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Discovering the Beauty in Brokeness

Posted in Encouragement, Faith, POPULAR POSTS, Prayer, Self-care, and Women in the Bible

What hurts us is often hidden.  It limps behind our pursuit of purpose.  It cowers in the shadow of broken dreams. It is often protected by tears or the passage of time.

But when pain gains a voice it can gain a lot of volume.  It can sharpen the tongue or get stares from a crowd. In Luke 7, I met a woman unleashing her load in an unusual way.  She belonged to a society of outcast.

If she wore a t-shirt it would read, “SPENT.”  Stressed Perverse, Empty, Neglected and Tired.”

She used to dream of getting a new start.  But eventually, she checked all of the “SPENT” boxes.  Until she heard the Savior was in town.

She listened to two men talking.  One said, “Jesus is here.  Did you see him?”  She displayed disinterest at first.  And yet, she wondered if the rumors were true.  Did Jesus really have a huge heart and healing hands?

As she looked in the men’s direction, they frowned and stepped a few feet away.  She turned her back, but not her attention, as the other man said, “He’s at Mr. Pharisee’s house for dinner.”  This was all she needed to know.

Approaching the house that held her hope, her hands begin to tremble.  As she entered the door, immediately, the whispers began. “Oh no. Not her.”  She stumbled slightly as she stepped over insults. Just as the host thought to himself, “Who does she think she is?” she collapsed on the floor behind Jesus. As she gathered her thoughts, she clung to her alabaster jar of expensive fragrant oil.

The pricey perfume hinted at the potential of the moment. What force would dominate the atmosphere?  Which statement would define her identity?  She considered the criticism of the crowd.

She chose Love instead.

Kneeling before Christ, she realized there was nothing between them except grace.

No more whispers.

No more crowd.

No more guilt.

His dusty feet must have reminded her of the long road that brought her there. And yet, despite her poor past choices, she made the best choice she could make; she worshipped Him.  She washed His feet with her custom blend of sacrifice.

The oil was expensive but her tears were more costly. Together they made quite a statement. Her tresses became a towel to dry His feet from her offering.  After years of being spent, redemption had finally come.

Hello brokenness.

No, it’s not this woman’s name.  It’s the pivot to her story.  I marvel at her courage.  I’m annoyed by her haters.  I’m in love with her King.  You see, He’s my King too.  I’ve had similar moments with Jesus.  Mostly, in private.  It happens whenever I realize I’m living a SPENT life.

At first, brokenness feels like an unreasonable call.  It is when my pain prompts an offering.  It happens as I realize the hollow places in my soul can only be filled by the hugeness of God.

His forgiveness overwhelms.  His healing makes me whole and there is freedom from whatever holds me hostage.

Pain can plant purposeful seeds in the soil of God’s grace.  As I water the possibility in faith, a treasure in my trauma is found.  Jesus meets me at my point of need and I discover there is beauty in brokenness.

Through Him, I am able to get up and fight on. I am able to believe. Receive.  Forgive. Thrive.

If we’re stressed, perverse, empty, neglected or tired, here’s some good news:  Whether it is heartache or sin damage, it doesn’t compare to God’s love.  Today is a good day to let Him in. Hear the welcoming voice of the Father offering hope for the heart and joy to the soul.

“Going through the motions doesn’t please you, a flawless performance is nothing to you. I learned God-worship when my pride was shattered. Heart-shattered lives ready for love don’t for a moment escape God’s notice.” – Psalms 51:16-17 MSG

Congratulations to Rahama Harewood, the winner of last week's giveaway of 40 Days of Decrease by Alicia Britt Chole!

18 Comments

  1. Raynette Covington
    Raynette Covington

    Praise the Lord! Thank you Joy for this beautiful and fresh look at the story.

    February 16, 2016
    • Joy
      Joy

      I’m glad His beauty shines through this post to your heart Raynette. Yes, praise the Lord indeed!

      February 16, 2016
  2. Crystal Dawn Murphy
    Crystal Dawn Murphy

    I love the title. I love acronym. Your words give a refreshing look at this story. Knowing God’s love is there in our brokenness is wonderful reminder.

    February 16, 2016
    • Joy
      Joy

      Thanks Crystal! I know you’re an acronym-loving kinda girl. 🙂 Knowing we’re broken is no surprise. However, the beauty lies in being broken open to let God in.

      February 16, 2016
  3. What a beautiful retelling of this story. I love the acronym and the way you brought it to life. Thank you for sharing. Blessed by visiting here today!

    February 16, 2016
    • Joy
      Joy

      Hi Abby! Unfortunately, I’m all too familiar with what it feels like to be SPENT. But thankfully, I have discovered the power of Christ’s redemption in those moments. Blessings to you!

      February 16, 2016
  4. One of my favorite stories in the bible. I love the way you retold it. Beautifully written!

    February 16, 2016
    • Joy
      Joy

      Thanks Kelly. It’s amazing how our encounters with Scripture always hold a new nugget of truth. I’m glad you enjoyed the few I found in one of your favorite bible stories. Thanks for stopping by!

      February 16, 2016
  5. Joy this is Great. I’m passing it on to Whitney and Austin. Love You Very Much

    February 16, 2016
    • Joy
      Joy

      Thanks Michael! Love you too big bro!

      February 16, 2016
  6. Rahama Harewood
    Rahama Harewood

    Beautifully written!! Your words so clearly reflect our hurting places but yet you so powerfully move us toward the “hope for our hearts and the joy for our souls!!”

    February 16, 2016
    • Joy
      Joy

      Thanks Rahama! I’m so grateful to know the God who meets us (and heals us) in our hurting places.

      February 16, 2016
  7. Thank you for sharing ” Discovering “Beauty in Brokenness”. The beauty of your words paint such a clear picture of what you want to convey. You are an anointed writer.

    February 17, 2016
    • Joy
      Joy

      Hi Rondlyn! Thanks for your kind words. I’m glad you enjoyed this post.

      February 17, 2016
  8. “When pain gets a voice, it gets a lot of volume.”
    Love that paragraph and the way you show brokeness and the means to Christ’s joy!

    February 19, 2016
    • Joy A. Williams
      Joy A. Williams

      Hi Karen! Thankfully, the volume of our pain is never too loud for the Lord!

      February 19, 2016
  9. Gail Burke
    Gail Burke

    Joy, the truth and power of your writing really ministers to me. My prayer is that many will read “Discovering the Beauty of Brokenness” because it speaks so fervently not only to the Body of Christ but also to the unsaved.

    February 20, 2016
    • Joy
      Joy

      Gail, I am grateful these words to speak to your heart. Thank you for your prayers. May the reach of this post extend to the glory of God!

      February 20, 2016

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