Updated: Apr 19, 2020
Between Christmas and Chloe’s January birthday, she received an array of gifts, dolls, coloring sets, clothes, electronics, books and nick knacks. Here we are in February and she still has several gifts that have yet to be opened. But it seems to me that every time I clean her room, or lift up a couch cushion I find pieces to the new items she’s received. Every time I find a piece or pieces, I fuss: “Chloe, you won’t be able to play with your stuff if the pieces are missing or broken!” Chloe, busy on her Ipad says, “Mommy broken pieces can still be used.” I didn’t agree with her statement pertaining to her gifts and would have gone on to reprimand her, “matter of fact” response. But the statement took my mind somewhere else. As I sat there, with the Disney channel blaring, Alexandria pulling my hair and gumming my face and Chloe going into a really long story about something that took place in school that day, I begin to ponder about my own broken pieces.
“Broken pieces can still be used.” I recently ha d a discussion with my sister-friend of 14 years and she shared with me that because of the events of her life and the shame of her past, she often felt like damaged goods. Later on that night in a quiet whisper, I said to myself, “me too”. I had reconciled with myself that damaged goods cannot be used, that just like the damaged goods on the mark down shelf at the grocery store, I was less than so I collected my broken pieces, all the while cutting myself, leaving a trail of hurt, secrets, shame and fear…damaging myself even the more. So between the wounds of my past and the self-inflicted wounds I’d created from gathering my broken pieces to hide them away, I was in a vicious cycle. And to ensure that the trail that I had created from cutting myself on the broken pieces was unseen, I cut myself off, from friends, from family, from life. I put on a façade of strength, false confidence, and fake smiles. But in the night, the truth could not be hidden, often times soaking my pillow from tears of frustration, from the heaviness of carrying all of these broken pieces.
I hid well, but I could not hide from the One who created me.
Often times, new beginnings are thought of as a new journey. This has been a lifetime struggle, to see myself, even my broken pieces as Jesus sees me…But in my dark place, grace reached its gentle hand in and pulled me out. Same journey, new beginning. It is impossible for our broken pieces to be mistakes because God doesn’t make mistakes but rather He knew us before we were even formed. He knew every trial, every struggle, every hurt, every wound, even the number of tears we would cry. He knew the purpose of our broken pieces…
A fragrance filled the room, the room became quiet. Broken pieces of Mary’s Alabaster Box sat next to her as she poured oil over Jesus’ head, anointing Him. With criticism from those present Mary washed Jesus feet with her hair. It was in the sacrifice of Mary’s broken pieces that she was able to prepare our Savior for burial. God wants our broken pieces. With a trail leaking behind me, I gave Him my broken pieces, only to find out He’s been waiting on me to surrender the shards of life, the sharp pieces of pain and the fragments of my heart so that He can heal me and use them for His glory.
I almost died, gathering my broken pieces, I was tired, I couldn't make it any further BUT GOD came and picked me up and redeemed my story, He redeemed my broken pieces. You are not damaged goods but a unique expression of God’s infinite creativity…including your broken pieces. Give them to Him!
My prayer is that you would see the beauty in your broken pieces, that within them is purpose. That you would see God's wonderful grace on your daily journey. That you would know that only He can make sense of this thing called life. Know that the broken pieces are not in vain but that just like Mary, He gives every piece purpose.