Make It Shareable

Finding Beauty in the Brokenness

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.
James 1:19 (NIV)

Sometimes listening to the stories of others can help us process our own pain far more than we would ever expect… 

At church one Sunday, Kristyn found herself looking over her shoulder for her husband, but he never arrived. Later, she found a Starbucks receipt for two beverages, timestamped during that same timeframe. Kristyn stared at the receipt. There had been other signs, but her mind hadn’t wanted to accept them.

“Once you accept things as they are,” Kristyn said, “you have to act on them. Living with the painful truths is better than the soft lies. My marriage was over when I was 31. I felt so broken and ugly.”

Soon in the midst of a divorce, Kristyn felt God urging her to go to the Divorce Care program at church. “When I walked in, I knew I was in the right place. Everyone in that room understood how deep the pain and anger went. We shared an emotional language that I hadn’t known existed. Being in Divorce Care helped me through the process, and I learned so much from those who had already gone through it.”

Finding comfort in listening to others, Kristyn made a decision. She would trust God to turn all the ugliness into something beautiful again. As hard as it was to talk about, Kristyn felt that God wanted her to use the brokenness from her marriage to help others. So, she went to speak with Julie Hiott who oversaw Seacoast’s Divorce Care program at the time. Julie told her, “You are the leader we’ve been waiting and praying for.” 

In becoming a leader, Kristyn knew how important it was to let people—when they were ready—share their personal testimonies. “It helps you connect with the group and see that these people understand your hurt because they’ve experienced it themselves. It takes away the shame of feeling like it’s just you.”

Kristyn likes to think of her life as something similar to the Japanese art of Kintsugi, where an artist takes a broken vase and puts the pieces back together using liquid gold, silver, or lacquered gold dust to enhance the breaks. “They highlight scars rather than hide them. For me, God is the gold binding those cracks. I’m letting God use what has been broken in me to pull others to him, to make everything beautiful again, just in a different way.”

God in his infinite wisdom and practicality tells us to listen to each other, knowing it can be mutually beneficial…symbiotic. So, let’s try to create safe spaces where we can let ourselves witness another’s pain and be vulnerable enough to share our own. …Oh, and Kristyn has found a loving and faithful partner and is now happily remarried.

How can you be more attentive to those around you?