I have some broken places in my life that I don’t like. I tend to shove them aside, avoiding them as much as possible. I like to pretend they aren’t there.
These broken places are painful. They hurt. They’re ugly and in my mind, they appear to be worthless. Broken glass. Shattered pieces. Symbolic of a broken heart and shattered dreams. I’d like to sweep those “slivered fragments” under the bed.
But I can’t. And lately, God has been showing me something that blows my mind. It goes against my flesh and it’s hard to fathom. But God delights in using these repulsive fragments of our brokenness. He longs to create beauty out of the shards of our broken dreams. Through our mirrored images of crushed hopes and fragmented aspirations, God’s reflection shines.
Last week, I began the process of cleaning out our son, Austin’s room. I’ve been able to avoid this painful process for the past four years, but I realized that now was the time. His room looked the same as it had at the time of his unexpected death. Many people would probably say we waited way too long, but none of us were ready to go there, and his room wasn’t really needed before. As I began pulling his clothes out of the closet, memories flooded my mind. His life…the memory of his hugs, his voice and laughter surged through me, and I lost it. I broke down and wept as the relentless wave of loss swept over me again. I guess I had subconsciously thought that if I waited long enough, I could avoid the pain that was sure to come with this. But some things cannot be avoided. They need to be walked through.
Later that afternoon, I received a call from someone inviting me to share about our personal journey at a women’s retreat. Since I’ve done this quite a few times already, the invitation didn’t catch me off guard…Until I found out where the retreat will be held. It is at a place where I never imagined I’d go back to. Especially not to share about our journey. It is at the retreat center where our whole family spent our last final moments together the night our son went to be with Jesus.
Thinking about going back to this location stirs my emotions, and my flesh recoils from facing the pain associated with it. But I believe God is wanting to use this painful flashback of brokenness to reveal the beauty that can only be found in Him. And I am committed to making Him known no matter the cost.
As I share with the women about our personal journey, my intent is to communicate that God’s grace is sufficient for any broken moments we face. His beauty is reflected in our broken places.
Are there broken places in your life that you try to avoid? Have you been faithful in trusting God to make something beautiful out of your disappointments and losses? Does your shattered life reflect the beauty and aroma of your Savior or have you limited His potential to self-protect? Are you willing to face your pain for the sake of reflecting the beauty of Jesus? Rather than building a wall of protection around your heart, will you allow yourself to become vulnerable and raw for the sake of His redemptive work? His beauty can be exchanged for your brokenness.
~Cindy (For The Mullett Family)