There’s beauty in the broken


By Becky Spell Vann - Contributing columnist



Have you ever wondered if God can really use you or make your brokenness beautiful? In Jeremiah 1:5 we read His words that give HOPE and refresh our Souls.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.”

No matter how broken or belittled, sad or sorrowful, hurt or hateful, depressed or disgusted, young or old we might be, God can take away the burdens and make us a beautiful broken shell. How can we know this for sure? In Christ, we are God’s beloved child with spiritually miraculous opportunity to have a personal relationship with the God of the universe. This gives us HOPE in the worst of situations and storms that sweep through every season of our lives. And because of that – not our strengths, intelligence, degrees, or talents; but, our relationship with Him is what mends our brokenness and allows Him to work through us in amazing ways that will refresh our souls.

Before my excitement causes me to write another story of the ways of God in our lives, I will be still (quiet) and thank God for my step-daughter, Tina. She found My Beautiful Broken Shell in Cracker Barrell (James and my favorite place to eat) and gave it to me with a personal note – a sign of God’s wonderous ways to work things out for good – “To Mother Becky with love…”! The love of a blended family and this book has inspired me to write messages of hope to help broken people see how God can work things out for good…when we chose to trust Him to bring beauty from our brokenness.

Here’s the rest of the story…

“Broken shells teach us not to look at our imperfections…but to look at the beauty…the great beauty…of what is left. If anything is still left of me or my loved ones, then that is enough to grab hold of…to keep me going…to thank God for.

Broken shells mean lots of tears…lots of pain…lots of struggle…but they are also valuable for teaching faith, courage, and strength. Broken shells inspire others and demonstrate the will to go on in a way that no perfect shell could ever do.

Broken shells are shells that have been tested…and tried…and hurt…yet they don’t quit. They continue to be! Thank you Lord, for the great strength it takes to simply be…even when I hurt so deeply that there seems to be nothing left of me.

As I walk along the beach picking up shells, I see that each one has its own special beauty…its own unique pattern. Lord, help me to see my own beautiful pattern and to remember that each line and color on my shell was put there by You. Help me not to compare myself to others, so that I may appreciate my own uniqueness. Help me to truly accept myself just as I am, so that I may sing the song in my heart…for no one else has my song to sing…my gift to give.”

Before turning the page to type the rest of this story, the enemy taunts and tries to take away my joy. The rascal uses low blows to hit our hearts hard. Yet, he has no power when we tell him we belong to Jesus and simply get on with what God has called us to do.

The picture of a sailboat on the page where words declared no one else has my song to sing took me to special seasons when Tim and I sailed the sea and sound at Topsail. We loved learning to tie the knots and heel as waves tossed out beautiful sailboat sideways. Beautiful memories surfaced of us sailing together in the last season of our lives. Then, Satan kicked in with memories of James and the precious memories we made in our two years together. A pity party was being put in place by the deceiver who devours and destroys whenever he finds an open door to our hearts. I resisted and relied on the sweet spirit (the Helper Jesus promised and God sent to live in our hearts and help us) to refresh my soul. And He did!

I could see James’ sweet smile as if he was with me now (and he is in spirit) when he asked if I could be happy with him if we did not sail together like Tim and I did. I assured him of my eternal love for Tim as James did for Sarah, but we both realized our season here was over with Tim and Sarah. We trusted God was working a miracle of love for us that we might not understand but sure were enjoying and embracing in faith. Explaining the miracle of second chances to love again is impossible, yet amazing. God makes broken shells beautiful again. Are you in a season of new beginnings? Trust God and take a step of faith to the plans He has for the rest of your life. Do not allow the enemy to play with your mind and make you miss your miracle.

I pledged my eternal love for James, my happiness with him, and my joy of sharing things together that made us happy in the new season of our lives as man and wife. Honoring our vows to love and cherish one another until death parted us, refreshes my soul (even though our time together was shorter than we thought it would be). I am blessed by the gift God sent when James came into my life. So, I demanded with love rising in my healing heart… ‘get behind me Satan; leave me alone.’ These words from James 4 remind us to tell the devil to flee when he tries to torment and take us down, for we belong to Jesus and He is bringing beauty from our brokenness.

You might not understand why God directs you on a certain path in struggling or sensational seasons, but if you are willing to obey and learn HIs ways, you will gain insight into His heart. Then, His Spirit can guide you to carry out the good works He has planned for the rest of your seasons here on earth.

When you see God at work in your life, eternal changes can lift you up, prepare you for HIs service, and give you a greater understanding of why He gave so much to redeem us. Knowing Him personally inspires you to reach others, love deep and wide, and bring an amazing sense of peace and security that brings beauty from brokenness in a warped world where our Lord and love will win…in the end.

Next week, I will share the rest of the story in my book from Tina and family. I remain in awe of how God brings beauty from ashes and cares about all HIs children in all seasons…even you and me!

Let us prayerfully stand up for God in this tough season and show our support as American citizens by voting for leaders to guide our country through turbulent times. We may not understand this political season or the people seeking the highest office in our land, but God does. He sees the hearts of those seeking office and our hearts as we vote. God can turn America around and restore our souls…if we obey, honor Him as Lord of Lords and King of Kings, and put our trust in HIM!

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By Becky Spell Vann

Contributing columnist

Becky Spell Vann is the owner and operator of Tim’s Gift and The Learning Station.

Becky Spell Vann is the owner and operator of Tim’s Gift and The Learning Station.

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