Damaged

damaged

I was excited to open the box of new pots and pans my mom sent us for Christmas a few years ago, but the largest glass lid had shattered and the pieces were scattered throughout the box like jagged diamonds.

I had no idea what happened to that box after the pans and their lids had been packed, the box taped up and sent on its way. I didn’t know how many trucks it had been loaded on or if someone had haphazardly tossed it or dropped it. I just knew it was damaged when it got to me.

Have you been damaged along the way to where you are now? Has someone carelessly hurt you or tossed you aside, discarding your heart as if it were made of stone and not a fragile part of who you are?

I’ve been there. Many times. Broken relationships, betrayal from those I trusted wholeheartedly. Those who tried to manipulate and control my life at a time when I didn’t fully trust God; a terrible consequence for looking to others instead of Him but a valuable lesson indeed.

I often wondered if I would ever “get back” to me. If I was too far gone, too broken, or too damaged. Maybe you’re there today, wondering if you’ll ever heal completely or if the wound will remain open and painful.

Or maybe you’re slowly recovering with God’s help. But every time you’re in a similar situation or a new relationship starts to develop, you can’t help but hold your breath as you anticipate the sting.

So you shrink back. You pull away. You withdraw and seek God, asking Him to help you as you bury yourself in His arms again.

But you hope others will understand, that they might consider what has happened to you along the way; what careless words cut you or toxic relationship left you scarred. You pray they won’t take it personally as you wait on God to tell you what to do and how to move forward.

You don’t want this to go on forever, and you know God is working on you. You’ve come so far, really. But others might not see that. They don’t know how many thousands of fragments God has already healed in your shattered heart, how many times He’s helped you to breathe during those situations that used to steal your breath.

You hope they know you’re trying.

You’re not trying to be the same person you once were but a better you. You want to learn from your past, grow from your mistakes. You want to be so on fire for God that those who try to control or manipulate you again will recoil from the heat.

You want more of God. More than anything.

And you find yourself hoping a few of those diamond-like shards of your shattered heart remain because now you understand how His love has strengthened you and how it reflects even brighter through such broken places to those who are also damaged.

Those who need to know God is totally trustworthy and so very close.

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” (Psalm 34:18 NLT.)

“I am forgotten by them as though I were dead; I have become like broken pottery. But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’” (Psalm 31:12,14 NIV.)