Broken is Beautiful

They’re called mother-in-law’s tongue, a green plant that flourishes in Florida. I’ve found it is something I really can’t kill. My lack of gardening skills has been the death sentence for so many beautiful plants, herbs, and flowers. This plant has thrived.

It has grown so much that the root system cracked the side of the terracotta pot. The longer I leave it, the wider the crack gets. Water gushes from the side, spreading dirt on the ground.

And yet it still thrives.

The broken pot is a reminder that something is no longer working. Brokenness, in general, is a reflection that the current reality is no longer good. Brokenness encompasses every area of life—things, people, ideas, attitudes, and relationships.

Just like my pot, brokenness in people can reveal things that we often don’t want to be seen by others. Inner pain drives our actions in ways that aren’t our usual behavior, displaying our unmet needs.

About a year ago, I went through a period where I felt like I bottomed out. COVID and the accompanying isolation played a lot into it. Zoom meetings gave me headaches. I’m an extrovert. Seclusion wasn’t working for me. Interestingly, the longer I was alone, the more I withdrew from others. I became non-communicative and sullen. When several of my children pointed out my behavior, I felt real shame.

That was not who I was.

Life tends to wear us down. But being broken by circumstances does not need to destroy us. When King David was struggling, he felt despair and hopelessness. But God.

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; He rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” Psalm 34:18

David understood that God was on his side, ready to strengthen him, strong enough to support him no matter how extreme his troubles. When I was condemning myself for how I’d been acting, I remembered that God did not condemn me.

“I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.” Psalm 40:1-2

We’re all broken pots, leaking the pain of our hearts in places we don’t choose.

But God finds beauty in our brokenness.