Friday, May 13, 2011

From Brokeness To Wholeness

Every Easter weekend, I attend church service on Good Friday.  Many years ago, during the Lenten season, I discovered that I had been betrayed by someone very close to me. I was having a great deal of trouble focusing and comprehending the situation. Most of the time I seemed to be in a fog. I desparately wanted to respond in the way God wanted me too, but I didn't know what to do with all of the anger and pain of what had been done to me. So I spent alot of time just waiting to feel a touch from Him. I needed to be touched by Him.

I went to church for the Tenebrea service on that particular Good Friday. The purpose of the Tenebrea service is to recreate and meditate on the betrayal, abandonment, and agony of what was done to Jesus. The service is left unfinished, because the story isn’t over until Easter Day.  You leave the service in the dark, completely quiet, contemplating on what Jesus suffered through at the hands of the ones who had betrayed Him.

As I sat there in the dark, with all the candles shimmering around me, the beautiful music playing, the images of Jesus being broken and torn apart, I felt so dead inside. That's a scary place for me to be because usually when I go into a church service, I immediately enter the throne room of my King. I'm usually ushered right into His presence where I stay until the end of the service.

But during this particular Good Friday, I found myself cold and unable to find my way to the throne room. The video of the crucifixion was playing and I watched as the Son of Man was betrayed and broken by the ones He loved, the ones He entrusted His heart to. I just kept hearing these words over and over again in my spirit "Even the Son of man was betrayed, broken." Wow, just like me, I thought. I'm betrayed. I'm broken. And just like Jesus, I could not look to the one who broke me to put me back together, to fix me.

Jesus hung there being struck, stabbed, mocked, spit upon and what was His reaction? He felt complete love and compassion for His betrayers and asked His Father to forgive them. In the moment of watching that scene play out, I knew that I couldn't ask my betrayer to fix me. When I realized that truth, I became so angry. I wanted him to fix me, to make things right, to help me heal. I wanted him to undo what he had done, to put me back together. After all, he's the one that did this thing to me. He's the one who broke me physically, emotionally and spiritually. But he couldn't. He was so broken himself. He was so lost, fumbling around trying to say and do the right thing to make this better; to make me better, to fix me.

If I waited for him to figure out how to make me better, I would wait forever and it would destroy him as well as me in the process; he'd become more broken too. As I watched Jesus cry out to God to forgive His betrayers, I also knew the rest of the story. He would have to come off that cross and go through hell for three days fighting for His betrayers, but He would come out whole and unbroken...victorious. I wondered, could I do that? Was I willing to go through the hell that it would take? Did I have the strength to look to God and ask him to forgive my betrayer? Could I fight for his soul the way that Jesus fought for ours as He went through hell? Could I come out victorious?

I wanted to but yet, I didn't want to. I didn't want to make it easy for him. I didn't want him to think that this was just some small thing and that I was a pushover who would forget about it and go on like it never happened. I wanted him to have to battle his own demons, face them down and become victorious himself. I wanted him to feel like he should at least try to fix me...But that's not the way it works, is it?

I would have to find my own way back into the throne room, climb back up on my Father's lap (which, by the way, is my favorite place to be), put my head on His shoulder, and let Him fix me. There, He could put me back together. There, He could wash away my pain and hurt and feelings of betrayal. There, I could become unbroken. Then I could come down off His lap, back to my betrayer and see him through the heart and the eyes of Jesus. I could release him and turn him over to God for the work that they needed to do together. And maybe...just maybe, two broken people could become whole again, feel joy again, be at peace again.

I knew I would have my work cut out for me. I knew this wouldn't be easy. I would have days that I wanted to hate and spew angry words and push away. So, that would be my hell that I would have to go through. But at the end of the day, if I could just enter the throne room, climb back up on His lap and let Him hold me, stroke my hair, and love me, then those broken places in me would begin to heal. He would pour His sweet healing balm over my wounds and one day, there would be only a scar left to remind me that I had been broken and bruised, but that He had healed me. I could even feel it start to happen right there in that Tenebrae service as I contemplated these things in my heart.

Going from brokeness to wholeness is no quick easy thing.  It's a journey, sometimes taking one step forward and two steps back.  But eventually, through faith, great friends and frequent trips to His lap, you can get there.  You will always carry a scar that will remind you that not only were you broken, but you were healed.

From His lap,


  1. I know your heart is broken and it takes time for the pieces to meld back together and scab over. May the Lord bless you with all the peace and comfort you need. Praying for you!

  2. Wow, what a deep glimpse inside a soul at such a delicate moment. I have my moments of brokenness, where I feel regret & sorrow for my past mistakes and present shortcomings. But those moments are short lived, as I am washed & renewed by His grace & mercy.
    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Oh, Erin. I think this is your best one yet! I'm sure this will minister to many, many people.

  4. Awesome my children would say. This is such a strong piece of writing.Thank you for sharing it. It just strengthens my belief that it's easier to blame than it is to forgive.

    No one said life was going to be easy.

    Thanks Erin.

  5. My goodness, Erin! Brought tears to my eyes again. Very insightful. I hope that I remember and refer back to it in the moments of my life that I am broken.

  6. Erin, I just keep reading this over and over. It really touched my heart. You write with such conviction and probably unaware just how many people you touch with your writing. Thamk you for sharing


  7. I hope you continue to find strength through this ordeal, Erin. Forgiveness ... ugh ... the hardest thing in the world when betrayal runs that deep, but THE most important thing for you as well.

  8. I want start by saying I am very thankful for your compliments on my poetry. Unexpectedly your story touches on recent struggles in my life. I have been betrayed by quite a few people and many times I yearn to exploit what they have done. I want to blame them for every mistake and times of low self esteem. I also know that doing those things will only prolong my sadness and keep me lingering in my past. By reading your story I truly realize that through the Lord is the only way to heal. Thank you for giving honesty and inspiration to myself and so many others. Your work is simply brilliant! In my personal opinion I think it's about time you received that Nobel Peace Prize;) I am wishing you beyond the greatest success in all of your life's endeavors..

  9. Wow, Ray! Thank you for sharing about what you've gone through. I'm glad that this post blessed you. Sometimes the wounds inflicted by others seem like they're too much to bear. But they do heal and then we are set free to become who we are meant to be! Thank you for your kind words!

  10. Right on! Thank you for sharing this. Personal testimonies are very encouraging.

  11. Thank you, Lisa. It's very hard to be vulnerable and share personal stories like this, but if it can help someone else with heartbreak, then it's worth it to me!

  12. Thank you for such a great post. I am so appreciative to have found your post.


Thank you for giving us a little nugget of truth from your heart!


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