Everyday Grace

Searching for goodness in the ordinary

31 Days of Hope in Brokenness

Sep
19

photo: Tobi Dami

Jesus has been teaching me something lately that I want to share with y’all.

My whole life, I have felt a little bit broken.

In my heart of hearts, I have always sensed that I am not quite whole. Like there are pieces missing, like I did not get the same manual for life that others seemed to have. Like everyone else had it together, and for some reason, I just didn’t.

I have also done some work on my emotions (with SO much help from the Lord and several awesome therapists) over the years that has helped me pinpoint that some of that broken feeling comes from growing up without ever knowing or meeting my dad. This has impacted me a lot more than I thought it ever could, but identifying my father wound has helped me know what to cry out to God for in my brokenness – namely, the reassurance and love of my Father in heaven who does not fail or leave – and the struggle has been a constant reminder that my very life depends on my leaning in closer to Jesus. There is truly nothing He can’t heal.

But what happens when He doesn’t choose to snap His fingers and heal us immediately?

There are so many things I thought I had to wait to do until I was fully healed. Follow my calling to get involved in ministry? Welp, can’t do that. Who would want a leader or a teacher who is dealing with her own struggles? 1 Timothy 3 indeed seems to warn against unqualified folks in positions of leadership, after all:

Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) (1 Tim. 3:2-5)

Those are wise words. We need to balance our understanding of them with the blood of Christ, though, so that the enemy cannot turn Scripture against us in condemnation (what a jerk). We are to earnestly and humbly seek the Lord at all times and follow His direction with regard to who He is raising up in leadership – and be careful who we follow. BUT, being qualified really has nothing to do with it, does it? It can’t. The truth is, I am NOT qualified, because none of us are really qualified. The truth is, I am all jacked up. And you are all jacked up. We are all jacked up together. The beautiful part? Jesus came for us anyway.

But God proves his love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)

And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. (Romans 8:30)

Those who lead can consider themselves qualified by this and this alone: the blood of Jesus and the ever-present help of the Holy Spirit. Oh, may we be so careful not to think we are fit for any role of leadership on our own, with only our tiny human talents!

So I began receiving wise counsel from friends and the Holy Spirit that said to my heart, “God has used a lot of messed up people. What makes you so special that He can’t use you?” I began to realize that the answer was not to wait until I was perfect and whole to step into my calling and gifts – the answer was to realize I AM broken, look my brokenness right in the face, and do things anyway. Similar to how bravery is not the absence of fear but doing things anyway even while afraid, maybe real ministry is not about being perfect but taking care of others the best we can, even in our own imperfections. And maybe that’s the way forward into healing, too – not waiting to be whole to live your life, but living it broken, with hope.

That’s what the month of October is going to be about here at Everyday Grace.

Every day, I am committing to writing to you about hope in the middle of brokenness. Some days, I might share a bit of wisdom I have gleaned from walking through my own struggles in the past. Some days, I might share with you something I am right in the middle of learning, something from the brokenness I still carry that is still in the process of being healed. If you, too, have ever felt a little bit broken and different from others, then maybe you are part of the reason God has me writing this! Stay tuned for a new post every day starting October 1, and a new way of finding hope in the middle of brokenness. This October series is for all of us, my friends – I can’t wait to walk this journey together.

-c

As we walk through the month, you will be able to find the posts linked here as an easy way to find them all once the series is over. Here is the directory:

Day 1: Your Mess is Not You

Day 2: There is a Crack in Everything

Day 3: The God Who Transforms

Day 4: It’s Okay to Not Be Okay

Day 5: You Are His Dwelling Place

Day 6: You Are Invited 

Day 7: Hurt People Hurt People 

Day 8: As You Are

Day 9: We Can Do Hard Things 

Day 10: What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do

Day 11: Everything Happens for a Reason (And Other Lies)

Day 12: This is Temporary

Day 13: Lean In 

Day 14: Do the Work

Day 15: When You Forget

Day 16: Bitter or Better

Day 17: A New Story

Day 18: Nothing

Day 19: He Delights in You

Day 20: The God Who Gets It

Day 21: Not Optional

Day 22: Adonai Jireh

Day 23: Adonai Nissi

Day 24: Adonai Rapha

Day 25: Adonai Shama

Day 26: Keep Crawling

Day 27: Turn On the Light 

Day 28: He Uses Broken People

Day 29: When the Lights Go Out

Day 30: Together

Day 31: Forward

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20 Responses to 31 Days of Hope in Brokenness

  1. I began to realize that the answer was not to wait until I was perfect and whole to step into my calling and gifts – the answer was to realize I AM broken, look my brokenness right in the face, and do things anyway.-
    Wanted you to know that am making this into a quote…
    You’re inspiring and fresh…

  2. So proud of you making this journey Cattie!

  3. I just added your blog to my feedly app so that I could read through your series. I’m really excited for this! I’m feeling a bit “broken” myself lately. Being in women’s ministry is tough, and I’m often believing the enemy’s lies that I have to be “perfect” to lead other women. So I’m glad I stumbled over here!

  4. “And maybe that’s the way forward into healing, too – not waiting to be whole to live your life, but living it broken, with hope.” Love this! I’m planning to check back in to read your October series. I love it when people admit to us their brokenness, but don’t just leave it there. There is hope! Looking forward to it.

  5. I can’t wait for your series; it might help me heal in my pain right now. I am going through a rough time and I am heartbroken..I will be following your posts closely. I hope this is not too much responsibility on your part but I am very expectant for you.May God minister to you all through

    • Hi Jackie, great to “meet” you! I hope to do right by you in this series. I’m praying He will speak healing into the brokenness in all of us, because if there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that you’re not alone, sister. If you don’t mind me asking, is there anything specific I can be praying over you? So glad you’re here!

      • I really need to let go of someone I had in my life but he was not leading me closer to God but further from God. I think I had gone too far with him emotionally but I just had to choose between him and God. I chose God but this is not as easy as I thought it would be. I just want to heal

        • Man, that’s tough. Breakups are just the worst, aren’t they? I’m praying this for you: Father, I want to lift up my new friend Jackie to you. Please help her to let go where she needs to, and please hold onto her when she doesn’t have the strength to hold onto You. God of all comfort, please run to her side and comfort her. She needs you. Heal her like only You can. We wait expectantly because we know You’re good. We know You will show up. In Jesus’ name. 💗

  6. Thank you so much! I can’t wait to see October’s encouragement! You’re right; we all have a bit of brokenness that needs Jesus!!

  7. Real people like yourself have much to teach us…much more than those who fake perfection. I applaud your decision to trust in God’s word and let Him shine through you.

  8. Visiting from Write 31 Days- I love the theme of your series. I’m writing on a similar topic and I’m grateful that God can still use us even in our brokenness and that he can create something beautiful in the midst of it. Look forward to reading more.

  9. “look my brokenness right in the face a do it anyway’—WHAT-THE-WHAT!?!?!?
    SO GOOD! I’ve allowed brokenness to sideline me more than once. Thanks for the reminder that God uses broken people…even ones who are broken like me.

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