I once read that our perfection and good deeds aren’t what connects us to God but rather our sin and brokenness. If this is really true then I’m set, because boy do I have a lot of brokenness. Over the past year or two the Lord has wrecked me in the most gentle and beautiful way, whether I wanted Him to or not. In my head, it doesn’t make much sense to take joy and ownership of brokenness. For my entire life I have tried so desperately to be perfectly put together for everyone to see. Between finding worth in titles and searching for joy in human affirmation, I was building and portraying an image of myself that I had formed over the years. In my head, the “perfect Baylee” I wanted to be was a strong, loving leader who was seemingly perfect. This version I had created of myself showed no sign of brokenness. A “perfect Christian Baylee” wouldn’t be broken, right? I mean don’t people who have a strong relationship with the Lord seem put together perfectly? These are the thoughts that led to a huge wake up call from the Lord. For the first time in my life I finally saw the purpose and beauty in being broken before the Lord.
The human dictionary defines broken as damaged, no longer whole, and not working properly. Looking at this definition, the perfectionist inside of me is screaming to run as for away from this description as possible. But since when has the world’s idea of things ever lined up with the perspective of the all-knowing, benevolent God? In Luke 7:36-50, a story is told of a woman who was known to live a sinful life. In full awareness of her sin and flaws, she falls before the Lord in complete brokenness. Weeping, washing Jesus’ feet with tears and kisses, she creates a scene in front of the pharisee who was also there. In response, the pharisee was stunned that Jesus was letting such a sinful woman touch him. Jesus, knowing his thoughts, said to him,“Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” This woman, in the freedom of acknowledging her brokenness and need for a Savior, was able to worship and love Jesus the way we all ought to. Without our shortcomings and imperfections the glory of the Lord would not be seen. Now, I’m not saying live a sinful life so you may be able to have a close relationship with the Lord. What I’m saying is that not one of us is perfect. We mess up. We don’t always live out the love and grace of God like we should. But knowing how incapable we ALL are just reminds us how great and mighty our God is. Jesus has lovingly sacrificed and forgiven us for any debt we’ve ever dug ourselves into. Why would we not want to boast in the goodness and power of the Lord’s forgiveness? The woman’s brokenness and need for a Savior drove her to fall more deeply in love with Jesus. God wants to heal our brokenness. Just like the woman in the story, how different would our lives look if we full-heartedly, without concern for others’ opinions, fell before the love and grace of God daily? Just imagine the freedom of accepting the grace and peace that the Lord is just waiting to give in replacement of your brokenness. Imagine if we used our brokenness as a way to grow closer to God instead of trying to hide it.
As God has walked with me through this storm, He has lovingly and tenderly shown me how to depend on His fullness rather than my own abilities. By being broken I have been able to give the Lord the power to mend my heart, forming my life in the way He says it should be. In saying goodbye to the idea of myself I had spent 19 years creating, I was able to say hello to the woman God had created me to be. And boy, would I rather be that version. For the first time I can joyfully and truthfully say that I don’t want to be perfect. I don’t want to have it all together. I don’t want other people to think anything special of me. Whether we consider ourselves broken or put together, our human abilities will never be enough. However, if we accept our brokenness, we allow the power of the Lord to work through the pieces we are no longer trying to hold together.
“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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9-12
Being broken before the Lord is a beautiful thing. It’s in finally accepting that we will never be perfect that we find the freedom in letting the Lord direct our lives and fill the void of perfectionism. Knowing how broken I truly am has simply led me to know and love our God more deeply. God works through brokenness. Even if it may not always look the way I want it to, God’s plan is always better than my own.
As for me, I never want to not be broken. I want to constantly depend on the Lord, being beautifully overwhelmed by his goodness and love. Instead of trying to live life on my own in one, perfect piece, I’ve decided to be okay with living broken. More than that, I’ve decided to be joyful in the midst of it.
Because when I am broken, the Lord has the freedom to put the pieces back together in a way that I would never be able to do on my own.
Because when I’m broken, the world doesn’t have a say in who I am.
Because when I’m broken, I’m able to love and desire my God in a deeper way than ever before.
Because when I’m broken, the Lord makes me whole in Him.
Thank you Lord for loving my broken pieces.