Discovering Strength Through Brokenness

broken In 2009, I discovered my allergy to dairy and my intolerance to gluten. Sensitivities to several other foods (crab, eggs and cashews) also came to light. As I changed my diet to eliminate these foods, I began to feel dramatically better. In fact, I felt better physically and mentally than I had my whole life.

Then I reached a plateau about two years later. I felt a tremendous sense of isolation as well as frustration as I watched others enjoy any food they desired. I saw only limits. I saw a cage that separated me from others. My frustration increased as I realized that my body is also tremendously sensitive to a lot of stimulation.

In fact, inflammation rises at the slightest chemical imbalance. Too much of any food causes distress, but any of certain foods causes setback. In addition, a lot of noise bothers me, and too much information in too small space of time easily impedes my ability to think. I also struggle being in groups of people for very long, sometimes even at all.

At times, I’m simply at odds with understanding why I am so physically and mentally sensitive. Some days, I just feel very alone. But, this journey also brings to light my many physical and mental limitations and weaknesses and gives greater understanding of how God’s strength flow in a practical way through my weaknesses.

In this struggle, I learned a valuable lesson: Freedom comes through brokenness revealed by weaknesses.

Realizing utter helplessness to be healthy on my own truly set me free. The process began with salvation and seeing my inability to escape the grip of sin. And it grew when I finally understood that every weakness I have presents an opportunity for increased freedom from the flesh.

My weaknesses humble me. They force me to understand my inability to control. They lead me to increased reliance upon the only One who truly has control. They present a choice between letting those weaknesses define and control me or allowing them to direct me toward His strength.

“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.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

My weaknesses constantly remind me of my need for Christ. They remind me every day of my lack of self-control and of my tendency toward acting based on feelings and emotion. Without Christ and the power of His Holy Spirit producing the fruit of self-control within me, I fall prey to the consequences of my weaknesses.

Brokenness opens the floodgates for His power to work perfection in spite of me. It allows for a Holy-Spirit-led life that does not seek to gratify the desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:16-18), desires that most clearly show through in my weaknesses. And this by nothing in and of myself but instead only through His strength filling in the spaces left by brokenness.

DISCUSSION: How has weakness led to brokenness in your life? What difference does God’s strength make in your struggle with weakness?

16 thoughts on “Discovering Strength Through Brokenness

  1. 2 Cor 4:1-18… We are but jars of clay (formed and shaped by the Master) to reflect the image of Jesus. The potter knows are imperfections and weaknesses, but chooses us anyway so we cannot rely on our strength but His Grace and Mercy. WE ALL have our imperfections… Can the clay jar tell the potter that he made a mistake when he made me? Through our weaknesses we discover our offsetting strengths that God designed into our uniqueness.

    • Weaknesses definitely lead us to discover more about Christ if we submit to Him. I am thankful for my weaknesses because of how He works in and through them. Good Word, Coach!

  2. Hi, wow! thank you for sharing! Yes I am learning that in my weakness God is strong. I still struggle with wanting to tell the Potter how to do things, but I am growing and that is what life is about, growth and change. Surrender comes hard, but when I read how Jesus surrendered to God’s will it encourages me to trust Him in each situation. Our physical body is only temporary, praise God. We have a whole and healthy life ahead of us! Can’t wait!

  3. I think the struggles I have had have made me a more compassionate person. I recognize that we all are vulnerable to letting our weaknesses overcome us and really without leaning into God they do. I still let them control at times and do not throw everything on God as I should.

    • Compassion certainly comes as a result, Mark. Good point. And, we ALL still let our weaknesses control us at times and fail to throw everything on God. So thankful for His grace and mercy!

  4. Love this Kari. Thanks for sharing such an important message. This is a great line: "Freedom comes through brokenness revealed by weaknesses."

  5. You post brought to mind a time I was coming to grips with some physical limitations that would be with me the rest of my life here on earth. Then came a four year limitation of taking care of my dad…years where God taught me what true forgiveness was and still is. Somewhere in there I learned to live with the limitation of living in a couple third world countries. The limitation of a learning disability that meant I was never going to be very good at a new language. Even being a wife has it's limitations. Oh my, the frailness that will surface in all areas of our life when we try to stand in our own strength. There is no better place to be then in a broken state, then the potter can use us for His glory. There comes a time when the limitations become a gift and not a cross to bear. The gift of salvation came through God taking on the limitation of the flesh to only be broken and spilled out on the cross. When limitation are seen as gifts we can give thanks for them and what they will produce.
    Great post Kari, written with the freedom of one who is being broken and commented on by this one who is still in the process of being broken.
    My recent post I Will Praise Him

    • You got the spirit of what I wanted to say so very well, Betty. And, your life experiences show that you truly understand discovering strength through brokenness. Thank you for sharing a bit of your story & for the encouraging words! You said several things that were really good, but the one that sticks out the most is "when the limitations become a gift and not a cross to bear." I remember living when they were only a cross to bear, and God has taught me so much through them that I can truly say they are a gift. I am so humbled by and thankful for the work He's done in my life. You encouraged me today, my friend!

  6. Thanks for sharing Kari! I am so glad that in our weakness God is there to carry us, to lift us, to love us, just as we are, in our brokenness. Blessings to you my dear. M

  7. I've found brokenness leads me to God. When I try doing things with my own strength, I soon fail, which causes me to refocus on God and His leading. Great post!

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