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Bring what is broken.

I came across this poem the other day that touched my heart and broke it at the same time. It says, in part:

we thought these lives

were our own.

it seems we were mistaken.

bring what is broken

to the hands that first formed it.

I’ve been feeling a bit broken in general lately, I have to admit. Broken open. Vulnerable. I had to do a hard thing a couple weeks ago, and it was … hard. But I did have to. Sometimes we can say “no” to hard things, and that’s ok. Sometimes we can’t, and this was a can’t.

I procrastinated. I made excuses. I flat avoided even starting, because I knew there would be pain ahead.

And there was.

So much, in fact, that it propelled me into the far past, to a really dark place of triggers and flashbacks. I thought I could do this hard thing without having to go to the dark place but I was mistaken.

I had to bring what was broken – me, my past, my guilt, my fear, all of it – to the hands that first formed me. The whole me.

I was broken along the way, into a lot of pieces actually. I thought I had them all put back together, but when I had to do the hard thing it turned out the glue was bad and when it was done I just … fell apart. I withdrew, I lived up inside my head, I slept. I knew somewhere deep inside that I wasn’t finished, that there was more to do, but I just could not face it. I stayed stuck there for a week. Anxious, sad, fearful, withdrawn – for a week. 

It came to me suddenly, what I had done. I thought my life was my own. But I was mistaken. My life then, and my life now, were formed by my Father in heaven, who loves me beyond measure. His hands formed me and continue to make me and remake me. I realized that the only way to escape this darkness was to set the hard thing aside, to surrender it and let it sit so that I could come back to the present. 

And so I did. With shaking hands, I brought the hard thing (and the “me” that was there for the hard time in the first place) down at His feet. All of it. And I turned my back. Not on God, no way. But on the garbage that the hard thing had stirred up in me. I moved forward, safe and secure and back onto the lighted path no longer anxious, withdrawn or sad. Reconnected to the present.


I’m not kidding. Two days later, He gave the whole thing back to me, not just the pieces. He talked me through the whole story and showed me how He was there. How even in the darkest places, He was there with me, preserving me. No, He didn’t choose to stop or change that hard thing, but He did see me through it (even though I wasn’t even looking for Him). I couldn’t hear Him or see Him, and I simply lived with my head down in anxiety, fear and pain.

He showed me clearly that even then He was right by my side. He reminded me that even now, and for all the days to come in this earthly life of mine, He will stay right here. Jesus was in the room in all the dark places – hurting and weeping with me. That changes everything.

And then I finished the hard thing, once and for all I think. Quickly and easily, and without pain or triggers or flashbacks. 

How is this even possible? 

Because it seems that He has taken those broken pieces of the past “me” and put them back together in a way that shows me how much He loves me, how He kept me for RIGHT NOW, and reminds me that He makes beautiful things out of broken ones. 

Me included.

He whispers my name and calls me His child. He holds me close and heals my wounds. And what does He require from me? 

Surrender. Remembering that my life is not my own, but if I bring it to Jesus broken, to the hands that first formed me, one way or another He redeems it.

This thing, he healed in me. Completely. 

I have other broken places, and as I surrender them one at a time, I’m finding that I don’t always get healing. There’s not a guaranteed happy result. But I’m reminded of the old saying that “God doesn’t waste anything,” and I know that God has good plans for me! This life is not my own, and frankly it’s too much for me anyway.

So I carefully lay down each broken piece and watch in wonder as he puts me back together, makes something so ugly into something so beautiful I can hardly look at it. Sometimes He does it with healing, sometimes with a change in circumstances, and sometimes … it’s wait. It’s trust Me. It’s the truth that I can’t demand to understand. Yet still I bring the pieces, because this human life of mine is not my own.

Here is the poem in its entirety (“Pilgrim’s Progress Today,” Lael Arrington):

imagine a compassion

beyond any calculation.

imagine a purity 

beyond any corruption.

imagine a cup

that never runs dry.

imagine how whole

it could be

if we stopped trying

to gain or grab or garb

these selves that only shiver 

in dark slivers.

we say, “no, really, who

turned out the light?

a night without end

chills a heart to stone

and stumbling.”

we thought these lives

were our own.

it seems we were mistaken.

bring what is broken

to the hands that first formed it.

Beautiful, yes?

May your day be filled with the knowledge of the love of God for you, then and now. He is FOR YOU. Consider setting the pieces down and turning away from them. Can you feel what a relief that would be? Do you notice the “holy tension” between letting the pieces sit there, and picking them back up because after all they’re a part of you? That’s only normal. That’s human. But we can do this, you and I, and here’s why:

We are mistaken. Our lives are not our own. 



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Published inBrokenFearFreedom


  1. Paulette Shilling Paulette Shilling

    This was amazing and spoke deeply into my heart.
    Thank you for sharing all of you. Every raw part! Your healing can turn into someone else’s healing. A part of me was healed today, after reading this!

    Thank you!
    God used everything for His Glory!

  2. Well said, Angie! Such truth – Our lives are not our own!
    He gives strength for us to do those hard things. He gets us through, Amen?
    Thanks for writing.

  3. Nellie Harmelink Nellie Harmelink

    Beautifully said, Angie. God is the only one who can bring true healing to us. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Molly Molly

    I love how He showed Jesus with you in the difficult, difficult place…and what you said, “That changes everything.” So powerful.

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