Have you ever had a favorite dish? Maybe a mug or serving bowl or maybe a really nice piece of china that was handed down from a relative? I had this bowl from when I was a child that had an old nursery rhyme written on the rim. I’m sure you’re familiar with it – “Hey diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle, the cow jumped over the moon.” It had all those little animals on it: the cow, the cat, the fiddle and the moon. I grew up with that silly bowl. When I started having kids, at some point, my mom passed it down to me. It was just special. My kids knew that that was moms bowl when she was a baby. Every time one of them used it they would make some comment like, “wasn’t this yours when you were a baby? Was this your favorite when you were a kid? I can’t believe you still have this.” It was just one of those special things.
Well, one day, that bowl broke. It was a total accident. I remember feeling so sad. A certain sense of loss filled me. It’s silly because it was just a little bowl i thought to myself. But in reality, it wasn’t even the bowl. It was of a small tangible piece of my childhood that I had carried though life with me.
My kids suggested we glue it, so I kept it in that ‘to glue’ pile. We all have those piles don’t we? LOL! To glue, to sew, to get stain out, etc. lol I know I’m not the only one! Anyway, it sat in that pile for a couple of months. I wanted to glue it, but then what? It would just sit and collect dust. We certainly wouldn’t be able to use it anymore. There was a big chunk missing but maybe for a bowl of chips? It never would be able to be used for soups or cereal or anything with liquid – it’s intended purposes. And even then we ran the risk of someone getting cut from one of the jagged edges.
It was time to let go… “It’s just a bowl, Kerri.” I told myself as I threw it in the trash.
Often, just like that bowl, I feel broken. Glued back together in some spots, but other spots will always be missing a chunk here, a chunk there. No matter how much glue and how precisely matched up those broken pieces are; I’ll still never be quite the same as I was before I was broken.
I actually cannot remember a time that I didn’t feel broken. All my life I’ve been the difficult one. The trouble causing child. The one who always has drama surrounding me. I don’t ever remember not being broken. Looking back, it looks and feels sad.
I could, and have, analyzed so much of my childhood and past. I can pin point a lot of scenarios; what others have done, what was my own fault, what I should have done differently in areas and so on and so forth. Honestly it’s exhausting. It’s exhausting and what a waste of my time. Yes, I also understand we are all broken in some way. I get it, trust me. Lately as I reflect on how these issues have altered and helped mold me into the woman I am today, I keep asking the Lord, “how I can change?”.
I’m not looking for pity, truly. As I navigate these emotions and jagged pieces of my heart, I just want freedom from the lingering pain. I see the ripple effect of these pains that run so deep; I see them flow through me onto the people that I love so dearly. I’m tired of hurting others. I’m tired of myself hurting. I’m tired of running from God when I know he truly wishes to set me free.
I know there are things he’s working through in this brokenness. I know there is beauty on the other side. But sometimes, ugh, sometimes it’s just so hard. It’s as if on this walk with Christ and healing and Christianity, I take 3 steps forward and 2 steps back! It is so frustrating at times, and honestly, painful. Much like the kiln that most likely hardened that ceramic bowl I had kept from my childhood. It needed to get so hot in order to properly dry and harden that bowl.
That’s what I seem to constantly feel. The Heat. Stuck in the hottest temperature of a kiln.
This analogy makes me think of the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the book of Daniel, chapter 3. Although, in their story they were brave and courageous they chose to take a stand for the Lord. I am not brave like that. I am just a wounded woman, trying so hard to withstand the heat of the furnace that I continuously find myself in.
But here’s the thing… God allowed them to be thrown into the fire. He never allows anything without a greater purpose. Once in the fire, King Nebuchadnezzar saw not three men, but four men in there. It was the son of God who walked with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego through the fire.
In my story, I have caused some of my own fires. I have pushed, pulled, run, and turned up the heat in my very own furnace!
And God has allowed it. But for a purpose.
Like a potter with his clay, he spins the wheel and smooths out the imperfections in the clay – over and over again. A potter can fix a broken bowl. I’m not quite certain of the whole process, but I’m positive they can take something that we see as broken and make it new again.
Our potter knows where to glue and patch. He knows where to smooth over those jagged edges. He knows the process of the kiln. The heat.
Once in the furnace or the kiln to set, our Potter meets us.
He never promises us that there won’t be heat; but that the fire has no power over our bodies.
If pottery doesn’t harden it will be useless; continuously slumping back into a pile of nothingness.
The Lord knows how to mold and shape us. He knows the broken pieces. Why do I fight the process of reshaping and glue and the kiln? Especially when I know what he’s trying to do?
The constant struggle between flesh and spirit.
In my brokenness and need to be whole, I cling to what is so familiar. The struggle, the pain, the turmoil; afraid to let it go because I don’t remember a time without a single jagged edge. I also cling to hope, seeing the Son of God walking through the fire with me, never letting go, offering me something more.
To be continued…
“And the satraps, the prefects, the governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together and saw that the fire had not had any power over the bodies of those men. The hair of their heads was not singed, their cloaks were not harmed, and no smell of fire had come upon them.” -Daniel 3:27
Dish 📸 Cred: Chuttersnap ~ Unsplash