In Others’ Words: Broken Legacy

Broken green plate on white background

I used to handle difficulties this way:

I’d lay awake at night and think Just give me a minute. I’ll figure this out. 

I wasn’t praying — I was plotting. I wasn’t asking God for help because I was going to fix whatever was broken — a plan, a relationship, a dream — all by myself.

I’m older now and yes, I’m wiser — wise enough to know that I can’t fix fhings. Even when I try to do the right thing — when I do take time to pray and seek the counsel of others wiser than me — situations can go heartbreakingly wrong.

In my novel, Somebody Like You, I wrote about two twin brothers who ended up estranged from one another. This was a carefully planned plot point. What I never expected was that in an effort to have a more honest relationship with my family of origin, I would end up estranged from them. Every single one of them.

Talk about fingering fragments that simply will not go back together again … yeah. I can’t fix this.

It’s not a question of not wanting reconciliation. I do. But reconciliation isn’t a return to what was.

For now, I trust that God is working in me and in spite of me — that he’s not tossing my efforts into the trash and saying “Not good enough.”

I choose to believe that God is in this season of silence, of separation, and will somehow, some day, scuplt it into a beautifully broken legacy.

In Your Words: When have you seen the beauty of broken in your life? How has God stepped into your “breaking” with his beauty to create a legacy?

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22 Comments

  1. November 17, 2014, 6:00 am   /  Reply

    What a beautiful quote. I picture God’s fingerprints on the fragments. Loving us during the brokenness and waiting for us to trust Him with our situations and our lives. I need to keep on hoping and believing in Him.

    Beth, I know He’s there in the silence, and He’ll sculpt a beautiful legacy for you.

    • November 17, 2014, 8:57 am   /  Reply

      Jackie:
      I, too, picture God’s fingerprints on the fragments.
      And one of the reasons I wrote today’s post was knowing the holidays are coming — and that they are difficult for some people because of family relationships.
      I am at a place of peace — true peace — knowing I’ve done all I can. (Romans 12:18). Life is not perfect — relationships never are — but God’s got this.

  2. Sharon Miller
    November 17, 2014, 6:43 am   /  Reply

    We had shattered lives when leaving a church. Found out about the faithfulness of our GOD! I would love to win and read your wedding book!

    • November 17, 2014, 8:58 am   /  Reply

      Sharon:
      Sometimes church “family” relationships can be so, so challenging. And yes, God is always faithful, always loving.
      I hope you enter the Rafflecopter giveaway.
      😉

  3. November 17, 2014, 7:44 am   /  Reply

    I’m so sorry but know God is a God of redemption. Starting when I was 15 1/2 I needed to be in a series of 4 other homes, not through social services, but 3 church friend families, an aunt, etc. It was unusual, but I have deep life-long connections to each that enrich me and give me empathy for others in similarly fragmented family situations. Once for 8 years there was little contact w/ my birth family until God impressed me it was time. The connections are close and good now, but I went through a period like Jacob returning to Esau. I’m grateful for every step forward AND for the extra richness added in through the other families.
    I was happy today to read in Ps. 107:15-16 NIV that it’s God’s love that cuts through
    gates of bronze (judgement) and bars of iron (stubborness). Selah:

    “Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
    and his wonderful deeds for mankind,
    16 for he breaks down gates of bronze
    and cuts through bars of iron.”

    Yes, I’d love to win and read your wedding book, too.

    • November 17, 2014, 9:00 am   /  Reply

      The relationship in Somebody Like You was a contemporary take on Jacob and Esau — but it’s funny how I didn’t see that until I was immersed in the writing of the story.

  4. November 17, 2014, 7:45 am   /  Reply

    I’m so sorry about the estrangement. My relationship with my family of origin was troubling in the extreme,and the choice to leave was mine. I do feel the loneliness of disconnection in a world that both values and .connection.

    But I am not,and never will be, broken. As the poet said,

    I am sore wounded, but am not dead.
    I will lay me down for to bleed awhile
    and then I’ll rise to fight again.

    Last night I was sitting on the kitchen floor, weeping from pain, and spitting blood. It was the only place I could do so unobserved (except by the dogs). I would say the moment passed…except it hasn’t. This morning is worse.

    But tears or not, nothing will break me.

    My motto “de guerre” was, and still is – “Fear the darkness, for I am in it.”

    I will prevail, and I will bring my hopes and dreams with me.

    Fate, or the devil, or whatever, wanted a war. Their trumpet call is blowing the deguello.

    Well, bring it.

    • November 17, 2014, 9:01 am   /  Reply

      Andrew:
      I am sorry that your pain continues.
      Know that I’m praying for you — and I know others are too.
      And yes, with God’s help, there is prevailing that allows us to bring our dreams with us through the disappointments.

    • November 17, 2014, 9:25 am   /  Reply

      Continuing to pray for you, Andrew!

  5. Pat
    November 17, 2014, 8:19 am   /  Reply

    Praying for the pain to leave, Andrew and for strength to continue.

    Sometimes breaking ties is the only way we can survive. Even when others are toxic and poison the relationship, we grieve for what was lost, maybe for what once was. Or in my case, what I thought it was. But when we’ve done all we can do and nothing changes, we have to move on.

    • November 17, 2014, 9:03 am   /  Reply

      There’s a lot of wisdom in what you write, Pat.
      I write contemporary romance — but in each of those novels I also explore the messiness of relationships — and how God steps into our “mess” and meets us there.
      And yes, sometimes it takes walking away to be healthy. That’s truth.

    • November 17, 2014, 3:49 pm   /  Reply

      Thank you, Pat.

  6. November 17, 2014, 9:27 am   /  Reply

    Beautiful post, Beth. I’ve had relationships break in my life. One that broke, God also put back together in a way that gave me the opportunity to pray with this person to accept Jesus into her life. In my case, there were hurts that, when discussed, were worked through. In the hurting, the pain was deep. I’m so glad God is in the healing business–of bodies and of spirits.

    • November 17, 2014, 3:28 pm   /  Reply

      It is all about trusting God in the process, Jeanne.

  7. November 17, 2014, 10:09 am   /  Reply

    Beth,
    I know all about being estranged from family. My core family had to part ways with most of my extended relatives (both sides) because they were abusive to us, which caused so much extra stress on our bodies that we started having physical problems because of the abuse. For our own health and God’s divine plan, He called us away from them. The whole situation reminds me of that verse that says Jesus came to separate families. The reason? Because He’s creating a new family of brothers and sisters in Christ.

    Hugs!
    Andrea

    • November 17, 2014, 3:29 pm   /  Reply

      I’m sorry to hear that you experienced hurt from extended family relationships, Andrea. But I know that you didn’t let that define who you are because I know you to be a caring individual to others.

  8. November 17, 2014, 10:52 am   /  Reply

    Beth, I think this is the best post you’ve ever written, maybe because it’s the one I relate to the most. I’ve plotted, not prayed. I was going to fix it. I’ve gotten wiser. I can’t fix it. God is all over it and life is turning out to be beautiful after all. I so appreciate your friendship and knowing you understand.

    • November 17, 2014, 3:30 pm   /  Reply

      Kim:
      I can say the same things right back to you: We haven’t met face to face (yet), and still I consider you a trusted friend and a truth-speaker.

  9. susan
    November 17, 2014, 1:20 pm   /  Reply

    This is making me think today. Seriously, I’m going to go chew on this quote and what you wrote. It’s not that I haven’t heard this truth before, it’s just how you worded it. Beautiful, Beth.

    • November 17, 2014, 3:31 pm   /  Reply

      Thank you, Susan.
      This is one of those posts I felt compelled to write.
      One I thought about not writing — and yet, I know it needed to be written.

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