Beautiful Things

Broken Girl. It’s pretty much how I’ve defined my life for the last several years. I’ve been broken a lot longer than that, but didn’t give myself the title “broken girl” until a few years ago. And it wasn’t just me that I called a broken girl. Everywhere I went I was crossing paths with other broken girls. I couldn’t get away from them. I knew God didn’t want me to be broken, but I didn’t know how to repair all of the cracked, missing places in me.

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That’s when I met Jennifer. She was a broken girl too. She was also desperate to be fixed. We started praying together and digging into God’s Word together. We started to find healing. And as we found healing other broken girls found us. It was a year or so later that we decided to start blogging at Broken Girl. We wanted a place where we could hash out this idea of brokenness and try to figure out together what to do with all of the pieces of us.

Things were going well. I was learning to walk in freedom, we were ministering to other women and seeing them find freedom in Christ. Jennifer and I even started to refer to ourselves as “former” broken girls. Life was on the mend.

There’s a Christian platitude I heard about the cracks in our life being what God uses to shine His light through. I was content to be a cracked pot, shining for Jesus.

Then life shattered.

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Two years ago my husband walked out and my life crashed around me. And it didn’t just break me, it demolished me. In the weeks following the death of my marriage I felt as if all of the broken pieces of me were ground to dust and ashes. I kept trying to figure out how to put myself back together, but how can you make anything out of dust?

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I didn’t know what to do. There wasn’t enough glue on the earth that could repair my heart. I read about beauty from ashes and wondered… how on earth can anything beautiful ever come from this?

Still, I clung to Jesus. He was all I had, and I knew that the only place I was safe was in His hands. It hurt. I wanted to run away. I wanted to run from the pain and just move on with life and pretend that everything was okay. But I couldn’t. I knew that the only hope of healing meant staying; even if staying meant living on the potter’s wheel, and in the blazing furnace.

The Lord gave another message to Jeremiah. He said,

“Go down to the potter’s shop, and I will speak to you there.”

So I did as he told me and found the potter working at his wheel.

But the jar he was making did not turn out as he had hoped,

so he crushed it into a lump of clay again and started over.

(Jeremiah 18:1-4 NLT)

 

It doesn’t make sense. How a loving God would crush me into a lump of clay and start over. But then again, isn’t it the most loving thing He can do? To take the mess of me… the dust of me…  and create beauty from that? A 5 year old with Elmer’s glue can piece back together a broken vase, but I don’t know anyone who can take ashes and create new life.

So I stayed on the potter’s wheel. I let him put me in the fire. Friends started telling me how brave and strong I was. I wasn’t brave. Or strong. Just desperate. And convinced that Jesus was my only hope. So I stayed in His hands, and He made something beautiful start to form and take shape in my life.

A few months ago I was at dinner with some girlfriends and one of them asked me “So who are you now? Now that you’re no longer a broken girl, who are you?”

For months I’ve been asking myself that same question. Who am I now? I’ll be honest and tell you that there’s been nothing but silence on the other end of that question. I had no idea how to define myself anymore, until today.

I am not a broken girl. Nor am I a cracked pot. I am a vessel of honor. Sanctified and useful to my Master. I have been crushed and remade according to His purpose.

Therefore,

if anyone cleanses himself from these things,

he will be a vessel for honor,

sanctified,

useful to the Master,

prepared for every good work.

(2 Timothy 2:21 NASB)

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A vessel of honor. A one of a kind, hand crafted display of His splendor. Something beautiful from ashes. Something beautiful from dust.

We don’t have to settle for broken or cracked, or even mended, or fixed. We can be new.

When we stay in His hand beauty comes to us. Maybe not quickly. Maybe not pain-free. We may need to be ground to dust a few times. We may be stretched and pulled. We may question the Master’s design and think that our idea of what we should be is better than His. We may have to face the purifying flames of the kiln more often than we would like. But if we stay… If we stay we’re prepared. Prepared for every good work that He has for us. Prepared to be useful to His kingdom. Prepared to display His splendor. Not through our cracks, but through our wholeness.

A vessel of honor.

~Keri

P.S. You can be His vessel of honor too. No matter how shattered you feel right now. Trust the potter to remake you.

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22 thoughts on “Beautiful Things

  1. Love this. It so reminds me of my past. How for several years I felt so broken after the death of my only biological son, who died in a jeep accident at age 21. I have a vase that looks like a stained glass window vase. Every time I looked (and still look at it when I have it on my kitchen table) I would tell myself that even though I feel so broken, my life was/is still good in many ways! Thanks for sharing your heart. You encouraged me!

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    • Oh Kelly, I’m so sorry for your loss. Only Jesus can help us through losses like yours. I’m so thankful that He has been near to you. Praying He continues to shine His glory through you.
      Keri

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  2. Keri- thank you for sharing your heart. I admire your strength and courage. You are an amazing person, mom, friend, and mentor. I am blessed to call you my friend. Love you!

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  3. Beautiful Keri.! Sometimes you wonder if you fail while being under the “Potter’s Hand.” Does it take years? When do you get to the place where you feel you have arrived, useable for the Master?

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    • I so agree Ms. Peggy. I often feel like I fail, or I’m just flat out whiny in the process. I don’t know if we ever get to the place that we “feel” like we’ve arrived. But I know that even when we don’t feel like it we are usable for the Master. He’s just looking for willingness. Willingness to trust Him and to be a vessel for Him. I don’t know what phase of brokenness or healing you are in right now, but I do know that He’s using you to shine forth His glory.
      Praying for you today!
      Keri

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    • Hi Peggy I and Keri have the same. I have been battling for 7 yeras and i cannot go on . It feels like God has forgotten me. I am so weary….

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  4. Yesssss, I love that God can make something out of nothing and he surprises us each and everything if only we trust in him. Positive attitudes and encouragement can go and get us a long way. We have to first believe it will work, then our love for him makes it all easy, then we must have faith, that is what makes it all possible. I live by that everyday. Thanks for your blogs I truly love them and they ate very true words of wisdom and enlightens me to keep pushing forward, not standing still. God is also working something for me I don’t know what yet but I know it’s best thing for me to glorify him in whatever it is I know in my heart it will be just great and I can’t hardly wait to see what it will be. I do know it will be the desire if my heart and it will be more than what I’ve imagined. Thanks again and prAy for me and what God has planned for me in the days ahead.

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    • Keep trusting Him. I know that the masterpiece He is creating in you will be worth the wait. Praying He will continue to mold and shape and lead you!
      Keri

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  5. Wow, couldn’t have heard your story soon enough. I am in the “dust” process right now and it doesn’t feel so great. I am a doer and a fighter but I feel so shattered. No matter how hard I try to accomplish my goal I fail. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve failed. I’ve hit a “wall” and have finally surrendred to The Potter. In the hard times I cling to Him like no other. The healing hurts so bad and doesn’t feel great at all. I wish I could just feel “normal” but then I remember He has better for us not just the norm. Thank you for sharing your heart and story.

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  6. Thank you so much for your words of encouragement. After struggling for years on the path of infertility, I am trying to find my purpose and ask God what he would like me to do with the lessons I’ve learned along the way. You give me even more hope than I had before.

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  7. I just ran across your site, I couldn’t believe that the way I am feeling is felt by others! i have felt so alone over the last few years & no one seems to understand my brokenness. I have read other blogs but don’t feel they can identify with the hurt in my soul at this time. It seems when all is going well the rug is pulled out from under me. It seems no matter how hard I try, I get nowhere. I know my job keeps me somewhat isolated but I can’t change that at this time. I am so lonely that the nights I am at home it seems to consume me. I am trying to trust God by being patient & not rush into handling my life for him as I have in the past. Please keep me in your prayers that as I am going from the dust & into the fire that my vessel will glorify God and uplift him!

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    • Hey Sally,

      We’re so thankful God has our path’s cross here! My heart hurts for you and for where you are right now. You are not alone! You are precious and loved and understood!

      Father, I lift my sister, Sally, up to you today. I pray that right where she is You would reveal Yourself to her. That you would comfort her in her brokenness and that you would not abandon her in the fire. God I know that you are making something beautiful out of her life. Give Sally the grace and the faith to continue to put her hope and trust in you. Send godly mentors and friends to her to walk this journey with her. And above all else, give her peace.

      We love you girl! And will continue to pray for you!

      Love,
      Keri & Jennifer

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  8. i stil feel so broken. Its been 6 years since I lost my husband. I stil feel so broken, lonely lost. I face teh challenges of parenting my adult children on my own, I yeran for a godly male covering but God is so silent… I cant feel him. I feel forgotten and abandoned today

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    • Praying for you today Erica! You are never forgotten or abandoned by God. He loves you with an everlasting love! Keep holding tight to Jesus.

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      • Erica, I am sorry for your loss. I am divorced and have gone through many things in my life. I can identify with you, in fact, I wrote those exact words on this website just a few weeks ago. I felt God had dropped me off ‘ forgotten about me. However, you know he hasn’t. I am finding a lot of Christian women websites has helped me a lot. The other thing and it may sound crazy, if anyone around me when I go out looks as lonely as I feel, I make a point to speak to them. We both leave with a smile. We all like to know someone cares, even if it came from a stranger. I keep praying for a Christian man as well, even if he ends up just being a dinner partner.

        Keep reaching out to God, he is listening! I’ll keep you in my prayers!

        Sally

        Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands! (Psalm 63:3-4)

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