1: violently separated into parts: shattered
2: damaged or altered by breaking: as a: having undergone or been subjected to fracture: being irregular, interrupted, or full of obstacles c: violated by transgression disrupted by change.
3: made weak or infirm b: subdued completely: crushed, sorrowful
5: not complete or full.
6: disunited, separation, or desertion
These, are those things, events, and challenges that find their way into or days, an often times an unwelcome part of life. Brokenness: shattered, damaged, fractured, full of obstacles, disconnected, words that do not suggest or bring comfort. Unexpectedly, a place of dramatic change and turmoil and often times if harnessed for our good, Gods glory, and exponential spiritual growth.
After receiving a phone call in which all of my fears, my hurts, all I had worked for, planned for, set my dreams on came to an end, BROKENESS. All of me, who, and what I had made my self ,to be, lost. I hung up the phone and tears held back overwhelmed my spirit an uncontrollable flood of emotion. Words could not escape; breathing became difficult, my mind could think of nothing, a total collapse of all I called self.
I fell to my knees, literarily lying down on the carpet, face down, crying uncontrollably. My thoughts raced from anger to despair, to crushing grief. As I lay prostrate on the carpet these words came to my mind “There is much to learn that will take a willingness to not know”. I stopped my crying because those words made no sense to me and quite frankly made me angry. I sat up and thought for a moment and literally yelled out loud ‘What does that me”! I needed help and resolution of my pain not words that at the time meant nothing to me.
Brokenness for me has often been my Heavily Father’s way of getting my attention, or moving me past that place where I have stumbled or failed. As I look back I can see where I have often wondered off on my own, into the desert towards what was nothing more than a mirage. King Solomon said “a chasing after wind”.
Now more than 15 years later I have an ongoing appreciation for those unusual and at the time confusing words. They mean many things to me but the essence is Faith. A valued treasure witnessed, and experienced from the very beginning of my days.
I would like to say that I daily set aside sufficient time for prayer and reading Gods word. The truth is it’s often like a snack on the run, just enough but not sufficient for ongoing strength. My goal is to be more disciplined in the daily maintenance of my spirit. I can not walk alone, hard to admit but true.
My earliest memories are of being in church. It is amazing to me how worship with other believers’ in corporate unity strengthens. Praise and worship in song and the verbal proclamation of Gods Word moves my spirit. A release of what’s worn down or out, a renewing of spirit, mind, and body. I find my self just “letting it out”. Hands raised in surrender and acknowledgment of my creator. It’s as if the words in song just flow from inside, deep down with joy, often with tears. Thankfulness, a release of what’s been held back or set aside, for just that moment.
I like the analogy of “Gods Garage”. Don’t get me wrong, reverence, worship and honor to God, not like storage, but a place to rebuild or overhaul the spirit. Replace what’s broken or worn out, update for added performance, refurbishes, or replenish what’s broken or worn out.
I often find that my daily commitments have worn me down and sometimes out by the end of the week. Travel away from those I love, work requirements self imposed and by others, a pace not meant to be run for so many days in a row. My body, mind, and spirit worn and sometimes broken.
My place of worship is more times than not my hotel room on bended knee often with tears and hands raised. Relief from the physical, mental, and spiritual struggle, my own efforts, and resources have fallen short. Holy Scripture quoted, out loud, a request to my heavenly Father to guide, heal, restore. The presence of His Holy Spirit renews, calms, encourages my spirit. A treasured place of discovery, of Gods will and purpose for me.
I never realized that brokenness for me is and may always be an ongoing part of life. I have a love and appreciation for 2 Corinthians 18:9 we were under great pressure, far beyond our abilities to endure so that we despaired even of life. In our hearts we felt death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves, but, on God, who raises the dead.
I composed this poem the evening before my Dads funeral in July 1996. His on going legacy is his commitment and resolve to follow Jesus Christ all of his days. His example in every situation was to pray. It speaks to me every time I read it and reminds me of where strength and resolution of life’s problems and concerns can be found. I hope you will be encouraged, and brokenness restored to wellbeing, lead by His Spirit, to surrender, pray, and trust in Him.
Instructions to my Son
In Honor of my Dad George H. Carter 1931-1996
Son, Life, is hard
With struggles & pain
From those first steps
Until the end of the race
Always do your best
And give it your all
Even when it is
That you stumble
There’s no guarantee
Of greatness or ease
Just an assurance
That everything you will need
You will find
On bended knee
As my dad taught me
It’s not wealth or fame
It simply about
Calling on Gods name
There’s no situation
You can’t overcome
Just pray and petition
For God so loved the world
That he gave
His only Son
So you and I may run this race
Men of God
Of help from above
Love Dad 07/22/1996
May God bless your life as you pursue him! May Gods love and kindness direct you as we are renewed and strengthened as he does a new thing in our lives, the journey to our new life is on foot, led by the Spirit and Gods Word, to serve Him, and others.