On Being Broken



By Stephanie Boyd

It was one of those dark nights when the tears were coming and they didn't stop. They ran down my face in a seemingly endless stream of confusion and heartache. I felt like my heart was breaking, and I didn't even really know why.

Sometimes we feel broken. Because we are broken. We are fallen human beings with fragile hearts that break easily, and sometimes without a clear reason. Our hearts can grow faint, become overwhelmed, and ache.

It was the culmination of an emotionally taxing week, and maybe even an emotionally taxing semester overall. I had to have a tough conversation with a friend that week, one that I knew would hurt her feelings...which was enough to hurt my feelings just as much. Tough conversations are not my forte.

Then something unrelated happened, the details of which stirred up old feelings inside of me as well as new feelings that I didn't know how to process. It made me feel sick to my stomach, then it made me mad, then it made me hurt and my heart ache.

Then I found out that the boyfriend of one of my best friends broke up with her unexpectedly, the man she hoped she would marry. I cried a little, but only a fraction of the amount that she probably cried. I knew how much her heart was hurting, and it made my own heart hurt.

All of these things added up together, with past or underlying stresses mixed in, and resulted in a breakdown. A total of two hours of sobbing. An emotional two-hour phone call with my mom. An hour spent in the adoration chapel crying. Utter exhaustion, physically, mentally, and emotionally, by the end of the night. Intentionally missing my morning class so that I could just sleep. Eyes that were swollen and puffy the next day, and wondered if they had more tears yet to cry.

One Scripture verse has come up multiple times for me throughout this last week and has become my prayer lately. Psalm 61:2, which says, "When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I."

Sometimes our hearts just break, and the tears just flow. Sometimes we don't know why; sometimes we know exactly why. But either way, our fragile hearts can ache so easily and so often, and it can be too much for us to bear. In these instances, we must give our hearts and all their broken pieces to God. He knows our hearts through and through, and is the only one truly capable of satisfying them and making them whole.

So if your heart is aching, let it ache. It's okay to hurt and to cry and to be broken. But remember to go to the Lord in your brokenness and let Him piece you back together and speak peace to your heart. In our weakness, He is our strength.