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 A Broken Heart

   This world is full of broken people. Broken in so many ways. I write here about being emotionally broken. I know there are hurting people who may read this. Many may have no hope at all. No hope of healing. No hope of anything. But there IS hope. There really is.

   Many times in my life, I have thought of myself as a broken woman. Many times in deep self pity. Other times in simple unemotional truth. God has permitted me to have my heart broken over and over again. I never asked why, because of my mother's teaching when I was a child. I just struggled onward, praying for strength; my spirit was crushed, and my youthful joy seeped away through the years. Life often seemed like a battering ram, beating me down to the ground. So much sorrow, I scarcely knew how to keep going.

    * ... by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken. Pro 15:13b

    * ... a broken spirit drieth the bones. Pro 17:22b

   Yet I always knew that countless people in this world endure broken hearts too. Endless suffering is a part of this evil and sinful world. Suffering will remain until Christ comes and takes His own to Heaven. There was no reason why I should NOT have gone through these valleys of death and grief.

    * I am feeble and sore broken. Psa 38:8

   If it hadn't been for my blessed Saviour, being there when my children died, and I shattered; when I was unloved and abandoned, and broke yet again; and yes, when I sinned, and was overwhelmed with shame and regret, I don't know where I would be. I don't know how I could have endured this life, without my Father God. He always reached out and took my outstretched, feeble hand, and helped me back up, loved, comforted, forgave, and granted me healing.

   Even though I know that He allowed all these things to happen to me, I also know that there is a good reason for each of them. I do not know the reasons here and now. Nor do I need to know the reasons. I only know that God loves me, and that His reasons are perfect. I trust in His wisdom completely.

    * My heart is not turned back, ... though thou hast sore broken me in the place of dragons, and covered me with the shadow of death. Psa 44:1,198a,c (I changed "Our" to "me" here.)

   It took decades for me to even learn how God wanted me to handle the things that hurt me so terribly. But now I understand that much, and want to share what I have learned. He doesn't want me to merely stagger along, struggling in pain and misery. He wants me to stand up straight, put my hand in His mighty one, and carry the burdens willingly for Him, as a gift to Him. If such a thought had occured to me when I was younger, would I have been able to do it? I do not honestly know.

   Here is a paradox indeed. I am equally certain that God allowed terrible things to happen to me; and that God wants me to be happy. Does this appear to make any sense? No, not on paper. Not even to me. But in my heart it does. In my heart it makes perfect sense. I suddenly think of a very simple analogy: sweet and sour sauce. Who could have thought up that unlikely mix? But yet, to me, it is a tasty combination! Doesn't it make sense then, that God may well see sorrow and joy as a holy combination, for those who love Him? Yes, it does.

   Now I can give my broken spirit, and my contrite heart to God, as a sacrifice, a gift. The gift is my willingness to accept these heavy burdens, and carry them. I carry them purposefully for God as gifts for Him. Yes, I desire to carry them, for Christ has given them to me to carry, and I want to please Him more than anything in life. I would carry a heavy burden for anyone whom I love. How much more of a burden, then, am I willing to carry for Christ, my Redeemer!

    * The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. Psa 51:17

   And in turn, God lightens the load. He heals my sorrows, He causes the feeling of being unloved to fade, He gives me a new song, and new hope for the future. He surrounds me with His mercy, and the balm of His love eases the pain.

    * He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds. Psa 147:3

   I am still a broken woman, but slowly healing. By my countless emotional scars, it is clear that I've endured many wounds. But I have survived, thanks be to my Heavenly Father. And with His strength, I will continue ever to grow stronger. With His grace, I will continue to grow closer to Him all of my life. And by His mercy and love, I will see Him face to face, one bright day, when all sorrow is gone forever.

    * Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Psa 51:8

   Just today, as I was hanging out the clothes, I looked up to the sky, and thanked God for my sorrows. I realize now, as I grow older, that one beautiful, incredible blessing to come from them all, was this walk - this ever-closer walk with Christ. So now I praise Him for everything, whether I perceive it to be good or bad. Because my trust in God is absolute. And I can feel His smile of love - the warmest, most loving feeling I could ever know.

2005 Rosemary Gwaltney