Broken Girl. It's pretty much how I've defined my life for the last several years. I've been broken a lot longer than that, but didn't give myself the title "broken girl" until a few years ago. And it wasn't just me that I called a broken girl. Everywhere I went I was crossing paths with other broken girls. I couldn't get away from them. I knew God didn't want me to be broken, but I didn't know how to repair all of the cracked, missing places in me.
That's when I met Jennifer. She was a broken girl too. She was also desperate to be fixed. We started praying together and digging into God's Word together. We started to find healing. And as we found healing other broken girls found us. It was a year or so later that we decided to start blogging at Broken Girl. We wanted a place where we could hash out this idea of brokenness and try to figure out together what to do with all of the pieces of us.
Things were going well. I was learning to walk in freedom, we were ministering to other women and seeing them find freedom in Christ. Jennifer and I even started to refer to ourselves as "former" broken girls. Life was on the mend.
There's a Christian platitude I heard about the cracks in our life being what God uses to shine His light through. I was content to be a cracked pot, shining for Jesus.
Then life shattered.
Two years ago my husband walked out and my life crashed around me. And it didn't just break me, it demolished me. In the weeks following the death of my marriage I felt as if all of the broken pieces of me were ground to dust and ashes. I kept trying to figure out how to put myself back together, but how can you make anything out of dust?
I didn't know what to do. There wasn't enough glue on the earth that could repair my heart. I read about beauty from ashes and wondered... how on earth can anything beautiful ever come from this?
Still, I clung to Jesus. He was all I had, and I knew that the only place I was safe was in His hands. It hurt. I wanted to run away. I wanted to run from the pain and just move on with life and pretend that everything was okay. But I couldn't. I knew that the only hope of healing meant staying; even if staying meant living on the potter's wheel, and in the blazing furnace.
The Lord gave another message to Jeremiah. He said,
"Go down to the potter's shop, and I will speak to you there."
So I did as he told me and found the potter working at his wheel.
But the jar he was making did not turn out as he had hoped,
so he crushed it into a lump of clay again and started over.
(Jeremiah 18:1-4 NLT)
It doesn't make sense. How a loving God would crush me into a lump of clay and start over. But then again, isn't it the most loving thing He can do? To take the mess of me... the dust of me... and create beauty from that? A 5 year old with Elmer's glue can piece back together a broken vase, but I don't know anyone who can take ashes and create new life.
So I stayed on the potter's wheel. I let him put me in the fire. Friends started telling me how brave and strong I was. I wasn't brave. Or strong. Just desperate. And convinced that Jesus was my only hope. So I stayed in His hands, and He made something beautiful start to form and take shape in my life.
A few months ago I was at dinner with some girlfriends and one of them asked me "So who are you now? Now that you're no longer a broken girl, who are you?"
For months I've been asking myself that same question. Who am I now? I'll be honest and tell you that there's been nothing but silence on the other end of that question. I had no idea how to define myself anymore, until today.
I am not a broken girl. Nor am I a cracked pot. I am a vessel of honor. Sanctified and useful to my Master. I have been crushed and remade according to His purpose.
if anyone cleanses himself from these things,
he will be a vessel for honor,
useful to the Master,
prepared for every good work.
(2 Timothy 2:21 NASB)
A vessel of honor. A one of a kind, hand crafted display of His splendor. Something beautiful from ashes. Something beautiful from dust.
We don't have to settle for broken or cracked, or even mended, or fixed. We can be new.
When we stay in His hand beauty comes to us. Maybe not quickly. Maybe not pain-free. We may need to be ground to dust a few times. We may be stretched and pulled. We may question the Master's design and think that our idea of what we should be is better than His. We may have to face the purifying flames of the kiln more often than we would like. But if we stay... If we stay we're prepared. Prepared for every good work that He has for us. Prepared to be useful to His kingdom. Prepared to display His splendor. Not through our cracks, but through our wholeness.
A vessel of honor.
P.S. You can be His vessel of honor too. No matter how shattered you feel right now. Trust the potter to remake you.