I recently had a reader comment about how the title of my page should read “Beautifully Broken” vs broke. She stated that broke makes it sound like I’m without money. Vocabulary is not my strong suite, so I was embarrassed to have made such a big mistake. Broken was the word I wanted to use but that domain was taken so I settled for broke. I looked up the word broke to verify the meaning and the first definition that came up was, bankrupt, lacking funds, destitute. I quickly changed my title page and thanked her for pointing out my error.
I started thinking of the definition, it begin to resonate with me. Especially the word destitute – lacking something needed. My body is definitely lacking something needed. EDS is the inability to produce collagen (the number one used protein in the body) and ankylosing spondylitis is the immune system attacking the spine. I’m bankrupt, not financially but physically, emotionally and spiritually. I have nothing to bring to the table. Thankfully I don’t need to. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 “He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.” Isaiah 40:29 Do you see what we bring to the picture? Nothing, weakness, no might…bankruptcy and destitution. And yet that’s all He expects from us. Look at Lazarus, he was dead. He literally brought nothing to the table. God doesn’t need our strength, expertise, or spirituality to accomplish His works. He blesses and uses us despite ourselves. “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.” Psalm 23:5 I don’t even show up to the table, He prepares it before me. It’s not a potluck, I don’t bring anything because there’s nothing I can contribute. What does He expect of me? “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 He wants my trust, and to follow after Him. Like a toddler learning how to walk holds their parent’s hand and is guided in the way they should go. He wants us to fully depend on Him and not in our own strength or wisdom. When my daughter was two she decided she knew how to walk down the stairs without holding my hand. She pin-balled all the way down the stairs giving me a heart attack. When we walk in our own strength and wisdom we end up a crumpled blubbering mess at the bottom of the stairs. His hand, His power, His wisdom. I bring bankruptcy and partake of His feast.
I realized I could put a spin on it and make that definition of broke work. But I kept remembering when my daughter was little. I kept hearing her sweet voice choked with tears, tottering over to me, her pudgy little arms offering up her toy holding nothing back. When I asked what happened she would simply say, “It broke.” So simple and yet so much heartache, despair, and frustration in those two little words. As she looked at me with those eyes brimming with tears there was hope, trust, and an assurance that mommy could fix it. At times it feels like the list of my diagnoses grows by the day. It doesn’t help that they are opposing diagnoses. I have EDS which is a hypermobility, and ankylosing spondylitis which is hypomobility. How do you treat someone who is too flexible in some joints, but areas of the back are fusing together? I find myself tottering up to my Heavenly Father with my arms outstretched and tears running down my face saying, “I’m broke.” The freedom and hurt that those two words encompass… There’s freedom because when something is broken there’s no expectation for it to function properly. Our front doorknob only works about 50% of the time if you turn it to the left, but if you turn it to the right, it will always grant you access. If I forget and turn it to the left and am denied entrance, I’m not shocked or surprised, I simply turn it to the right and carry on. When I kept expecting my body to function as a normal body I was constantly frustrated. But finally, being able to admit that I’m broken, that I can’t do things a “normal” person can, there’s a freedom. I still get frustrated with my limitations; it still hurts. When a toy breaks, no amount of super glue or duct tape will ever put it back to brand new status. It might be able to still function, but it will never be back to the way the designer envisioned it. I can do things to duct tape myself together so I will function, but this body is broken, and will be until I come into the kingdom when, “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4
Had I looked just a little bit further I would have realized there are two definitions to broke, bankrupt, and it is the past tense for break. As I thought through the two definitions, I realized that broke is the most appropriate word for what I’m trying to convey. Is it grammatically correct? I have no idea; I’ll leave that up to the English teachers. But for my story it is all encompassing. Without Christ I’m broke or bankrupt and my body broke long ago and will remain that way till I step into eternity. I want to thank my reader for questioning the title of my blog. You’ve sent me on a rabbit trail that has been very enlightening! With that said I’ve changed my title page back to Beautifully Broke, because that’s what I am. God has taken all the brokenness and poverty and turned it into something beautiful for His glory and purpose.