I’m going to start out strong here and drop a favorite quote on you guys. Anita Krizzan once said, “God shines through the cracks of broken people.” I can’t tell you how much I love this.
Have you ever noticed that the best people in your life are the ones who don’t have it all together? Perfection is a nice goal, I suppose, but even the thought of it wears me out. It isn’t realistic. And to be very honest, it isn’t relatable. My favorite people, the very BEST people I have come across in my life are the broken ones. The broken hearts and weary souls who know what it is to hurt and to fear and to struggle. These are my people. The ones I can sit down with and pour out my own flawed self to. There is no judgment in that place. There is safety and comfort in conversations between imperfect hearts who just need to feel like they aren’t alone. And in those precious honest moments God opens an opportunity for us to shine our lights for Him. Isn’t that amazing? God uses the struggle and the history of our lives to give us the very testimonies we can take out and share.
Though the Bible is full of stories of brokenness, there is one that always comes to mind… story of Ruth. To be honest, the story is equally as compelling for Naomi, Ruth’s mother-in-law because they are both redeemed so beautifully. As a refresher, I’ll read the first chapter of Ruth to provide some context…. Now, because the book of Ruth is only four chapters total, I’ll stop here to commentate and fill in the rest. This story is sad right out of the gate. Naomi and her family left their homeland to seek refuge from a famine. They left everything behind…home, family, friends, and even land because they were starving. Shortly after they arrive, Naomi’s husband, Elimelech, dies. Can you imagine how devastated you’d be? To leave behind all you know, but at least you’re with your family. And then your husband dies. The only comfort Naomi had left were her two sons. They each married and time goes on for ten years. We don’t know what transpired in this time, but we can assume that Naomi did not have any grandchildren yet, as none were mentioned. We can also assume that her daughters-in-law were likely in their mid 20’s when her sons, Mahlon and Kilion died. (Remember, women were married at young ages in that day). Naomi has no blood family left. She is left in a foreign land with no protection and likely no source of income. She is also responsible for the welfare of her young daughters-in-law. She does what she feels is the most kind thing and tries to release them of their familial duties to go back to their homes with their own families. Bereft and broken. Bitter, in her own words. Naomi has nothing left.
Flipping perspectives, we see Ruth. A young widow. She has no children and seemingly no hope of a future. Even in the midst of her own brokenness, though, she loves Naomi. She clings to her and refuses to leave her. Ruth is broken, but she surrenders her life and her future to the God Naomi follows. Vowing “your God is my God…” and “where you go, I go”. I find such beauty in this broken place.
See, brokenness, in its purest form, leads to surrender. Even if she didn’t know it at the time, Ruth’s posture of surrender was preparing her for a future she could never have imagined for herself.
Brokenness is a powerful tool. It is where strength is found and character is forged and relationships are formed. It is also where we meet surrender. Surrender to God and His purposes for it all. She gave it to Him, and He blessed her. And that is just what God will do with whatever brokenness you are carrying. He will bless your story at the moment of surrender… So today, I want to encourage you. Don’t feel the need to be perfect, sweet friends, your beauty is in your brokenness. And don’t hold on where you need to surrender…He is waiting on you, today. Embrace the unique cracks that are yours and shine His light through them.