Joyfully Broken

Walking down stairs doesn’t require an academic degree, but it does require degree of coordination. Apparently on this particular Thursday, I lacked the coordination necessary to properly descend the staircase. I had my hands filled with a few things from my upstairs craft room. Nothing too big, just nail polish and a few papers. As I began to make my descent, I saw our big black Maine Coon kitty, Fuzzy Buddy sitting at the bottom of the stairs. I was approaching the bottom and said, “Hey Fuzz!” Then it happened.

I was certain I was stepping off of the last step and onto the solid floor. I was certainly mistaken! I still had one step left to go. Before I had a moment to blink, I was laying on the hard floor at the bottom of the stairs trying to comprehend what had just happened. Pain seared through my right leg and foot. Certainly I couldn’t be injured too badly. I have far too much to get done!

Praise the Lord, my cellphone landed on the floor next to me…functional and unbroken. I wish I could say the same for my bones. My wonderful husband answered my call, and came to my rescue. A few hours later he pushed out of the orthopedic urgent care office in a wheelchair; a broken leg (thankfully the smaller of the two bones), a broken foot, and a broken spirit.

My knight in shining armor brought me home and lovingly helped me to bed. He provided me with pain medication on schedule, and my favorite cup filled with ice-cold water and a little splash of cranberry juice. I do love some cranberry juice in my water!

The first few days weren’t too bad emotionally. Yes, I was angry at myself for being clumsy and falling down the stairs. I was also thankful for my God who was obviously watching over me. It could have been much worse, but He protected me. I was going to have to find joy in this mess. That would be the difficult part.

As the days began to turn into weeks, my frustrations grew and my temper shortened. I can’t drive, can’t take a shower without help, can’t do anything but sit on my tookus and do nothing. Oh, but God quite obviously had a plan.

For the last year of so, I had been feeling God call me to write a book. Bible study and life story combined. God had given me a title and a direction, and yet I was entirely too busy to get that book written. I had women’s ministry, our final year of homeschool, involvement in a new women’s conference coming to the area, and a multitude of other things in addition to being a wife and mom. God would understand that I was busy. “God, let me get back to you when I have time.”

It became clear that the only thing I would have time for over the period of 6-8 weeks would be reading God’s word, praying, researching, and writing. It became clear that God had a purpose for this broken body. His purpose was joy.

I had recently begun leading online Bible study from my handy-dandy laptop and phone. That was something that I could still easily do while laid up with and broken. I had begun doing a story board for the book. Another thing I could do while broken. Then God put it on my heart to teach about the joy found in Christ. All while laying in bed, broken. I had two choices. I could be angry and frustrated at my mis-step or I could allow God to use me for His purpose and fill me with joy, all while still broken.

Joy is a choice! I can’t tell you the number of times I have taught that to ladies in my ministry. Now, I had to walk the talk. I had to choose to find joy in my brokenness. It wasn’t simply a reality in my physical brokenness, but emotionally and spiritually as well. I had spent so much of my life broken in spirit. I had healed so much from the years of emotional abuse I endured from Dad, and my walk with the Lord was strong, but this physical brokenness?

God spoke to my heart. God takes my broken and makes it beautiful, He empties me of myself and makes me useable. I heard it over and over as I lay in bed praying and meditating. Is it possible God allowed me to be broken so that He could make me useable? Most certainly! You see, I was too busy. I was consumed by busy. Even though it was kingdom work, it was coming before God’s will. Not following His will was disobedience, even though I was doing kingdom work. God had gotten my attention.

Tonight as I reflect on the last few weeks, I consider the amount of time the Lord and I have spent together. Quiet prayer, study, and writing…lots of writing. Then He blessed me with this beautiful scripture that showed me once and for all how He could take my broken and make it beautiful. Psalm 51: 8 “Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice.” Yes, my job was to praise God with every ounce of my being. To be filled with joy and gladness that comes only from being obedient to His will. Even these broken bones need to rejoice because all mighty God is good.

Thank you Lord for showing me your purpose. Thank you Lord for taking my broken and making it beautiful. For emptying me of myself and making me useable.


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