1,500 pounds.
infringed or violated: A broken promise is a betrayal of trust.
interrupted, disrupted, or disconnected: After the phone call he returned to his broken sleep.
weakened in strength, spirit, etc.: His broken health was dueto alcoholism.
tamed, trained, or reduced to submission: The horse wasbroken to the saddle.
ruined; bankrupt: the broken fortunes of his family.

I want to look more into the idea of brokenness being a type of bankruptcy and emptiness, of it being an incompleteness. 

But until then . . . 

This is a song that has the word broken in it. Hahaha :) But really, it's a good one! :)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Day 4: A Contrite Heart

Nick, a current Multnomah student, shared his story this Monday night at one of my school's alternate chapels. He said several things that encouraged me and convicted me, but there was one particular thing that made me ache.

Good theologians live their theology, he shared. I'm not a good theologian. If I were a good theologian, I would pray for hours instead of getting on facebook. I would weep over my sin. I would . . .

I would weep over my sin.


And something inside of me grows fidgety.

Jesus knows . . . I struggle with this. I struggle with hating my sin.

I'm not good at looking it straight in the face and cursing it.

I would rather turn around and try to hop back into God's lap like a silly child who doesn't understand her own contradictions.

But I've prayed that I would hate my sin. And I want to . . . I really do.

I want to hate the way that pride creeps in and slaughters anything pure and kind in my actions.

I want to hate the way it has the potential to completely destroy my relationships with my friends and family and church and my effectiveness in loving people and loving God.

I want to hate each time I lie to people and tell 'em I'm doing fine or when I say that I will pray for you! and then [shamefully] forget, when I lie to people with my smile and my actions.

I want to hate each time I try to save people on my own and forget I am only creature. He is Creator. Savior.

I want to hate each moment when I speak of another person unkindly and when I kill someone in my mind with cruel, cruel thoughts.

I want to hate each conversation when I tell someone what they want to hear instead of the truth, when I rely on myself to speak and not listen to what Jesus wants to tell them or just how He wants to listen to them.

I want to hate each moment when I think I can do everything because the world relies on me, right? (Negative)

Another word for broken can be Contrite.

Dictionary.com puts life into that word when it describes contrite as that which is:
"caused by or showing sincere remorse, filled with a sense of guilt and the desire for atonement; penitent: a contrite sinner."

So today, my prayer is for this type of brokenness. I want to be broken by my sin, Lord. Completely penitent, remorseful, and repentent. I want to hate it, to see how You hate it, how it wrecks me and keeps my relationship with you from being what it could be. Is this the way I should pray?

Please, break me, Father.
I love You.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
Psalm 51:17

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Day 3: Brokenness, Avenue to Healing

"Moreover, the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold, as the light of seven days,

 in the day 
                the LORD binds up 
                                        the brokenness 
                                                    of his people, 
                               heals the wounds 
                                                inflicted by his blow."

Isaiah 30:26

Hosea 6:1-3
"Come, let us return to the LORD; for he has torn us, that he may 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 may 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."

Wounded, torn, broken. Brokenness is His avenue to healing.

This is an "upside kingdom" that we operate in. It's crazy. Doesn't make sense. To live, we must die. To be healed, He breaks us.

So how does this affect my interpretation of my own brokenness? How should this affect the way I walk with my friends through their brokenness?

Mmm . . . to be revisited. :)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Day 2: Finding a New Meaning in Brokenness

I looked up "Broken" in BlueLetterBible.org (new.best.friend.),  and at least one of the Hebrew words that we translate as broken (the word "dakah") comes up 5 times in the Old Testament!


I was starting to wonder as I thought about this topic if broken was just a "feeling/Christianese" word. I knew it was mentioned in the Bible, but I have been guilty of overusing it into a no-meaning, skeletal existence.

But there is meaning. And I'm getting hints that this meaning might change me.

I'll talk more about some of these verses later hopefully, but for now, I'll just leave ya with 'em. The words in the brackets are my attempt to try to fill us in on the context . . . think of them as commentary . . . sorta.

Psalm 10:10
The helpless are crushed [broken], sink down, and fall by his [the wicked man's] might.

Psalm 38:8
I am feeble and crushed [broken] [because of sin]; I groan because of the tumult of my heart.

Psalm 44:19
[We have not done wrong] yet You have broken us in the place of jackals and covered us with the shadow of death.

Psalm 51:8
Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken [because of my sin] rejoice.

Psalm 51:17
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken  and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

It's interesting that these verses are all in the Psalms. David knew brokenness well . . . may the God of this incredible man teach me something about it through this month. I've got a lot to learn.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Day 1: 31 Days of Brokenness

Sweet, sweet October. She is birthed into sunshine, and even in her baby stage, she sends me out on adventure.

Today begins the 31 day blogging adventure. I'm joining hundreds of women. We've picked different topics, and we're writing on them. Thirty-one days.

Last year, I wrote on Prayer and wow. What a life-changing gift. I brainstormed this year wondering what I could possibly write about for 31 days. I want a topic that will change me, something that could maybe impact others too. "Meaningful is most Memorable," somebody said once upon a time.

So, while I was brainstorming, brokenness came to mind amongst a lieu of random ideas. But I snagged on that one. Brokenness.

I'm not even sure what that means.

I have heard about Jesus' body being BROKEN Bread.

I've read about how the the Lord is near to those with BROKEN hearts.

I've said that I'm BROKEN countless times and have heard the word ping-ponged in Christian circles.

But what does it mean to be broken?

What does it mean to LOVE the broken?

Is brokenness something I'm called to or called out of?

How are brokenness and humility intertwined? Or are they?

What are we really describing when we say "brokenness?" Is it just an abstract concept or are there other words?

So I'm left with questions and a wild adventure ahead of me. I don't imagine this will be easy, but I hope it will be worth it.

So Lord? Would You please guide these words? Would You allow me into this conversation with You? And Jesus, if it takes my brokenness to understand this more fully and to be who You want me to be, . . . please . . . break me. You know my reluctance in asking for this. That prayer is hard. But I am Yours, and You are trustworthy. On to adventures? I love You.
Simply Yours

So until tomorrow, I leave you with this:

God uses broken things. It takes broken soil to produce a crop, broken clouds to give rain, broken grain to give bread, broken bread to give strength. It is the broken alabaster box that gives forth perfume. It is Peter, weeping bitterly, who returns to greater power than ever.                                     Vance Havner