Broken People

{Preface from the author: I know that this feeling of uselessness is shared by other single Christian women. We've been conditioned to guard our hearts and our purity, and when we fail in this area, it can be difficult to see ourselves as having a purpose or calling at all. The Bible says a lot about us being whole in Christ and being made new creatures, and I don't want this article to somehow undermine that powerful truth. But I also believe the scriptures are full of examples of how God uses and even treasures those people that are broken, despised, and weak. It was from that aspect of truth that this article was born.}


I am a broken person. I don't say this looking for sympathy or quick reassurances that I'm not. I know that I'm broken. There are cracks that can't be erased; deep wounds that will always leave a scar. I've made choices that shame me to recall them, and while God and others have forgiven me, it does not undo the things I've done. 

Maybe you can relate. 

Recently while driving home from work, God brought a picture to my mind that illustrated how I felt and reminded me of the hope in His master plan. As you read, think of this as a parable of sorts, illustrating a human problem while pointing to God.

Imagine me as a delicate milk-white glass pitcher, with pastel floral decorations around the slender curved handle. I was originally designed to hold crystal-clear water and serve refreshment to others, and yet... I'm no longer whole. Crushed by my own choices and shattered by the repercussions of my actions, this delicate vessel can no longer fulfill its original purpose.

For a long time, I hid those broken pieces, worried that if someone got too close to me, they might cut themselves on my shards and abandon me. Being unknown is better than being unloved, right?

Each morning before facing public scrutiny, I would gather up my emotional strength to hold my pieces in place for long enough that any onlooker would think I was whole. And then in the shadow of solitude, I would release the breath I was holding, and my broken pieces would crumble to the floor once again.

I know that broken pitchers are not highly valued. In fact, they serve no purpose at all. And so I cloak my brokenness.

One day I was talking to a friend, and she cautiously mentioned that she had broken her beautiful vessel. Amazed at her vulnerability, I whispered that I did too. Mine was far more than a crack; in reality, it was pretty bad. Tears softened her eyes as she nodded and listened. Ever so gently, I dismantled the vessel that I'd held together with my own strength, and I shared a piece with her. Instead of being hurt by its sharp edges, she touched it with surprise and said that it was the piece she had been looking for.

When she showed me her broken vessel, I was speechless. Her broken pieces did not resemble a whole vessel anymore, but instead, she had arranged them into a mosaic of a peaceful morning lake scene. And indeed, my milk-white glass piece fit perfectly into the center where the sunrise rays hit the shimmering water.

Knowing that her vessel was green and there were many other colors in this mosaic, I asked her how she found the other pieces. With a smile, she said that every time she had shared a piece of her brokenness with someone else, they shared one with her. And together they have created this picture of tranquility.

- The deep blue piece in the lake was from a friend who daily faces depression, but found a willing ear and shoulder when she shared her brokenness.
- The pink pieces in the sunrise sky were from friends who had lost babies, but found companionship in that dark valley when they shared their brokenness.
- The yellow sun piece was from a friend who struggles with addictions, but found hope and accountability when she shared her brokenness.
- The purple flower pieces on the shore were from friends who had fostered and adopted children with trauma, but found a community of support and compassion when they shared their brokenness.
- The grey and light blue and orange pieces were from friends who had shared their shattered pieces of failed relationships, unfulfilled dreams, dysfunctional families, lost jobs, and goodbyes of loved ones; each had found comfort, love, and understanding when they shared their brokenness.
- And in the center is that familiar white piece contributed by a girl who traded her purity for relationships that didn't last, but she found love and her true worth in Christ when she shared her brokenness.

Each piece by itself seemed unusable, but when shared, it became part of a larger story, a larger picture of sanctuary.

As I listened to my friend, I realized that the brokenness that I had tried so hard to hide did not make me less worthy of being seen and known. Being shattered did not disqualify me from having a purpose or being loved. In fact, as I looked at my broken piece as part of the larger picture, I saw beauty in it for the first time.

Each of us is broken in some way; the presence of sin has marred us all. Brokenness does not define the end of your purpose; instead it can channel your calling into something far greater, if you're willing to share your broken pieces with those nearest you and allow God to do His restorative work.

If you resonate with this despondency of feeling useless or broken, lift your chin, dear one, and read these verses below.

"The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit." Psalm 34:18
"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise."Psalm 51:17
"Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."Galatians 6:2
"...the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound... To give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that THEY might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that HE might be glorified." portions of Isaiah 61:1,3 (emphasis added)
"Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more FEEBLE, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be LESS HONOURABLE, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the SAME CARE one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it." 1 Corinthians 12:22-26 (emphasis added)
"For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the FOOLISH things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the WEAK things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And BASE things of the world, and things which are DESPISED, hath God CHOSEN, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence."1 Corinthians 1:26-31 (emphasis added)


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Comments 11

  1. Your blog is beautiful, inspiring, and practical. God has made you very special and has given you many gifts including writing skills. Is there somewhere you can have this published to bless and help more people?
    Love, Nana

  2. Wow! God definitely gave you the perfect words to Express yourself and your heart! I am thankful for the testimony you have of a changed life, because of the Lord. It is through you sharing about your cracks that others’ lives will be blessed and drawn to flow God. Thank you for your humility and transparency! God bless you as you continue to serve Him!!!

  3. I agree with your Nana, great article! You should continue writing. Praying for you, as you continue walking with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Love in Christ, Linda Woodring

  4. Thank you for taking the time to comment! Please feel free to share the link to this post publicly or personally with anyone you think may benefit from it. God used it in my own heart first, and I pray that it’s a blessing to any who read it!

  5. Thank you for replying, Stacey! And truly, the article was from God and because of His goodness; it certainly isn’t within me alone.

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