Rejoicing in the brokenness

Last Updated on January 4, 2024

One week ago today, I broke my arm.

Well technically, I broke my elbow. Okay so….it was a mere fracture. Two slight fractures on each side of the elbow region.

The pain was indescribable. Until the morphine kicked in. Oh sweet, blessed morphine. But once it wore off, I was back in the land of excruciating pain…

I am 43, hanging dangerously close to the cliff of 44, in less than four months. I have never broken a bone. My youngest son broke his arm when he was a toddler, two-and-a-half-years-old, as I recall. He broke it trying to climb out of his crib, I learned later, on a dare from his older brother, who shared a room with him at their dad’s house. I recall my young son running around the house post-surgery with the candor of a Labrador puppy, and the energy to match.

With me, it was slightly different. I have cried, I have wallowed, I have become an immobile extension of my favorite leather recliner. Where is the boundless energy my son displayed eight years prior with his own little broken bone?

The hardest part isn’t even the pain. That is controlled by narcotics, thank you very much. It is the complete and total reliance on others.

I couldn’t drive. I couldn’t wash my hair. I couldn’t even make a freaking sandwich for the first few days. Fortunately, I had the absolute best nursing crew imaginable. My parents, my sons. Constantly asking what I needed, how they could make me more comfortable, was I HUNGRY?!

Why is brokenness a blessing?

In the same way I was forced to give up my perceived independence physically this past week, I have also experienced times of spiritual and emotional breakage that required complete reliance of a different type. My Savior. My Jesus. My friend.

There are times in life where we feel utterly broken. Incapacitated. Sunken on the floor in a heap of such miserable pain, we simply have no words. The wells of tears spring forth and cleanse the heart of wrenching pain. It is in those moments, we may not fully realize it, but Jesus is near.

He is sitting with us on that cold, hard floor. He is silently, but very clearly saying, ‘Give it to me.’ And if, in our helpless, hapless, absolutely needful state, we do hand it over, He will work wonders turning our brokenness into a thing of beauty for all the world to see.

In my experiences, He did not automatically solve the problem. But He gave me a peace about what I could not control. He assured me He was working in all that hindered my happiness. He gave me a sense of sweet relief, that no matter what the outcome, I would be safe, secure, and protected in the presence of the One who will never abandon me.

He sat with me, while broken. He gently urged me up, infusing a super-natural breath of strength, when my time of mourning
and utter self-defeat was nearing an end.

Or rather, a new beginning….

There is something redeeming about a broken bone.

It helps you appreciate the non-broken appendages you daily take for granted. And when that eventual healing comes, you feel a level of gratitude that is simply indescribable. For you know from whence the pain came, how delightful it feels to move without the hindrance of injury.

How much greater is the redemption of a broken heart? The reliance sought, the attention received, the healing balm of a precious Savior. It infuses a deep strength, a welcome wisdom, and a knowing heart.

When we take our brokenness to the Lord, He is faithful and loyal to not only heal us, but to show us that total reliance is not to be mocked, abhorred, or dreaded. It is, rather ironically, a blessing of intense magnitude, which propels us to new spiritual heights in which we never knew we needed.

I rejoice in every break. Physical, spiritual, and emotional. For my blessed Savior is never closer than to the one fully reliant on Him.