The Beauty of Broken


A friend and I shared this book together . . . through Elisa Morgan’s transparent sharing of her family’s journey, one finds Hope and Redemption.  God turns the broken into beautiful!

Many pieces of her story resonate to my own brokenness – I too am “the mess of a mother saved by Grace and loved by God”.  

Here’s a collection of quotes that spoke volumes to my heart as God continues to write my story.

God holds each family close, crying with his wounded children, tenderly assembling and reassembling fallen fragments, creating us into better versions of ourselves.

I wondered, Would I be enough?  As a mom?  As a woman?  In my heart of hearts I wanted desperately to create an unbroken family.  What if I couldn’t What if I actually contributed to further breakage? 

… there is no such thing as a perfect family.  And as long as we push this truth into the closets and cubbies of our well-planned and perfectly decorated family homes, we’ll be worshipping the false idol of the impossible.  And likely missing some very rich realities in our own lives.

So much of my life felt like the broken mess on my dining room floor.  Beyond help . . . I pictured God – my gracious heavenly Father – tender-hearted and bending low.  Now you’re talking, He mused.  Beyond help.  It’s just where He wants me. 

The word broken means ‘shattered, crushed, sorrowful, bankrupt, disconnected.’ Families are broken relationally . . . Families are broken financially . . . Families are broken spiritually . . .Families are broken in their expectations . . .

We’ve come to believe our families can actually save us. 

Admitting our brokenness may be the most freeing and beautiful release we ever experience.

Broken is right where God wants us – and right where He can powerfully reassemble us.

 . . . because all families are broken.  Even God’s.  In our brokenness, we are just where we need to be.  Fractured.  Messed up.  Sinful.  Needy.  Redeemable.

Jesus alone has the power to heal the broken.  Jesus alone has the power to save the lost.  It’s by His wounds that we find healing.

When we are broken we are bankrupt.  When we are bankrupt we are dependent.  When we are dependent we are done with ourselves and open to God.

God hallows broken people . . . God holds broken people . . .God helps broken people . . . God heals broken people . . .

Compassion comes as we understand that all of us – every one of us – is birthed forth from God’s broken family. 

Commitment is love no matter what.  It begins in the beginning and stretches out over the years that follow.  God commits to us.  We commit to Him and His leading.  We trust Him to select the very best parent for who our child will become. Over and over and over again.

I realize now I may have loved her too much.  Perhaps even made of her an idol.  I meant no harm.  I simply wanted to fill her emptiness to the rim.  Or was it my own emptiness I sought to complete? 

The punishment of her absence is painful.  Then I realized You have missed her more than me.  Before I dreamed dreams for her, You dreamed.  Before I pictured her whole by my hand, You held her whole in Yours.  Before she turned from me, she had already turned from You.  I didn’t know.  I had no inkling.  You were already wounded, raw, rejected, grieving . . . help me Your daughter, to stand with You to wait for our daughter together. 

Moms find themselves caught on the barbed wire of comparison with the choices of other moms.

God’s unique DNA, invested in our very creation, results in one-of-a-kind offerings each of us grows to give.

But my sin is still sin:  my sin is that I think I can be above sin.  My sin is pride.

We love little when we’ve been forgiven little.  And then:  the more we’re forgiven, the more we’re able to love.

I was never intended to be enough:  good enough, all-powerful enough, special enough.  ‘Enoughness’ wasn’t within my grasp, nor was it God’s goal for my life. 

If I surrendered, I would discover God’s provision of love for me.  If I saw my need to be forgiven, I would see my need for His love.  If I saw my need for His love, I would let Him love me.  And then I would know that I am, indeed, loved.

God’s love makes me special . . . that specialness does not exempt me from being human – and (say it) broken.  But it does ensure that I am loved just the way I am.

I am deeply loved by God, yet I am not exempt from pain, tragedy, hardship, or error just because I’m trying to obey God.

An answer to prayer.  I reflected, Why do we try to cocoon our children from the lives they live – from the very things that led us to Christ ourselves – from sin?  Eventually, isn’t it sin – their sin, all of our sin- that makes us WANT Jesus? 

Courage, parent.  God knows what your children are about.  He knit your children together in their mother’s womb. – perhaps yours, perhaps the womb of another – but nevertheless, He knit them.  Before a word is on their tongues, He knows it.  He has numbered their days.  He knows their comings and goings.

There is no ‘off’ ramp in parenting.  Instead of looking for it, take courage and parent with an attitude that yields to the seemingly impossible.

When I looked over the edge of the Dixie cup garden of his life, I saw a weed growing where I was sure I had planted a healthy seed promising a sturdy plant.

 . . . you can’t walk in their shoes.  Only they can.  Keep your feet in your own shoes.

Seeds grow over a long period of time.  In the dirt.  In the dark.  If you dig them up, they cease to grow.  And what looks like a weed just may be a plant whose identity you don’t yet recognize.

I had thrown myself too heavily into the ‘happily ever after’ posture rather than the ‘whatever it takes’ one.

And it wasn’t my job to save him, to bring him back to himself.  Can I just say that now I know it can be a good thing for parents of adult children to realize that their children are just that:  adults?  His decisions were his decisions.  His consequences were his consequences.  His life was his life.

‘We are not responsible for our children’s choices.  We are responsible for our responses to their choices.’ [from Jesus Calling – ‘If you let a loved one become an idol in your heart, you endanger that one as well as yourself.’]

 . . . our children can either be trophies – sitting on the mantlepiece of our lives proclaiming how very effective and successful we are as their parents – or they can become our teachers, instructing us about our world, our families, and ourselves.

We aren’t meant to parent alone.  None of us.  Yes, many of us do parent alone . . . But this is not what God intended.  He meant for children to have two parents, two people who can spell each other and balance each other and talk each other down from the cliffs and out of ridiculous corners.

‘I’ve come to know that I can have power or love – but not both.’  Power can surely protect us.  But it can also insulate us unnecessarily.  Fear, pride, and self-defense can keep us from the partnership God provides for us.  Just as it kept me from allowing God himself to love me, my need to do life right – myself and by myself – separated me from the help God had prepared for me in my husband.

Life is messed up at times.  But we are to watch for God even there.

In my personal universe, it is impossible for me to parent without faith.  Faith holds me.  Faith sustains me.  Faith defines me.  Faith carries me on wings.

Shame – a crazy, not-true testimony of inadequacy and responsibility – has haunted me most of my life.  It messes with my mind still.  It locks me up in a box of my own condemnation, barring me from receiving the freedom God offers me.

God doesn’t ask any of us to clean up before we come to Him.  The cleanup happens as a result of knowing God.  Obedience follows faith – not the other way around.

‘But now I need to ask you to do the same.  You say you love me, but you do not believe what I believe.  I love you – even though I do not share your position.  I need to ask you to respect my stance, my beliefs, and my views . . . as I process this with God, I feel He has said two things to me.  First, have I told you what I believe on this subject?  I have.  And second, I believe God is asking me to embrace this reality:  It is God’s job to judge.  It is my job to love you as He loves you.”

Intimacy doesn’t mean believing the same thing or doing the same thing or feeling the same thing as another. Sameness doesn’t make intimacy.  Intimacy can grow on the ground of differences when respect is offered.

Of all the broken family values, forgiveness may be the most essential to survival and beyond that, to creating a lasting family legacy.  Both getting it – and giving it.

Even when I’ve thought wounds past forgiven and forgotten, they have infected and reinfected my relationships and my choices.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean overlooking a wrong.  That’s dishonest.  It can also be damaging.  Denial and rationalization don’t heal hurts  They just bandage infection.  You can’t erase a wound by pretending you weren’t injured.  Neither is forgiveness excusing a wrong.  That’s removing blame.  We don’t have that power.

Real forgiveness – whether of someone who has wounded us or of our own sins – comes from God.  God provides it.  He cracks open His very heart and carves forgiveness into existence through the death of His Son on a cross.  Then He welcomes us into the very center of his heart creation.

When we sit among the shards of our shattered hopes – fingering fragments that we know will simply not go back together again – we are just where God wants us.

I am forming that to which I’ve already called you.  Attach yourself to Me.

You may experience a long season of separation from the family member you so long to love.  You many never see reconciliation this side of Heaven . . .  But God love broken you and He will re-form broken you into His best idea for you. 

. . . every child of every parent is God’s instrument in the life of his or her parent.  My children have been the chief tool for the shaping of me.

There is beauty in my broken!

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