That feeling when the air is sucked out of your lungs, your stomach sinks to your knees and your chest feels like a gaping wound all at the same time. Your head reeling from adrenaline searching for a threat to fight or to flee from but finding nothing. The persistent ache that threatens never to go away. That fear that you’re never going to be alright again after this moment.
And then the profound loneliness and fatigue that follows.
Whether caused by personal failure, relational breakdown, loss of a loved one, unspeakable harm someone inflicted on you, or any other conceivable reason - heartbreak shakes us to our core like nothing else. Left unchecked, brokenness can fester into bitterness, hatred and numbness.
I still remember the havoc brokenness unleashed on my life before I returned to Christ. I was jaded, untrusting, and fighting to numb the pain I was feeling by any means necessary because I didn’t have the right tools to fix the core issue. With external validation as my duct tape, distraction as my super-glue, drugs and alcohol as my anesthesia and arrogance as my shield I tried my best to convince myself I was okay. But with every bump in the road, I crumbled more and more and eventually, duct tape and super-glue weren’t enough anymore and nothing I tried could numb the pain.
I still remember the first time I heard the bridge of Reckless Love.
“There’s no shadow you won’t light up, mountain you won’t climb up coming after me. There’s no wall you won’t kick down, lie you won’t tear down coming after me.”
( Asbury, CH, 2017 )
It was May 2018 and I heard the song at the 6PM service at Hillsong’s main site in Cape Town. I listened to the song on repeat on my drive home, with sobs and acoustic guitar reverberating in my little Honda Jazz.
That was the first time that I experienced the truth of Psalm 34:18 “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” (ESV).
Even though I didn’t have the knowledge of the scripture, I felt God searching after me and pursuing me.
Even though it would still be almost a year until I would actually return to Jesus and open my heart fully to allow healing to come in, that moment of closeness with God was my sign that He was there for me, that He loved me, that He was pursuing me IN my brokenness.
Let me say that again. He was pursuing me IN my brokenness. Too often we feel that we need to have all our -ahem- stuff together before we feel like we can approach God. This is the most effective lie the enemy tells to us.
In reality, God stands right behind us, crying out for us to turn to Him. He stands holding every tool, every spare part needed for wholeness, ready to do the repair job with us, no matter how big.
When I finally allowed God in, we began the beautiful (and often, painful) process of repairing, repurposing and restoring every crack and every missing piece. With the Lord pouring in unconditional love, mercy, grace and kindness, my broken heart started functioning once again in its intended manner.
Slowly, He began His “good work” in me and together we are still working on it every day. (Phil1:6)
Since then, I’ve been able to see the same brokenness in others and I’ve had the privilege of being able to share my story of transformation and healing with them. I can wear my scars as proof that recovery is possible; that though I may never be the same, I can become better.
I still see trauma and brokenness in myself, but I also see God’s ever-present faithfulness. I see the way He’s transforming my identity every single day, giving me a greater purpose and a deeper revelation. Jesus’ blood covers me, His love and grace sustain me, His brokenness on the cross makes me whole.
While I would never wish the kind of brokenness I have experienced on anybody, I have grown to be grateful for it. Because of my brokenness, I now live my life with a closeness and a reliance on Jesus that has made me into a completely different person. Because of my brokenness, I now believe in God’s power and restoration for everybody. Because of my brokenness, I know that Jesus is the only way to wholeness.
Lord, I pray for the person reading this right now, I pray that you would give them a revelation of the promise you give to us in Psalm 34:18. I pray that they would feel your closeness in their broken place. I pray for the blood of Jesus to fill up all the cracks. I pray for your love, forgiveness and mercy to go to work in them even as they’re reading this Father. Restore and transform them by your power. In Jesus’ name.
Asbury, CH [ 2017 ] Reckless Love. On Reckless Love Single [Audio File] Retrieved from https://music.apple.com/us/album/reckless-love-single/1302187436
Women of Reverence welcomes Teri McAlpine as a guest blogger.
Teri McAlpine is the Co-Leader for Ignite Leadership Academy as well as a member of the Creative Media & Communications Team at Lighthouse to the Nations Church.
She is passionate about Jesus, her work, and social justice with a focus directed towards spreading awareness about Gender-Based Violence in South Africa.
Teri is the daughter of Bruce and Myra McAlpine and loves them and her siblings; Kimberly, Michael and David dearly. Teri believes that her walk with Jesus has just begun and she can’t wait to see where it takes her.