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"Yet you Lord are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter, we are all the work of your hand." Isaiah 64:8.

"God can turn broken pieces into Masterpieces. Just give Him all the pieces." H. S. "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He cures them of their pains and sorrows." Psalm 147:3. "Hurt People Hurt People." Dr. Sandra D. Wilson

Can you count the many human relationships that have disintegrated because of broken people? Well, I can't, but I know there are far too many. Trust me there are way too many broken folks going through life leaving in their wake open wounds, incurable heartaches, and financial distress; all because he/she decided to become a part of someone's life. I do believe in fairness, so I have to add that sometimes broken people do not know that they are broken. In their view, there is something wrong with the person they chose to be in a relationship with or find themselves in a relationship with (BE THAT A FRIEND, SIBLING, PARENT, BUSINESS PARTNER, MARRIAGE, ETC.). In my opinion, they are not always seeking retribution (at least not consciously) for the damage done to them in their formative years or beyond. They may or may not be delusional but, they sincerely believe that they are being themselves and everyone else falls short or sometimes they do not know why they behave the way they do.

In the book Hurt People Hurt People, the author states: "All of us have been hurt by other people. In turn, we--as hurt people --all have hurt other people to one degree or another. And on and on it goes!" The resulting wounds and injuries we usually call physical, sexual, emotional, intellectual, verbal or spiritual neglect, or abuse. Most of this wounding neglect and abuse does not leave visible marks. Besides, even when these hurts create physical signs, bruising soon fades and casts come off eventually. So in both cases we may have only bloodless wounds and unseen soul scars, some of which can last a lifetime." This author notes that hurt people do not look a particular way, they look like everybody else and to be sure hurt people hurt those closest to them. Pretty alarming right? I think so.

Then there is the other kind of brokenness that is common with the ups and downs of day to day living; things not working out the way you thought they would, mishaps, illness, loss of income, etc. In the Bible, brokenness refers to a state of surrender and defeat we experience when hardship comes into our usually steady and painless life. Sometimes brokenness before God is the result of sin, our own sin or someone else's. Dictionary definition of brokenness: 1. Forcibly separated into two or more pieces; fractured, a broken arm, broken glass. 2. Sundered by divorce, separation, or desertion of a parent or parents: children from broken homes; a broken marriage. We do not choose the family we are born into, and so when we arrive at a state of awareness and note the benefits and/or deficits we have inherited as a result of being a part of a family we did not choose, our coping mechanisms begin.

When my mother passed away I was eleven years old, I coped by rationalizing that at least I still had my father. At that moment I was not broken, but my world had experienced a serious crack. I would not admit this without this mission I am on (In Search of Living), but that crack widened throughout my life as other events occurred, (my father passed away when I was fourteen) creating a need for me to be self-sufficient, if only in my mind. There was no way that I could purposely become dependent on anyone because I could not guarantee that they would not leave my life. There, so now you know why I react the way I do to life's slings and arrows. Also, I PRAY A LOT.

While my brokenness may not seem that great to someone who has been abused, addicted or who has had abusive parents and relatives or parents who exposed them to much depravity, it has at times created trust issues in my relationships. However, I have learned to not run from brokenness because it causes one to examine life up close and to plan for a way to overcome obtacles. Further, brokenness can be a blessing because it puts us on the road to a breakthrough. Scripture promises that God remains with those who are broken and makes them stronger than before. Isaiah 61:3, God promises to give those who mourn and are broken "a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of a spirit of fainting." There is a path to recovery when you acknowledge that you are indeed broken and you surrender those broken pieces to God.

In the scripture Isaiah 64:8, the prophet Isaiah acknowledges that God is the Creator and Isaiah looked back at all that God had done for his nation Israel and praised Him for His loving-kindness and long-suffering towards them. He recalled the many ways that Israel had strayed from their heavenly Father and He cried out for God to show his pity and strength on behalf of this errant nation. This may sound a little preachy. Didn't mean to. But, even in this age, we do stray off the path and we do find ourselves far from the Lord and/or far from the solid, wholesome plans that we have made for our lives. We find that we have been broken by our own efforts and/or by those of someone else. Either way, it is time to regroup and to find the path forward. If that is by your sheer will, then fine. But, there is an easier and surer way. "God will take your broken pieces and use them to make you better and stronger than before." Daystar.

To be sure no one enjoys pain and heartache, but this can be the very thing that will humble us to seek higher ground. Our brokenness can be a result of our trying to do things independently of God or because we have allowed others to impose their brokenness on us. We have to learn to recognize brokenness in others who want to mesh with us. Author and poet Maya Angelou says, "When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time." You know sometimes we (females mostly) want to be in a relationship so badly that we overlook shortcomings of potential mates. (No judgement). We see the red flags and we wave them in anyway. Or, as a friend of mine told me, "We bring our tool box and try to fix them." Don't. Throw away that tool box. Let that individual keep moving.

Then there are those tough times not of your making. Try to understand that God has a larger purpose for your life. He is molding you. You may feel shattered, but God wants to take you to a better place. He can mend your broken pieces. Surrender them to Him. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. "Trust God. He knows what He is doing even if you are experiencing pain as He restores. The end result is what really matters." Chaplain Dewberry. When we look at Job in the Bible, we note that his life was shattered into many pieces. However, God was in control of that. Job's faith in God led to His total restoration and additional blessings. Stay in faith, no matter what.

Do not be deceived, nobody has it all together, despite appearances. Many of us are masters of the cover up. That's okay because brokenness has its place. And, besides you will not be able to hide it for long. The sooner you understand this, the sooner you will be open to healing. "It takes broken soil to produce crop, broken clouds to give rain, broken grain to give bread, broken bread to give strength. It is the broken alabaster box that gives forth perfume. It is Peter weeping bitterly who returns to greater power than ever." Vance Havner.

Let the Master Mender pick up those broken pieces, only He can put them together again.

1. Brokenness Does Not Mean Discarded. Therein Lies Hope: No matter what your friends or

enemies say. Well-meaning friends will agree with you no matter what you say. Enemies will revel in

you feeling discarded. Try not to be taken in by either. Muster the strength to believe that you have

worth in the eyes of God no matter the condition you are in. Brokenness can be very painful and can

make you feel as if you are alone in a crowded room. It can leave you feeling as though no one cares.

This is far from the truth. God still loves and cares for you. He is omniscient; He knows everything. Did

you think for a second that He does not know where you are or how you got there? Be for real; I know

you know better. God is also omnipotent; He has the absolute power to make the needed changes to

heal the brokenness in your life. If that does not give you hope, then nothing will. You have a loving

God who wants to provide what you need and is there waiting for you to receive Him. Again,

recognize and accept the hand of hope and love being extended to you.

2. You Are Not The Potter, But The Clay: You may be the master of your domain, but you have

One who is charge of everything. It is hard to believe that we are not pulling the strings, after all

we do have free will. Let's examine for a moment the concept of free will. Can you yell "fire!" in

crowded theatre? No, not without getting arrested if you are caught. This is especially true when there

is no fire. That is because you are not free to impose your free will to the detriment of others. I am only

trying to show that even free will has limitations. We have a Creator who, just as a potter, has the

authority to mold and shape the clay that is in his hands. Jeremiah 18:6. He has given us fee will, but

The Potter (God our maker) knows the purpose for which you were created. In John 9:1-3, it reads: As

He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this

man or his parents. Jesus answered, "It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents, but it was so

that the works of God might be displayed in him."

God did not cause the blindness in the man, but He allowed it so that the power and love of God could

be demonstrated. The man's blindness was healed confirming the love and mighty power of God.

Could it be that your life is being used as a testimony of God's loving faithfulness? Endeavor to see

challenges and setbacks through the eyes of God. Whatever you are going through that is causing you

brokenness, remember that the Potter has you in His hands. He is the one who can put those broken

pieces back together again and use the restored vessel (your life) to bless you and others.

3. Embrace the Potter's Hand In Your Life and Walk in Newness and Wisdom: Some of us want

to and do build a statute to pain, and we refer to it everywhere we go. We are always talking about it.

Oh, the misery of it all! What to do? Woe is me! Do you know that this is what is delaying the coming

together of those broken pieces? Tear down that monument. Accept by faith that God is dealing with

those pieces; you turned them over to him, didn't you? He has declared that you are whole. (Even

when you cannot see it, He's working. Even when you cannot feel it, He's working.) God is working

even now. Walk in victory and pray for more wisdom, the wisdom to discern the blessing of wholeness

in your life. Walk in the newness of life. God has made you whole. Trust Him on that.

Throughout my life, there has been much brokenness. I have had moments of despair, but I did recover. I believe it is because I understood and understand that God, the Potter was wallking through trials with me and/or He was molding and shaping me into the person I am supposed to be in accordance with His loving Masterplan for my life. Remember, "God can turn broken pieces into Masterpieces. Broken things can become blessed things when you put the pieces in the hands of the Master Mender. He desires to put you back together again.

As the songs says and I attest to it, "He took my broken pieces and gave me a brand new start." I am forever grateful. Trust Him to do this for you.

God bless!

Yours, Yvette

Note: Thank you for your continued support. I especially want to thank those of you who attended the Zoom workshop sponsored by the New York Public Library on July 13th, for which I was the speaker. It was well attended. I pray that someone was blessed by this event.

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