Beauty In Brokenness
“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.”
Never have I known the meaning of brokenness like I have this past year. At the beginning of 2016 I asked the Lord to refine me and to mold me during this season. I wanted Him to prepare me for the future and the purpose He had for my life. So I stepped away from social media, cleared my life and mind of distractions and clutter, and sought everyday to the best of my ability to allow His word and will to guide my life. Little did I know that God’s refinement process for me would involve loss, hurt, brokenness, and testing.
Life and it’s experiences broke me down all the way to the core. There were many things that happened to me in this season of life that I did not see coming…loss after loss, heartache after heartache, heartbreak after heartbreak, death of friends and death of family. I remember there were many nights that I laid on the cold room of my floor weeping, unable to move. All I had enough strength to say through my pool of tears was,
“Lord help me. I need you.”
Many days I felt that God had forgotten about me, that He didn’t truly love me because He allowed all these things to happen to me. The pain was so great..so unbearable that there were some days that I was angry, other days just simply confused, and other nights extremely overcome with uncontrollable grief.
Crying was an almost every day thing.
Smiling and laughing seemed so foreign to me.
I was broken.
I was hurting.
I was in desperate need of healing.
I didn’t feel like myself, I didn’t feel like Ashley anymore. Even the most encouraging word from a family member or a friend couldn’t truly restore me, or fix the hurt I was experiencing. I felt imprisoned by my brokenness. I wanted to be set free, I wanted to be fixed and restored!
And that’s exactly what God did and is STILL doing.. “fixing and restoring me.”
I write this to you right now as a person who has been broken by life, but yet is still standing, still believing and still trusting in an amazing God! I couldn’t see it then, but boy oh boy do I see it now! Each experience this past year was apart of God’s refining process for my life. In the midst of my brokenness, He was restoring me, rebuilding me and molding me into the woman of God that He wanted me to be. There were things about the old Ashley that He needed to remove and break out of me. Things like, “lack of faith, pride, a need to control, an unforgiving heart, pessimism, resentment, and selfishness.”
My brokenness in this season revealed my unrighteous behavior, but what was even more astounding is that my brokenness revealed God’s righteous character!
Through my brokenness, His love, His comfort, His faithful presence and redemptive glory seeped through every crack of my hurting heart.
My brokenness coerced me to lay at God’s feet,
weep at His feet,
and STAY at His feet.
Never had I been more desperate for God then in my brokenness. And because of that my relationship with God was strengthened and is still being strengthened.
He is my best friend, my everything, and my all and all. He fixed me when no one or nothing else could! His word spoke to my pain and healed my hurt. He brought my joy, my smile, and my laughter back when I thought it was forever lost. He infused a strength within me, that I never knew I could possess. He changed me by first allowing me to be broken and then putting me back together as a more refined vessel for Him.
He’s still piecing me back together. There are still days where I feel a tinge of sting from old healing wounds. Even some days, where healing scabs get nicked and tears start to well within me. But I have learned to run to my source of healing..my ultimate healer and refiner..my loving Heavenly Maker. Even on the most painful day, He has a way of always making me feel better and as a result He’s able to TRULY make me better.
Oh what beauty I have found in my brokenness!
My friend as you read these words, I want you to know this. God loves you…even in your brokenness! I’m not sure what has broken you at this time in your life. It may be the loss of a loved one, financial crisis, a painful break up, strained relationships, family issues or sickness. Whatever has broken you in this season I want you to remember this.
The beauty about brokenness is through it we have a chance to experience the true meaning of godly restoration. When God puts us back together “piece by piece.” When His loving hands press on our bleeding heart. When He takes the time to bind up all our wounds and heals us completely! That experience is a life changing one. When we’ve been hurt by life, yes it’s something we will never forget. But when we’ve been HEALED by God that’s a memory, an experience that transcends into all of eternity!
Always remember the greater the hurt and brokenness, the better and greater the healing will be! You are being refined. You are being FIXED into a more FINE-tuned vessel for the Lord. Rejoice for your brokenness will reveal the glory and faithfulness of God. With each broken piece of your life, through it’s cracks, God’s light will seep through ever so brightly. And because of that, your testimony of brokenness will not only change you but will forever change those around you for the better. Oh what beauty there is in your brokenness! Oh what beauty there is in brokenness! Let your cry be,
“Oh Lord break me so you can make me into that which you will have me to be!”
Be encouraged my friend.
This is not the end for you.
It’s only the beginning!
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed, perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down but not destroyed.”
-2 Cor 4:7-9
Fearless. Faithful. Following.
*I want you to take some time this week to focus on the beauty in your brokenness. No matter what you are dealing with in life right now, or what you have dealt with, know that God has the power to make it beautiful.
*Memory verses for this week: (2 Cor 4:7-9 & Psalm 37:17-18)
*Bible character to study: Joseph (Gen 37-50)
*If you have anything you would like to share, whether it be a testimony, a question, or you want to express how you feel about this blog, please comment below. I would love to hear from you!
This was just what i needed to hear. I felt as if God forgot about me, or maybe i call his name too much. I know that when your one of his people your tests will be many, but it just disturbed me how much i lost in a short time. I received this message and one from a guy i met randomly at school and both adressed different parts of what was hurting me. So thanks Ashley!
You are most welcome! To God be the glory! I’m so glad God was able to use me to encourage you. Please stay encouraged!
Thank you so much Ashley for this post!! It has blessed me in the middle of my brokenness!!
To God be the glory! I am so glad God used me to encourage you! Keep holding on!
Beautifully said sweetie. Thank you for your testimony.
Awww thank you so much! To God be the glory. May you continue to be encouraged!
Thank you Ashley for the encouragement in sharing your story in turn this is helping me in the midst of my brokenness. Thank you! Great start to your blog and I am sharing this on my page for others that it may inspire. God bless you on your continued journey!
Thank you Sis Mitchell! To God be the glory. I know you have been dealing with a lot lately, and even through your difficult times you have constantly encouraged me. So thank you! May God continue to bless you and your family!
You are my gift from God. His faithfulness is manifested through His great kindness, a loving spiritual daughter like you. I love you more than me. Love, mom
Thank you so much mommy! It’s because of your example and faithfulness to God that I am who I am. God is beyond faithful. Love you too!
Thank you for sharing. All that we may endure, it is to change us for the Good and the purpose of God and a blessings for others.
Thank you so much! To God be the glory! Many blessings to you.
This post is such a timely blessing. I thank God for arranging for me to read this post on this night. This encouragment is needed during this time in which I feel so overwhelmed by life. You are a wonderful writer and such an inspiration because of the way you use your God-given talent for His purpose.
Speak of his greatness, Tell of his kindness, Open your arms to receive his manifold blessing, and Possess him fully! STOP, the mouth of satin!
Beautiful exclamation of the power that is within you thru the Holy Spirit, the holy undefiled word of God, and constant communion with God thru payer.
God spead Ashley!
Love and prayers
Thank you so much Sis Baker! To God be the glory! Thank you for all your constant encouragement and prayers.
Awesome Blog Entry Ashley!
Thank you sis! I truly appreciate it, and appreciate you!
Wow! Thank you so much.
You are most welcome! Stay encouraged.
I loved this post. I loved the fact that the emotions were talked about. I would even like to hear more about the depth of the “valley” moments so people can really see that this is a normal part of the journey. But, even with me knowing that this happens on the journey sometimes we do forget the purpose. I recently resigned from my job for career building, and also even more recently felt broken by the process since my job search is not going as I planned. But… One morning I heard God saying to me while I’m a drive thru line, you left because you didn’t feel me at the job, now… How/ who will YOU be for ME when You move forward ? And THAT moment slapped me in the face and reminded me that he was rebuilding me for HIS purpose and not just my “career advancement”. My journey continues with doubt of self, life, purpose, gifting, and even contentment and worthless feeling days. But my journey WILL continue. I’ve tried the give up part, I’ve tried the unbelieving part, I’ve tried the forgetting about God part.. And he has SHOWN HIMSELF ANNNND SHOWN OUT EACH TIME. I finally need to learn the lesson of staying focused on him and seeking his purpose thru this ! Thanks again for this post ! It was beautiful girl !
Girl, tears where welling up in my eyes as I read your words. Thank you Regina for being so candid. Please stay encouraged and know that God is not done with you! God is simply trying to get us to grow closer to Him and to grow to be more like Him. I’m so glad He was able to use me to encourage you! Stay encouraged my sister.
Ashley, you said it all. You are a living testimony of how GOOD GOD IS! Through all your trials, tears, tests, let downs, pain, and disappointments, GOD took care of you. God took you to it and through it all. We serve an Awesome God!!!!!! He never leaves us nor forsake us! He is always right on time. God loves you and so do I. Keep up the good work that you’re doing with your blog. Aunt Lydia
Thank you so much Aunt Lydia! To God be the glory! Love you too!
Yes! There is beauty in brokenness! It’s scary to think about. Whenever i feel, rather know, that I’m starting to turn away from God, I know that He’s about to take something away from me. And I’m always scared that it’s going to be a family member. The thought of that makes me cringe, and I then start to pray, repenting and asking for forgiveness. I’m still learning that it’s BEST to stay focused on God and spiritual things. Thank you for your hiatus and experience that helped you write and share this blog! Keeping you in prayer, Ashley. 😌
Amen. Thank you Marleika for your honesty and transparency. As long as we continue to focus, on the Lord we can have the confidence that He will take care of us in whatever circumstance. So glad God was able to use me to encourage you! Many blessings to you!
Ashley – I’m speechless. Your mother shared your blog with me this morning at 7:30. My first thought was, “My only morning to sleep in and … Good Morning Yvette.” Where I normally would have ignored the phone until I got up, I clicked on your blog and was captured. Your every word held me until the next word. I couldn’t put it down. My heart was full. And I went to the previous blog and the next blog …
In my long response to your mother part of what I said was, “Reading her blog filled my heart with joy … when is her first book out? She has an amazing talent of speaking right to your heart. I read a lot of blogs, but never, ever have the words held me like hers … I see her first book as one that you pick up and don’t put down until you’re done. An author that doesn’t publish books fast enough…”
Ashley, you are an amazing, spiritual, beautiful young woman and I am in awe of you. The true definition of awe: a feeling of reverential respect mixed with wonder! I can’t wait to start or join your book fan club! And praise be to God for you!
Wow! Thank you so much Mrs. Jacqueline! Your words have encouraged my soul so deeply. I’m so glad my writings have been able to touch you in this way. To God be the glory! I appreciate your love and suppport. Many blessings to you and my family!