What to do with Brokenness

The shortest distance between two hearts is when we share our brokenness, the places we feel the most vulnerable. -Ann Voskamp

I think we can all agree that life is hard.
Out of all my friends, family, and acquaintances, I don't know of anyone whose life isn't broken in some shape or form. 
Of course, everyone's broken is different, and everyone's timing isn't the same, but the broken hearts of people in this world exist in exceedingly great numbers.
We are all waking up, breathing in and out, facing the day, and sustaining relationships despite our beautifully broken hearts.
No wonder we get worn out. 

I'm pretty good at staging my life.
At arranging furniture and flowers, at putting together an attractive appearance, and at crafting a funny story out of a problem I'm having to make it sound like less of an issue than it really is. 
I'm good at making people laugh and making people like me.
I'm good at numbing that brokenness or tucking it out of sight.

But that doesn't make it go away.

As humans, especially as privileged American humans, we don't like brokenness.
We can smell brokenness a mile away and then run the other direction.
I think we expect the world to treat us well and then end up in shock when we are dealt a tragic hand.
But our whole world is broken by sin, so really we should expect this life to be difficult and when it isn't, when it's just really good, we should find ourselves on our knees in thanksgiving.
Broken is the state of our world since Adam watched Eve bite into that forbidden fruit.
However, in the deepest, truest places of our hearts, we know that brokenness is unnatural.
We somehow know that to live broken is to live life less than.
But brokenness hurts. It's painful. And we don't typically choose to camp out in painful situations.
We don't dig in our heels and live through it, we slap on a band-aid and try to live in denial that we aren't completely OK.
And we definitely don't talk about it.

But we should.
I deeply believe in what Ann Voskamp said so beautifully, "Deep wholeness, deep communion, deep healing, happens when I'm vulnerable enough to share my own brokenness with other people."

I am not afraid of brokenness.
Yours or mine.
Would I like to avoid it?
Maybe, sometimes, but I don't have to live in fear of it because I know Jesus.

One of the most attractive characteristics of Christ to me, is His willingness to venture into our brokenness.
There is no broken place of mine that He doesn't see.
Not only does He see those pieces, He tenderly repairs them.
And those gaping, empty places that are left behind, He fills those up too.
In His timing, of course, but that is so much better than clinging to those piercing shards that re-wound us time and again.
But that part, the healing part, it is SO important.
We don't have to remain broken.
In fact, we shouldn't.
To remain in pieces is to refuse to heal, to refuse growth, and worst of all, to refuse the Healer.
Jesus beckoned all us weary folk with the promise of giving us rest.
He is going to take on our brokenness alright, which means we are going to change.
Will it cost us something? Oh yes.
It will cost us our comfort, our false sense of self, and maybe even more.
He will not leave us as the same broken person, no matter how familiar we had become with that version of us.
In the end, when He has healed us and made us more like He originally intended us to be, we won't be afraid to offer up the next shard of our broken heart.
We will offer it up with less fear, and the next piece with even less fear, and so on until we are whole and we are home.

That's all that I know to do with brokenness.
Face it, share it, and hand it over to the only One who can heal it.  

Christ sees our brokenness and embraces us.
However, thankfully, He loves us too much to leave us broken.
I'm choosing to see my brokenness as opportunities for Him to do the necessary healing that will make me more like Him.

So I will keep handing over my brokenness to Him.
Every morning, when I have forgotten and picked it back up again, I will hand it over and accept His healing.
What He replaces it with is enough to get me through our beautiful world before spending Eternity in the place brokenness cannot find me.

"If we can say to each other, 'I'm really broken', it allows Christ to be seen, the cross to be seen, in ways that can't be seen when we're wearing masks". -Ann Voskamp