Develop a Taste for Brokenness

Develop a Taste for Brokenness

Unsettled. Off-kilter.

The feelings had been churning in my soul for well over a week. A bitter irritability set in and I found myself snapping at my loved ones from feeling used and unseen.

I texted some friends, asking for prayer, putting just a few words to my troubles. They prayed.

The gnawing ache remained….disgust over an ongoing issue with food I have, confusion over how good I feel professionally yet how “off” I’d been feeling inside, shame over my prayer life having tanked over the past couple weeks, and a general sense of “I just can’t get it right”…

Then suddenly the words exhaled out of my soul, “Jesus, I just can’t do this. I can’t. I don’t even want to.”

And there it was; the piece I’d been missing all this frustrating time. Brokenness.

At that moment, my world seemed to right itself a bit. It’s not up to me to figure out.

As a woman who considers herself very competent, brokenness has not come easily. Let’s be honest, it really doesn’t for any of us. I’ve fought the Lord at every turn. From infertility to marriage heartache, from depression to my husband’s two broken legs, I would somehow rise to the occasion to take care of everything.

Until I couldn’t anymore.

How I wish it were easier to learn. And oh, how the Lord is so incredibly patient with me, thwarting me at almost every turn, for my own good, only for me to double-down my “try-hard” efforts. He’s allowed fibromyalgia to slow me down, anxiety to decrease my ability to work full time, pride to block my connection with my husband, and a myriad of other issues and heartbreaks that I could list off easily if I wanted to.

Life was supposed to turn out like this.

Whatever this was.

Until I reached my end. The death of ME and my competency. Gosh, I wish it hadn’t taken so long, but maybe it wouldn’t be so tasty if I wasn’t so exhausted and desperate for reprieve.

I take my hands off the wheel of my life.

I admit I can’t make things happen the way I want them to.

I believe that Jesus really does see me and my life and has good intentions towards me. (I spent so long thinking he didn’t, it comes as sweet relief to believe his goodness…even though doubt still floats around my head like a pool floatie after the kids have quit swimming for the day.)

I don’t have the answers to my life, and I tend to forget that Jesus does. It’s why I go wandering around thinking I’m in charge until I’m so upset I fall on my face, wondering how I could have ever forgotten the sweet taste of brokenness.

Because brokenness says this: the pressure is off.

Or, in Andrew Peterson’s words:

You don’t have to work so hard
You can rest easy
You don’t have to prove yourself
You’re already mine
You don’t have to hide your heart
I already love you
I hold it in mine
You can rest easy

~Rest Easy

It is the hardest easy thing you’ll ever do.

Brokenness is tasty, but only when we’re all worn out.

A Few of My Favorite Things

A Few of My Favorite Things

I always have self-induced pressure to attempt to write something deep and meaningful and profound. But many days, my brain just doesn’t have something profound to say. Then I get annoyed with myself for not being able to produce “profound” on command…then I despair and decide I’m going to open a cupcake stand, or start making home decor and selling it on Etsy.

Dramatic much?

Yeah, welcome to my brain. (Insert eye roll emoji.)

Today, I just want to talk about some of my favorite things that feed my soul on a fairly regular basis. I’ll post links in case you’re interested (or just addicted to Amazon, like I am).

What is Joy?

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What is Joy?

If you’re anything like me, you long for true joy in your life. You’ve probably gone looking for it in a lot of different places - friendships, marriage, careers, children, church…. And, if you’re anything like me, you’ve discovered, much to your great disappointment that while all those wonderful things have the opportunity to cooperate with joy, none are the source.

In the economy of the fallen world, “joy” seems to be defined a fickle, fleeting feeling that can be purchased or pursued.

As I was searching for a stock photo using the word “joy” for this post, almost all of them captured someone jumping in the air with their hands held high. I thought to myself, “These are beautiful, but they don’t even scratch the surface of the depths of joy.”

That tells me that we have very little clue about what joy is.

We can’t manufacture it. Not real joy. Not the kind Jesus talks about.

When I read Jesus’ words as recorded in John chapter 15 (for today, I’m reading from The Message), he speaks only briefly of joy, but something in my soul perks its ears and leans in. Tell me more, Jesus. He offers an attention-grabbing morsel: “I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature.” What things? What is it that you’ve told me for the purpose of joy?

There are few chapters of the Bible that I would describe as delicious, but if ever there was one, this chapter would be it. Listen to the words that Jesus spoke to us for the purpose of joy:

“Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you.” (v.4)

“When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant.” (v.5)

“I’ve loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love.” (v.9)

Live in me…make your home in me…join with me…intimate and organic…make yourselves at home in my love…

I’m melting. These are the words my soul longs to hear. Union - that’s what I’m really after. And if Jesus is telling us - so that our joy may be wholly mature - that he has loved us the way his Father has loved him, and he’s made his home in us…then that means we are intimately united with him at all times.

And we don’t even realize it.

Could we live in a way that we are so keenly aware of our union with Jesus that our daily experience is one of great joy? He makes his home IN us. We are never away from him. His love is inside of us. We get to make ourselves at home in his love.

Recall how you feel when you visit a loved one and they offer for you to, “Make yourself at home.” My shelter is your shelter. My bed is your bed. My food is your food.

Jesus takes it a step further: “My life is yours….my life for yours.”

We get to put on his life and make our home in him as he does in us, so that our joy may be wholly mature. Mature joy?

If we look at the following verses from John 15, we will see Jesus tell us that mature joy is other-centered. He says,

“Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends.” (v11-12)

Jesus is telling us since he has made his home in us, that we can live loved, and joy can be ours at any moment - not based on feeling or whim, but in living outwardly the love we live IN.

By living in him, acknowledging his love and power in our lives, we are infused with everything we could possibly need to move into our world with love and, in turn, joy.

This makes my heart beat fast. It’s a reminder to me that everything good in our lives flows out of his love. My love for my family? His. Care for my neighbor? His. My endurance in difficult circumstances? His. It’s all his. It’s all him.

Rest in his love. Abide in it. Swim in it. Lap it up like a puppy at the water bowl. He is nourishment for our souls. It’s all around us, all the time, inside us all the time. Our home in him warms us, fuels us, revives us. Our hearts full, we walk with him, still IN us, into the lives of others, where our joy is made mature and whole.

That’s what joy is.

If you’re resonating with what you’ve just read, I would love to connect with you via email or social media. Drop your email below, or find me on Instagram @heatherbjur, or Facebook at facebook.com/heatherbjurwriter. Thanks for dropping by!

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