Ashes To Beauty


Why is being broken looked down on? Why, when we don’t appear to have it all together, are we assumed to be on a downward spiral to destruction? Why is being in a place of emptiness a bad thing? This is something that has really been on my mind lately.

Without diving too deep in to my youngest brother’s personal life, I’d like to tell a little story about him. It’s been over a year now, maybe close to two, that he walked through a devastating time. He faced heart ache like he hadn’t known before. I remember hurting for him, he’s my baby brother, after all, and I wanted to take his pain away. But regardless of what I said to him, my words weren’t going to heal his heart or make his days more bearable. I remember he’d come home from work or school and he’d go straight to his room. I’d hear his music come on, always praise and worship of some sort, and I’d hear him begin to just cry. He was so broken. And I was sad for him. I didn’t realize at the time that his brokenness was exactly where he needed to be. While he was hurting, being broken led him straight to the foot of the cross, right in to the arms of Christ. And it was there that he found healing for his heart and that brokenness encouraged a dependency on Christ that he may not have realized he needed had he not been broken. I remember him studying the Bible and finding verses that encouraged him to continue seeking Christ. He kept a journal that he could refer to when he was feeling down. And after some time, I began to see a different person. I began to see a person that had developed “muscles” he didn’t know he had. I saw a new person emerge from his brokenness as a whole man and his heart had been transformed. And little did I know that the road I was on was leading me straight to the very place he’d been.

One thing is for sure, I have the best brothers. God blessed me! Last summer, my youngest brother came by the house and handed me an envelope and told me to read what was inside later. So, to be honest, I kind of forgot about it for a few days but then saw it laying on my night stand one night and thought I better see what he had given me. When I opened it, I found all those verses that he had written down for himself  the year before. All those prayers that he had prayed in his brokenness, he had given to me.

Today is January 14, 2013, and I have never felt so broken, so empty, so ready. I hesitate to write these words because I feel like “broken” or “empty” have such negative connotations. But think about it. If I had it all together, I wouldn’t need Christ. If I was full, I wouldn’t need to be filled with the love of my savior. If I had reached my full potential, I’d have no room to grow. Instead, my prayer the past few days has been for Christ to come in daily and to break me, to empty me of myself, and to rebuild me, fill me up with Him. I can now see my brokenness as a call from God, beckoning me to spend time with Him. It’s really okay to feel this way. I think when we get to a place of feeling like we do have it all together, we have probably become complacent or content and that’s a scary place to be.

Some days I feel like a fragile vase made of glass that has been tossed to the floor, shattered in a million pieces, all its contents spilled on the ground. And I’m okay with that because it means that I’m in the perfect position to be rebuilt and filled up again. A chance to start over. A chance to be made new, to become better. So instead of becoming discouraged in this time of rebuilding, I choose to thank God for where He has me and to trust Him that the finished product is going to be something beyond what I ever imagined for my life. Being broken doesn’t mean I’m sad or down in the dumps. It simply means I’ve allowed God to come in and change me and make me new. He’s turning my ashes in to beauty.

Thanks, little brother, for leading the way and choosing to trust God during that time of your life and being an example that I can follow. I love you so much.



2 responses »

  1. Rachel, I love this post! You are one of those people whose posts I read to get help when I’m feeling like I need a little guidance, you have a way of explaining things and how we use faith in our lives that is exactly what I need sometimes!

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