Random fact about me: I collect Tinkerbell figurines.
I have since I was young. And while I’m very, very careful with them, I’ve had to repair more wings than I’d like. They’re never allowed out of their glass cabinet and whenever I move, I wrap them meticulously in bubble wrap before packing them away.
But, something about the shuffle from one place to another after being continually protected, always has me busting out the superglue.
Another random fact (that may not be so random): I’m a church brat. I grew up teething on the pews and knowing all the great hiding places in the sanctuary. I prayed the “sinner’s prayer” in the backseat of the family Citation when I was five-years-old. We were picking up our traditional after-church Chinese take-out and Sunday school had provoked all the right questions.
My dad preached. My mom played piano. My sisters and I dressed up on Sunday mornings and we napped on Sunday afternoons. We hosted Bible studies at our house. We prayed over every meal. Our nursery rhymes were about Jonah and the Whale and our bedtime stories ended with Dad saying things like, “And that’s the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and to bed you go!”
My dad was the pastor. My best friend was the daughter of an elder. And my first kiss was a guy I met at Bible College.
This is how I grew up.
I’ve always struggled with things like “giving my testimony.” It’s darn-near impossible to come up with an interesting story about forgiveness when the biggest transgression you can think of is stealing that shiny silver dollar from the offering bucket–the one Daddy made you give back.
And yet, as life moves forward, I find myself clinging to this God of my childhood in an entirely different way. Not because Mom and Dad did, or because I asked Him into my heart over a box of chow mein, but because He’s the only one who has the answers when the shuffle of life leaves me shattered.
Like my Tinkerbell figurines, I’ve never been grossly mishandled or abandoned to the elements. And compared to some, my life has been lived within the safety of a china hutch. But, life, even life as a church brat, is enough to clip the wings of a dreamer who believes she was created to fly.
And while my “broken” is sure to be different than your “broken,” it doesn’t really matter, does it?
Cause broken is broken.
And broken must be fixed.
Which is exactly what God has been doing for me over the past year. He’s been healing my heart and mending my wings. Some days I feel more broken than ever and it’s on those days I try to yank the glue from His able fingers.
But, He’s patient with me, and though I hamper the process from time to time, I know my wings are strengthening. He waits on me and teaches me to wait on Him. As I do, I grow more confident my brokenness will be turned into a trophy of His grace and His long-suffering.
This is the first article in a blog series I’m calling “Broken Is Broken.” I don’t pretend to have all the answers, and maybe I’ll get some of my friends to weigh in, but I know how devastating it is to be shattered within the relative safety of a protected life.
Maybe even a church life.
It’s paralyzing to have the world looking in at you through those glass doors pointing at your flaws while you stand ever so still and pretend your wings are just where you left them.
I’d like to break the silence a bit and let you know it’s okay to admit brokenness. It’s okay to acknowledge pain and the need for healing.
Because in some way, we’re all broken. It’s who we get to mend our wings that makes all the difference.
Those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.–Isaiah 40:31