Embracing Brokenness

Posted by on September 17, 2012 in Book Reviews, Books, Grace, Growth | 13 comments

For the next several Monday’s I’ll be reflecting on thoughts stirred by reading Mary DeMuth’s upcoming book, Everything: What You Give and What You Gain to Become Like Jesus. The following is a reflection the ideas in chapters 11 & 12

In stronger seasons, I’ve embraced the hardships as they come, joyfully giving thanks, because I know that the hard thanksgivings are the ones that see us through–the ones that feed the hope. But sometimes, the brokenness overwhelms. Discouragement reigns and I ask “why me” rather than accepting the trials as tools for growth. In these uglier, weaker moments, I may even resent the struggles and selfishly and foolishly dig my heels in against the will of God.

I’m creeping slowly out of such a season.

You see, for years, brokenness seemed to me a sign of weakness. I don’t want to be weak. I don’t want to admit brokenness or defeat–ever. But this hard hearted perspective is not only a symptom of pride, but also of rebellion–of a dangerous and poisonous pharasitical attitude. I told a close friend last week, that really, this ugly piece of me that rears up from time to time–I just want to stab it to death.

I hate the struggle, but God uses this very struggle to reveal my own brokenness. He opens my eyes to it in the most painful and shocking ways, so that I might bring it to Him and let Him remove it.

The revelation of our brokenness is an opportunity to get closer to Jesus. <—Tweetable, right?!

Part of allowing Jesus to become my everything has involved some hard humbling moments, of both discipline and grace.

Sometimes, If I’m honest, I’m not receptive to either.

I forget that when God sees me–because He sees all of me, He doesn’t want to stab those broken bits of me to death like I do. He gathers me up in His arms and loves me, with all my fragmented shards and scrapes. He lays me out in discipline because He knows that if I’d let Him in, I could be better, I could better reflect Him.

There’s a strange and certain beauty in the broken lives of believers. Christ shines through the holes and miraculously, His glory covers what we cannot bare to look at in ourselves–if we let Him.

We cannot grow to be more like Jesus without brokenness. ~Mary DeMuth, Everything

A common struggle I experience in the repeated refinement process, is the frequent ways I speak hurt into my own heart. Do you know what I’m talking about?

Those times when my sinful attitudes are revealed to me, I often choose to speak harshly and cruelly to myself. My inner monologue can be obnoxious and foul, tearing me down from the inside out.

No one speaks such brutality to me and yet–I hurl these words bold and fierce at myself, without a moments pause.

This kind of response to our sinful mistakes ruins the opportunity for growth. When God enlightens us to our woeful ways, the opportunity to heal is quickly stomped on when we spend our energy chastising ourselves so harshly that God’s love is eclipsed by our own brutality.

Self awareness can be a gift, if we choose to pray about and take action against our sinful tendencies. And by take action, I do not mean, by way of verbal assault on our hearts and minds from within.

The answer here is grace. Both accepting Gods generous forgiveness and extending that forgiveness and grace to ourselves. The reminder in 2 Corinthians to “take our thoughts captive” is helpful when considering this:

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5

The voice that condemns and habitually convicts us with guilt when we’ve asked and received forgiveness is not God’s voice, and as such, must be ignored and renounced.

Learning to make Jesus our everything is no easy task. It’s a continual process, a decision that must be made by way of a hundred little decisions each day.

He tenderly reveals our nature and choices so that we might bring the mess of our lives to Him for His mending.

May we live with the willingness to heal, the grace to forgive, and the humility to accept His mercy–every day.

 How has God humbled you, and drawn you closer to Himself?

 

Mary’s book continues to challenge me. I hope you’ll consider picking up a copy for yourself. It’s definitely worth the investment.

Also, you have to watch this inspiring trailer for Mary’s new book–

Can’t see the video? Try HERE.

Everything releases in October, however, you can pre-order now. Woot!

*This post contains an affliliate link.

 

 

                                                                               Sharing this post in community over at Ann’s place today~

  • http://www.marydemuth.com Mary DeMuth

    Thanks for sharing your journey. It’s inspiring. :)

    • http://alwaysalleluia.com/ Kris Camealy

      Thank YOU Mary. I really am painfully grateful for how this book is turning me a little inside-out. Really. I am conforted in so many ways, even as I am stretched. Bless you, sister-friend. What a beautiful gift you have.

  • http://twitter.com/GirlGrowsUp Sarah (theGIRL)

    Watched the trailer and now I’m in tears….

    • http://alwaysalleluia.com/ Kris Camealy

      yes, I love the way it came together! Blessings, my friend.

  • Ro elliott

    I too have known those accusing voices…ones the condemn…ones that make it my responsibilty to change…ones that rob me from love and grace…and too…how I treated myself…how I viewed myself is how I treated and viewed those around me. grace is now my friend and weakness is God’s strength in me. blessings to you sweet Kris…

    • http://alwaysalleluia.com/ Kris Camealy

      Such good words for me today, Ro. Grace is now my friend…. I am so desperately wanting to “live” in that space, I’m getting closer, but the struggle still twists me up some days. And ahh, how much God is showing me my weakness to be His strength. What a gift and fount of wisdom you are ;)

  • http://myfreshlybrewedlife.com/ Barbie

    If I could only turn over the voices of self accusations. They really do keep me far from Him. Thank you for sharing your beautiful heart here. And the trailer moves me to tears.

    • http://alwaysalleluia.com/ Kris Camealy

      Yes, Barbie. I know this too well. Bless you my friend, praying you’d feel His overwhelming grace and joy in you, Zephania 3:17 to you today, my friend.

  • BJ Simpson

    Thanks. This article really spoke to me today. Beautifully written and relevant to the brokenness that I am going through. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

    • http://alwaysalleluia.com/ Kris Camealy

      Oh friend, I am so thankful it spoke to you. Praying you would feel His comfort in your brokenness and that you’d find completion in Him.

  • http://www.facebook.com/amberdobecka Amber Dobecka

    Kris, thank you so much for this beautiful article. I, too, am experiencing my season of “breaking” and realizing that I’ve been broken since the time I came from my mother’s womb. I’m in that season, where your brokenness becomes a reality, not just words or knowledge you know because the Bible tells you so. Your article is both encouraging and comforting. Blessings to you! :)

    • http://alwaysalleluia.com/ Kris Camealy

      Amber, I am so grateful you found both encouragement and comfort here ,proof positive of how God can and does use the mess of our lives fror HIS purposes. Your words blessed me today–thank you and I pray you’re strengthened and heartened during this challenging season! There is purpose in it, my friend. Great purpose, which you may not yet know.

  • Kristen Hamilton

    So true…”Part of allowing Jesus to become my everything has involved some hard humbling moments, of both discipline and grace.” Yes, both discipline and grace. I’m learning this in a struggle of my own, which Mary’s book has helped me get a better grasp on. Thank you for sharing, Kris! Wonderful truths!