There is a difference between being “cracked” and broken to pieces. A cracked vase can still hold a candle and shine light. A vase that is broken to pieces needs to either be fixed or thrown away. The more broken pieces the less useful the vase becomes. We are empty vases that are filled with the spirit of God. The more broken we are the less of God’s spirit we can carry inside of us. So how do we fix that?
Your soul is who you are. YOU are the same YOU since the day you were born despite your body changing drastically from small to tall, from young to old, etc. If you change your hair color, does it change who you are? No! I’m not a different person now than I was at three years old despite being in a different container. Your soul and your body are separate. Your soul is YOU. Your body is the thing that allows you to live down here on earth.
If we were absolutely perfect humans (and nobody is) then there would always be at least one crack inside of us – the separation between our body and our soul. You won’t be completely in one piece until you die and leave your body. Actually, you haven’t been in one piece since you got here. That takes some pressure off, doesn’t it? Though we may have cracks and separations, our holes and gaps are filled by God. This allows you to shine the light of God in your soul through those cracks in your life.
So how do you get from broken to pieces to a well-sealed together vase? Here are 7 steps to get your started on your journey:
#1 Acknowledge Your Brokenness
The first step in making any change is to admit that change needs to occur. We do not know we need to fix something unless we are first made aware that it is broken. You have to take a long, intentional look at yourself and admit that there are broken places in your life. It will not be easy to do. This journey to healing begins with seeing and accepting your own imperfection. Ecclesiastes 1:18 tells us that “The greater my wisdom, the greater my grief. To increase my knowledge only increases my sorrow.” The more you get to know yourself as a broken vase, the harder it is to remain in that broken state.
#2 Identify the Broken Pieces
Once you have acknowledged that you are broken and allow yourself to feel that brokenness, it is time to define the broken pieces of your life. You have acknowledged that you are not really as happy as you profess, good as you put on, or satisfied as you claim to be. Now it is time to figure out why. What’s missing? This is the step where you must go back to your past and think about those moments and people and things that have changed the kind of person you are. Who were the people that slowly, but effectively dimmed your light? What were the things that snatched the purpose from inside you? Like the first step, this is hard. This is going to be a battle. But, 2 Chronicles 20:15 reminds us that our battles are not ours, but Gods. The Lord wants you to shine bright light into the world and so, he will accompany you on this painful journey.
#3 Align the Pieces into a Vision
Forgiveness is the cornerstone of this step. Forgiveness is like finding the corners and edges of a puzzle to start putting it back together again. You must forgive yourself and forgive those who you identified in step 2. You decide at this point what you want your life to be and how you want to live it. Then, you bring these broken pieces into alignment with that vision. So, call the sister you haven’t spoken to in years. Go back and start doing the thing that you lost hope in. Go to school. Get a new job. This is where you DO something different so you can BE something different. Need a scripture? Habakkuk 2:3 is it. It is not going to happen over night but start doing things differently. Start with a vision.
#4 Glue with God
Okay, you know that you are broken. You know where you are broken and now you have started to put the pieces back together. You have aligned them. You have a vision for your life. Now, you wait on God. God’s love and only God’s love can seal these pieces back into place and over time you will start to look like the person he created you to be. 1 John 4:16 says “We know how much God loves us and we have put our trust in his love.” You can’t move past this step until you believe that scripture. Truly. You may be on this step for years but once you realize how much God loves you. You take a huge leap forward on the journey. This is when you prepare to let your light shine.
#5 Identify the Holes
So you had 1000 broken pieces and you managed to put most of them together and form your vase. Your vase is standing upright and it is clear to you and everyone that you are a beautiful vase designed to hold something. You look like yourself again. But…there are only 989 pieces. So, there are some holes in the vase- thereby making it impossible to hold anything but light inside of it. What are these holes? The holes are things that you just aren’t able to fix. It’s your “stuff”. We all have it. Blame it on Adam and Eve. Look in the mirror and identify your “stuff”.
#6 Let God Fill the Holes
Paul’s thorn. Israel’s limp. Kamryn’s terrible memories. These things must be managed daily by God. These holes….this is where you walk by faith and not by sight. (Hebrews 11:1). These holes remain in you because God will use them for his good purpose. This is how God keeps your attention so you don’t get too far ahead of yourself. So God FILLS these holes when he needs to use you and he lets you FEEL them when he needs to talk to you. Racism, sexism, bigotry, hidden addictions, secret relationships, and personality tics are all examples of holes – big and small.
#7 Learn To Live the Truth
We are so used to living the facade that authentic living can sometimes be harder than living the lie. Most of us do not know how to live authentically. You love to declare — particularly on your IG feeds and Facebook pages– how amazing you are, but actually you know you’re just a plastic bowl of broken pieces. You think you’re hiding behind a good job and great vacations. Learn to live in the truth God has given you.
Now, you’ve arrived at Unbroken…
When you are unbroken, you can tell the story of your brokenness. Not everyone is going to start a blog or write a book but you are truthful with yourself and spirit led in sharing what the Lord has done for you. Your light shines through the pieces that He’s put back together again. Your joy is complete. You love yourself and everybody else. It is that love that sustains you that causes you to grow into a different kind of person. When you are unbroken, your light shines so that others can see the hope in being unbroken too.
The difference between an unbroken person and one that is pretending to be whole? A lot but mainly…
God’s light shines from those who are unbroken. We’re fully of joy and peace, goodness, and fruitful endeavors. Those around us are being blessed by our unbroken state too. People who fake wholeness are projecting “ME! ME! ME!” They must create their own spotlight and stand in it for the world to see. Those of us who are proudly, imperfectly, unbroken stand in the light of God. So Shine on TYC tribe! Shine on!
If you want to start your journey to being unbroken or if you are on the journey and want the strength to keep going with new resources and inspiration be sure to sign up for the Shine TYC newsletter and course information.