This may surprise you, but if you are feeling tired and broken inside then you are probably in a very good place.
Don’t get me wrong, a prolonged feeling of brokenness can be unhealthy and damaging—but periodic feelings of brokenness are actually quite necessary for overall growth. We become stronger people when we are forced to reevaluate and rebuild our lives. J.K. Rowling once said that after she had experienced the depths of poverty, “Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”
It is a strange truth, but the most beautiful things in life come from broken things within our lives.
Kintsugi is a Japanese form of art where the the artisan repairs broken pottery using a lacquer mixed with gold, silver, or platinum. This process not only repairs what is broken, but it also accentuates and highlights the “imperfection.” The philosophy and symbolism behind the action is quite marvelous: Brokenness does not destroy the object. On the contrary, it adds history and value. In essence, the brokenness of the object is the very thing which makes the object more valuable.
I have seen this process in my own life and in the lives of others. I have seen how my own painful experiences with depression have actually been transformed into lessons of hope which have helped others. I have watched some of my friends hit rock bottom and feel broken—and that brokenness has caused them reevaluate and rebuild their lives in marvelous ways. I see it happen in the lives of addicts who reach a point where they feel like their lives are beyond repair—until they start going to AA meetings and reach out to a higher power: the Master Artisan.
I love this quote by Vance Havner: “God uses broken things. It takes broken soil to produce a 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.”
If you’re feeling broken, please know that you’re in an excellent place to rebuild your life. Look to the light and keep moving forward in faith. If you do, I promise that one day, your life—with all of it its imperfections—will be as beautiful as Kintsugi pottery.