Divorce Isn’t the End of Your Story

by Kim Johnson

Dropping your favorite mug and watching it shatter on the ground is so disappointing. If you had not been in a hurry or if your hands had not been damp, maybe it wouldn’t have happened. The thoughts of regret run rampant in your mind. Your only choice, however, is to just put the broken pieces in the trash. It’s ruined and useless now.

The truth is; life is full of broken things. There are broken dreams, broken promises, broken relationships and broken marriages. A shattered relationship or marriage is especially painful. The grief and sorrow are crushing and the loss can slam into your heart, stealing your hope. And just like the broken mug, the damage can seem irreparable. It feels like you will never be whole again.

In Japan, an ancient practice called Kintsugi has experienced a reemergence. Kintsugi means “golden joinery” or “to patch with gold.” In essence, the age-old custom fixes the cracked and broken stoneware. This in and of itself is not a big deal.  However, once the pottery is put back together, the cracks and crevasses are sealed with lines of find gold. And like magic, the once useless piece becomes a valuable work of art.

Instead of hiding flaws, Kintsugi artists highlight them, creating a whole new design which brings a unique beauty to the original item. In fact, the pottery actually becomes more beautiful and valuable in the restoration process.  Sure, it was once broken. Now, however, it not only has history, but a whole new story.

This is exactly the opposite of how we try to repair something that’s broken. In our attempts to fix the damage, we work to hide the flaw and cover the scar. But even when it has been patched up, we forever see it as not quite right. Unfortunately, it’s the same when we experience those broken times in our lives. There’s an urgency to hide the damage and cover the scars. Somehow, the brokenness makes us feel we are damaged goods or beyond repair. There’s often shame, rejection and the sense we are forever useless.

That is not how God sees us, however. In his eyes, we are never beyond healing; we are never too broken for restoration; nor are we too shattered for repair. Yes, there are scars. But to him, they are nothing to be ashamed of. If we believe God is involved with everything in our lives, then the lines on our hearts and crevices on our souls are a part of God’s story. And he can always use them as a picture of his great restoration and love.

In Isaiah 61:3 God says, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.” In other words, He can bring beauty from ashes.

Brokenness has the power, unlike anything else in our life, to bring forth new beauty, strength, and inspiration. The scars of life, the healed wounds, the deep lines, can be more than an end. Instead, they tell the story of a new beginning. We have a Healer. He is one who repairs, who can fit the broken pieces once deemed irreparable into a new and better design.

Just like the beautiful art of Kintsugi, God’s grace and love takes our jagged edges, applies the gold of his healing hands and makes our life a special new work of art. We are not just simply patched back together. Instead, his grace fills the crevices of our heart making us stronger, better, and more beautiful than before.

The process is not always easy. But we can trust and know that he will repair and repurpose our life in a new and better way, if we just let him.

“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:19

“He has made everything beautiful in its time.” Ecclesiastes. 3:11