I was abused.
I have been hurt.
I was wounded.
I am damaged goods.
Have you ever felt like your entire world has just crumbled around you? Where no matter where you turn, another event happens that was even more devastating than the last? I have been there. I have been in that place where the emotional pain is so bad you can hardly breathe. I have faced those times when it feels like there is no point in even continuing to live because the pain is just too great. I have been there.
I was wounded when I was removed from my birth family.
I was traumatized when my little sister’s dad decided he wanted to try for custody. No, he did not win custody, but I was damaged by that.
I was devastated when my brother dove into a river and broke his neck.
I was psychologically abused.
I had people I was close to die far too young.
I have experienced the pain of miscarrying.
I have had my relationships torn apart by grief, anger, bitterness, and selfishness. And it all left me bruised and beaten. I was shattered. Broken. Useless. I was trash.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28, NIV)
Mosaics are one of my favorite forms of art. When the artist does them right, the beauty is breath-taking. And once you understand how they are made, they become that much more beautiful. Broken pottery, glass, and stones come together to make a beautiful image or design. Once beautiful, these objects were broken. It does not matter if these objects were broken by a child throwing a ball in the house or by a spouse in a drunken rage, the artist takes these shattered pieces and makes something beautiful.
Much the same way God takes our brokenness.
You know that a mosaic artist has no use for perfectly good pottery? At least not when it comes to forming his artwork. And no self-respecting artist would ever intentionally damage another person’s hard work. But the materials a mosaic artist uses to make his masterpiece must be broken.
Too often, I see people whose lives are damaged pretending everything is okay. They hide their brokenness from those around them because being broken is not a good thing. They take emotional duct tape and claim they’re fine when they could fall apart at any second.
They would rather remain a useless damaged vase than to be made whole in a beautiful mosaic.
When tragedy strikes, there’s no full recovery from that. You never fully get over the pain and trauma from whatever it was that hurt you – But God can use that.
God is the master artist. He can take the brokenness of our useless lives and make something so beautiful the rest of the world cannot help but take notice. But we must let him use our brokenness.
We need to stop pretending we have our lives together.
Instead, we need to give God the shattered remains of who we are and allow him to turn our lives into a masterpiece which makes the world stop and stare.