The Broken Bless

 

Over the past seven years I have found myself bruised, broken, torn, bewildered, lonely, facing no answer to medical concerns, blanketed with the weight of depression, laying in a hospital bed undergoing back surgery in a foreign country, bombarded with panic attacks, gaining weight despite a healthful diet plan and 2 hour work-outs at the gym, getting the news that my mother had a heart attack and I was too far away to hold her hand or be present by her hospital bed, hearing the news that my son would not be released from prison- yet again, watching my husband bear the load of watching me have seizures on long-haul plane flights, being far from my home country when my younger brother had a stroke, experiencing my body go completely numb within three days’ time and having no answers after medical testing was done, saying hard good-byes to dear friends who I may never see again this side of heaven, missing out on births, weddings and the death of loved ones, walking a long valley of isolation and feeling the tremendous overbearing weight of the dark night of the human soul.

At times it felt like too much to bear. And I am sure that I frequently mentioned that to the Lord in my prayer journal.

It wasn’t that joy wasn’t sprinkled-brightly, in-between these great sorrows, losses or disappointments; but today as I re-think this journey of my life I am reminded of this thought. The broken bless!

Opportunity through brokenness

Those who are broken have a tremendous opportunity to use their brokenness as a means to gift others with; their empathy, compassion, mercy, understanding of pain, loss, bereavement, trial, difficulties and great sorrows.

As I look back at these past years I can easily see the dark, frayed and broken strands of my life; but I also see a tremendous gift that God has given me through these trials. Through the school of brokenness, I can greet others with mercy and compassion. I can withhold my judgmental voice because; “just maybe”, they too are wading through murky, rough waters.

There are no schools that give certificates or degrees for brokenness; but I believe that our Lord showed us most clearly that when we embrace our brokenness, we can become a healing balm to those around us.

Called into brokenness

As believers, Christ Himself calls us into brokenness. We each have the choice to curse, or to embrace our suffering; which then becomes the means in which we experience more of Christ Himself.

In our brokenness we draw nearer to the cross of Christ as we identify with His suffering. Through identifying with Christ, we see that our suffering has meaning and purpose.  

Only the Broken Can Bless

 

Only the broken can bless

Only the bruised can heal

Only despised and rejected ones

Truly know how it feels

 

Those praying in vain for relief

Relieve pain wherever they go

Those stumbling, bearing their cross

Best lift up the head weighed low

 

Chorus:

So take me into your arms

Lord, help me to make it through

There is nobody else who has suffered so much

To love me the way you do.

 

Only a love sacrifice

Is worthy of the name

Only a heart wrung out of life

Can make dead hearts beat again

 

Only the broken can bless

Only the bruised can heal

Only despised and rejected ones

Truly know how it feels

 

Chorus:

So take me into your arms

Lord, help me to make it through

There is nobody else who has suffered so much

To love me the way you do.

 

I’ve been broken so I can bless

I’ve been bruised to help you heal

Since I’ve been despised and rejected

I think I know how you feel

 

Chorus:

So come to my Savior’s arms

We will help you to make it through

There is nobody else who has suffered so much

To love you the way we do.

Written by: David J. Weaver

Used with permission

 

Author and missionary David J. Weaver says; “It is not enough that we identify with each other’s suffering. We must identify our suffering ultimately with Christ’s suffering if our suffering is to have meaning and purpose. Only by making that connection do we see our suffering as a means to God’s saving end in another person’s life.

When we see each line of the poem (*above) speaking of Christ, then we can see each line that speaks to our suffering – as having a specific purpose as well. Then, for the joy before us, we will endure our cross, despise its pain, and let God resurrect us as wounded healers of others.”

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 NIV

Pause and Reflect:

Does your life carry with it a litany of bumps and bruises? Are you currently journeying through the valley of desolation? Is your pain so intense that you can’t see any way through it?

  • Can you see any parallels between your suffering and the suffering of Christ’s brokenness?

Christ’s pain was never wasted, it was offered up as a gift of life and redemption to all mankind.

  • What do you think it means to not waste your pain?

We waste our pain when we use it to curse God.

We waste our pain when we allow our desolation to bring us to the brink of despair.

We waste our pain when we turn our hearts against God, not realizing that our pain is a means for God to be glorified in our lives.

We waste our pain when we don’t use it as opportunity to be drawn to God and see that His power can do the impossible!

 

As we walk through the valley of suffering, we have a choice, we can either curl inward; not allowing God to use our brokenness as a channel in which His holy love can shine, or, we can use it as a means of the healing power of God to bring us to a place of reflecting His glory through praise and thanksgiving.  

Linda Jane Dingeldein: Different by Design

 

We can allow the touch of God to change us and use our brokenness to reveal Christ to others who need comfort and healing.

When Christ power shines through our brokenness, our pain will be used to draw mankind to Christ. The world will see the power of God work in the unbearable, impossibilities of our lives, and know that their brokenness can have purpose as well.

Prayer 

God, it’s not easy to endure suffering. I pray that I will have a heart of gratitude even when I am walking through difficulties, disappointments and trials. May my attitude towards suffering allow others to see your goodness and be drawn to You. May I use my brokenness as a means in which I can identify with the loss, pain and bereavement of others; and come along side of them with comfort, encouragement and grace.

God, your pain was not wasted. You offered up yourself as a means of redeeming all mankind to Christ. May my life be a living witness that also draws others to the redeeming work of Christ.

Give to me the opportunity to share my suffering, and the courage to enter the suffering of others. May my brokenness become a means to listen well, identify and bless others; and mostly of all, to glorify Your name.  

In Jesus Merciful Name. Amen

Linda Jane Dingeldein: Different by Design
Photography by Linda Jane Dingeldein

 

Linda Jane Dingeldein applauds the majesty of God shown in the fall foliage of Warren, Pennsylvania

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Replies to “The Broken Bless”

  1. Linda, your life is such an authentic proof of the truth you are telling. I have always admired your ability to connect with people on a deep and meaningful level, that allows for a lasting, life changing work of God’s Spirit in their lives. It is your brokenness that attracts people to Christ in you. What you fear is your weakness or imperfection is the very thing that resonates with other broken people.

  2. Aunt Linda this resonates so well with me. It is such a beautiful thing to see how you interact with people, how you care for them, and to hear your a part of your journey. I have always admired your perseverance, faith, and kindness to others. Thank you for being such a good role model of a Godly woman and being open enough to share.

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