Be Broken. This is Real Life.
Ok, so I know that not all of our KAE subscribers are Christians.
Good! And we wouldn't want it any other way.
This brand was derived from our belief in God and the kindness He shows towards us each day (because that's literally how many times we mess up- EVERY DAY). However, this brand isn't for Christians only. Kindness is for everyone- young, old, rich, poor, white, black, and every one in between.
Now, let's get back to today's blog topic: BROKENNESS.
I attend a church in White Plains, NY called 'Ridgeway Alliance Church'. Anyone who lives in or near Westchester County, I suggest you visit! You can sit with me :-) Ok, you don't have to however if you do visit, then tell us how you liked it!
The pastor spoke about brokenness and how it's something no one actually wants to experience, yet if you asked a room full of people if they've experienced it, no (honest) person in that room would be able to keep their hand down. The pastor referenced 2 Corinthians 12. In this passage, Paul says,
"Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
Many theologians have tried to posit what the 'thorn' Paul mentions actually was Some say it was a physical ailment, others say it was anxiety , depression, etc. The pastor introduced a new thought saying, 'maybe the thorn was left undefined because its purpose in the scripture is to have it be defined by the reader. Our focus shouldn't be to define the 'thorn' but identity the thorn within our lives and approach it the same way Paul did, "delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
Who has ever been weak? Me- physically, emotionally, physically, mentally, and any other '-ally' you can think of.
Who has ever had a friend let you down? Me- and honestly, it was the same friend. over and over again.
Who has ever experienced hardships? Let the church say amen.
So Christian or not, I leave you four things to keep in mind this week:
1. It's ok to be broken. It means nothing more than you being human and broken like everyone else. Christian or non-Christian. We are all in this together. Don't push it away. Don't mask it. Embrace it and know that you will get passed that moment at the right time. Now here is where my Christian lens comes into play: if you try to mask it with friends, money or 'stuff', it will simmer down for a while and come back quicker and more forceful than ever. Why? Because those are not the answers to brokenness. Those are tLike Paul, I believe brokenness is there to bring us closer to the reality that this life should be lived in relationship with the One who is powerful to get us through it, God.
2. Be kind during your brokenness. Many times our hurt causes us to justify why we in turn hurt others. That is never ok. Reach out to others for help, pray about it, but don't fight away the fact that you are experiencing it. Don't let your brokenness be the reason for someone else's brokenness. Instead, allow your brokenness to be the story of strength and hope for someone else.
3. Our strength = our power
Our weakness = God's power
No one can get through this life on their own. I certainly couldn't. And although it would be great to write this blog and tell you exactly what I do and how I act when it is time to remerge from the brokenness, the truth is that I would be lying to each and every one of you. I know that at times when I feel broken , I have no idea what to do so I give it to God. How? By literally saying 'God, I'm giving this to you because I don't know what to do with it' and leaving it with Him. And every time (never instantaneously), He shows me why I could have never have gotten through it any other way. It comes in the form of a sudden strong intuition, a friend calling, a specific and timely sermon, a conversation, a devotional and/or a family member. Sometimes it comes in the form of a stillness and humility that I would not have welcomed if I was buzzing around happily through life.
4. We are made whole when we are forced to look outside of ourselves, understanding the fragility of ourselves and our spirit. Come on. You've got to admit that it's sobering. It's kind of like when you are awaiting tests from a physical and the doctor asks you to come in to go over the report. Now, even if you go in and the doctor says you're fine, there is a moment in time when you realize how the opposite news could transform your life tremendously and forever. There is something new and insightful when you are faced with trials. You begin thinking about the small things that no longer matter and the important things you will begin to spend more time and attention on. Paul began seeing his weakness as something to boast about because through it, he found a strength from God that He did not recognize or believe He needed before when 'everything was fine'.
As C.S. Lewis once said, "God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains.”
Whether you're reading this feeling whole or broken, I invite you to be grateful. Grateful for the feeling of joy and grateful for the wholeness that can and will arise from feeling broken. It will take time but honestly, what doesn't?