How Brokenness Happens

A year or two ago, I heard a song on the radio a lot—a prayer for God to “make me broken.”


I understand why such a plea is important, and I appreciate the sincerity with which it is offered.

But while many people may find those words just right for them, I don’t pray that way much.

I’ve been broken. I am broken. Not in a dramatic, visible way, but broken nonetheless.

I’ve been mended in some places, but I’m still broken in others. And I don’t sing that song because the brokenness that I’ve experienced happened without me asking for it.

Some of it, I believe, was ordained by a heavenly Father who loves me and knows what I need far better than I do.

Some of it was a direct result of my own frailties and failures.

And some of it simply came with the territory of being a follower of Jesus on a fallen planet. In this world, you will have trouble, Jesus promised. And while we might wish for an exception in this case, He does keep His promises.

In retrospect, I can point to positive outcomes, things that may not have happened without the dry, dark times. Looking back, I can see growth, even a bit of transformation here and there. For that, I am truly thankful.

But my belief in a sovereign God leads me to think that He will accomplish His desires for me with or without my begging for brokenness. I’m not less spiritual, less devoted or less committed because I don’t want pray that way. Nor am I more of any of that if I do.

So for now, I’ll let other people sing pleas for brokenness. And I’ll pray for still others who are—right this minute—being broken in ways they never could have imagined, through circumstances they never would have chosen.

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18)

Lois Flowers

P.S. Linking up this week with Kelly Balarie at Purposeful Faith, Jennifer Dukes Lee at #TellHisStory, Lyli Dunbar at #ThoughtProvokingThursday and Holley Gerth at Coffee for Your Heart.

16 Responses to How Brokenness Happens

  1. Linda Stoll says:

    Amen, Lois. Well said. I’ve been broken enough times to have found healing, wholeness, and growth. But honestly, it’s not a prayer I pray, that God would allow it again.

    It’s too wrenching an experience.

    He knows, He knows. And that’s good enough for me.

    I’m rejoicing in His healing touch and in this season of life and renewal and hope …

  2. Lois, I too have witnessed first hand what seemed like devastating circumstances in a person’s life which eventually brought new life to the very circumstance that was broken beyond what seemed possible to mend. But God, whose ways are higher than our own, in His infinite goodness indeed brought beauty from ashes. O what a loving and compassionate God we have. He redeems everything, even those that devastate.

    I do say a hearty amen to your statement, “But my belief in a sovereign God leads me to think that He will accomplish His desires for me with or without my begging for brokenness. I’m not less spiritual, less devoted or less committed because I don’t want pray that way. Nor am I more of any of that if I do.”

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on brokeness and for giving us eyes to see from the perspective of what God’s Word says about our loving Heavenly Father and all that touches our lives.

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Karen, you touched on several attributes of God’s character that I find so comforting: His goodness, sovereignty and compassion, plus the fact that He is our heavenly Father and Redeemer. I have a feeling you and I could have a nice long conversation about how all this fits together with suffering (and still not even skim the surface). 🙂 I so appreciated your thoughtful words today!

  3. Anna Smit says:

    Lois, I’m so sorry you have walked a life of such suffering. I am thankful Christ is walking alongside you in it all.

    I have prayed for God to use whatever is needed to draw those I love to Him. I have prayed this also because for me it was entering suffering that drew me back into God’s loving arms in a powerful way (I cared for my Mum in her home with my family and hospice staff in New Zealand until she passed away from glioblastoma multiforme, having to leave my 3-year old behind in the Netherlands to do so).

    Something that blessed me incredibly was when God showed me that Isaiah 53 speaks of Him bringing life to many precisely in Him carrying our burden of suffering: so the more we turn to Him (weep honest tears: Isaiah 32:15-20) and deeply mourn before Him, the more life He will bring in and through carrying our suffering. Such a beautiful comfort!

    • Lois Flowers says:

      That IS beautiful comfort, Anna. And so appropriate for this Easter season–He died so that we could live, and live abundantly. Thank you for sharing a bit of your story … I’m so sorry for the loss of your Mum but also thankful God used that experience to draw you back to Himself.

  4. Lois, I’m so sorry for what you’ve been through.

    I’m still working through some brokenness as well. I’m learning that—for me—the mending, the healing, comes in stages, as I’m ready for it. I don’t pray for more brokenness, but I know that the Lord will send me what He knows I need so that I can walk holy with Him. He knows what we need to become what He envisions us. He is sovereign, and He is good. Even when we don’t understand.

    Thank you for such an honest post!

  5. Carly says:

    I agree, there is enough brokenness without asking for it. I have seen God work good in the brokenness and I am grateful for that and glad that he can use it, whatever its reason, but I couldn’t bring myself to ask for it.

  6. Trudy says:

    I don’t pray to be broken either, Lois. Thank you for being so open and honest here. I’m sorry for all the brokenness you have gone through. I’m so glad that God is a God who heals the broken and makes beauty from ashes. Blessings and hugs to you!

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Me too, Trudy. When I consider what so many others have experienced, my brokenness is pretty minor. I’m grateful, though, that God sees us all as individuals and knows what each of us needs to heal and grow. Have a wonderful day, my friend!

  7. Leah says:

    Some people have been blessed to have been “kept” by God. They’ve lived blessed lives with supportive parents, loving husbands and have tender-spirited children. Others have been blessed with a deep understanding of other people because they’ve lived their lives in the fire. Do both lives bear fruit? Absolutely. Is one blessing greater than the other? Not at all. For me, I’m the latter. My life has been lesson after lesson of brokenness. Yet, in my heart of hearts, if I was honest about what kind of life I wanted, would I have chosen a simple one? No. I would of chosen adventure. The best part about being broken is that the little pieces of you have the ability to scatter far and plant seeds of life. Who knows where that will take us! Found you on the linkup 😉

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Leah, I love the thought of the broken pieces planting seeds of life. It’s nice when we can see ways in which the hard things helped us personally, but sometimes (maybe often?), it isn’t about us but about how we can use our struggles to help someone else. You’ve offered some wise perspective here, and I appreciate your thoughts very much!

  8. Wow! great minds think alike Lois! i just started a post on brokenness last week and will finish it today…I hope. I can so relate to the seasons of being broken. Like you mentioned; some I may not have asked for and some were of my own doing but regardless they have directed me on the path that God wants. It is my desire to continue seeking His guidance so I can accomplish His will for my life. Thank you for sharing such a heartfelt and honest post with us. Have a wonderful week. Blessings to you and yours!

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Yes, it does appear that we are on similar wavelengths, Horace! And I totally agree that these seasons, however they happen, are part of God’s gracious direction for our lives. Thanks for stopping by today!

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