There’s Beauty In Our Brokenness

April 6, 2017

(image courtesy of Lakeside Pottery Studio)

When I started writing here, I had the intent to share my raw emotions and experiences with you in hopes that it would encourage, comfort, or at least help someone feel less alone. I didn’t know if anyone besides my family would read it. I didn’t know if anything I had to say would resonate with anyone. I wondered if it would make me too vulnerable. I worried if it would be too much to put my family’s story “out there.” I thought about if it was ok to talk about all of the things people just don’t like to talk about. Ultimately, I decided to obey the whisper on my heart.

Over the last couple weeks, a remarkable thing has happened. It is YOU that has encouraged ME! You’ve shared your beautiful love stories with me. You’ve told me about your heartbreaking losses. And you’ve left an imprint on my heart.

I marvel at how God has used this space to draw us together. We’ve collected all our broken pieces to form a beautiful mosaic through which His light can shine. Individually, we are broken pieces formed by our own unique stories of loss. But together, we are a beautiful masterpiece, a kaleidoscope of understanding and support that has only been possible BECAUSE of our pain. We are an intricate pattern woven together by grief.

In Japan, there is a method of repairing broken pottery called Kintsugi. The technique often uses gold to lacquer together the broken shards. It stems from a cultural importance of recognizing the rich history of the broken items. The method aims to incorporate brokenness into the repair so the imperfections are made beautiful instead of disguised.

I can’t help but think of us when I think of Kintsugi. Our stories about the ones we loved have left us different, cracked, not quite whole anymore…and yet, by the gold of God’s grace, we are patched together in a new and beautiful way. We aren’t going to be the same anymore, just like the broken Japanese bowl, but we are going to be mended. There will be beauty in our brokenness. We will wear the cracks from this life, the damage from the mourning in our hearts proudly like the badges of beautiful bravery and survival that they are.

Thank you so much for showing up here with all your cracks and dents and bruises. I love how God is pulling us together to form a brand-new work of art with just enough space between our collective fractures for His light to shine through us.

There’s a beautiful folksong by Peter Mayer  I’d like to leave you with today. It was played at my step-Dad’s funeral several years ago.

Japanese Bowl

I’m like one of those Japanese bowls

That were made long ago

I have some cracks in me

They have been filled with gold

 

That’s what they used back then

When they had a bowl to mend

It did not hide the cracks

It made them shine instead

 

So now every old scar shows

From every time I broke

And anyone’s eyes can see

I’m not what I used to be

 

But in a collector’s mind

All of these jagged lines

Make me more beautiful

And worth a much higher price

 

I’m like one of those Japanese bowls

I was made long ago

I have some cracks you can see

See how they shine of gold

And last, but far from least, here is a reminder of what God has to say about our imperfections, brokenness and weaknesses. It’s taken from 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NIV)

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Extra Grace,

Jodi

If you love the beauty in Kintsugi, please visit Lakeside Pottery’s web site. View their Kintsugi Art Gallery – it’s truly stunning.

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9 Comments

  • Reply Jan April 6, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    Thank you for the courage of sharing your story and weaving our grief that is covered with the blood of Jesus Christ.

  • Reply JAN April 6, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    Jodi…i look forward to your blog..You are AWESOME….I am glad to know that I am not alone in my path through grief and healing

  • Reply Liz Cook April 6, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your heart. This helps me to see myself and others who share the loss of a love one with new eyes. That brokenness can indeed be beautiful.The visualization of being mended with gold and put back together by God encourages me that life is indeed precious and a gift to share. I feel so much love and support from your posts and not being so alone in this walk of widowhood.

  • Reply Karen Underdahl April 6, 2017 at 9:51 pm

    Jodi,
    I loved your Thankful Thursday message today. I have never heard the song Japanese Bowl before but the words are so inspiring. I love the idea of mending with gold to shine! I have to share one of our great blessings today. We were out checking cows and feeding in the pasture this evening, from a distance it looked like two white spots, I told Lynn maybe there are two calves instead of one. So we drove closer and yes there was a set of twins, tan and white faces, one a little darker than the other, one heifer and one bull. It was a Kodak moment for sure. Darn, I did not have my camera along. I think they were born today.
    I hope to look at the Lakeside Pottery web site and check the Kintsugi Art Gallery. Thank you for sharing this.
    Another blessing today: I am working on some genealogy for my brother and hope to present it to him at the cousin reunion/picnic. It is a surprise for him. Working on family history is so much fun for me. Lynn’s mother got me interested as I helped her with thiers. She wanted to give the grand kids a legacy and this is what she chose to do, thier roots in charts and pictures! If you want to add a valuable to do for your life, family history can be so much fun!
    I would love to share any information I can with you. We document baby’s first year pictures, graduations, weddings, deaths, obits and all the valuable information that goes with these things as well as dates of birth, marriage, death etc. What a beautiful gift to pass onto the generations! They will really appreciate these things more so when they are older.
    Thanks so much for sharing with others Jodi, you have such a wonderful way with words! Truly you do! 🙂
    Love, Karen

  • Reply Kelli Naugle April 12, 2017 at 11:11 am

    I love the II Corinthians verse. It daily reminds me that in my distresses, insults, and weakness God’s power is being displayed. It reminds me that all the times that I have prayed to be more like Christ, I am asking for insult, distress, and persecution just like He experienced. I pray that the hard circumstances in my life will bring Him glory and bring others to Christ, and I pray they will not make me bitter or faithless. Thank you for you encouragement.

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