Value in Brokenness
by Elizabeth Singletary
As I entered the next exhibit at the museum, I was aghast at the broken pieces on the floor and appalled someone would destroy museum property and walk away. When I attempted to pick up the broken pieces, I was stopped by the guard who exclaimed, “That’s a priceless artifact, please do not touch.” While she continued talking, I could only hear the voice of the Lord telling me to see the value of the broken pieces in my life. As the guard explained the significance of the broken pieces of the exhibit, I only heard the parallel of my life to the priceless artifacts. What an awesome revelation!
In 2013, my crumbling walls were about to come down. I had already lost a dear loved one, I was estranged from my family, long-standing friendships were over, and my career had become stagnant. This was not expected at this late point in my life and feelings of hopelessness settled in. Boom! The bulldozer knocked the walls down with a breast cancer diagnosis. What do I do now with no barrier around me? No close family, no close friends, a stationary career and no motivation. Only one thing to do – cry. After the walls came down, I cried and cried for days until some of the pain was released, and I took time to pray. I asked the Lord to remove the toxins in my body and in my heart.
The cancer treatment encompassed the whole phase of healing for all my brokenness. The first part was to accept the cancer diagnosis and all the sadness and disappointment that had occurred. It did not matter how much I cried, none of what happened would change. The next phase was to get treated. No wound can heal well without the proper ointment and dressing. I had to forgive from my heart not my mind. I had to forgive myself, forgive others, and ask for forgiveness. The third phase was to get past the hurt. It was futile to hold on to sadness and despair when time had moved on. The scars may still be there, but the pain dissipated. The final phase was perseverance, keep it moving. Each day was a new day filled with its own rewards and challenges. It was a day that was different than the one before and a day that would never come again.
I would not have imagined the brokenness I felt from those heart-rendering experiences to become the nucleus of change in my life. The value was in the lessons learned. The value was in acknowledging my shortcomings and failures. The value was in taking responsibility for my own actions. The value was in opening my eyes to new possibilities and new experiences. I feel more valuable today than I did before the diagnosis and the series of misfortunes. Wherever this journey takes me, I hope it will be a legacy that will inspire others to find value in their brokenness.
Elizabeth is originally from Boston, Massachusetts, and currently resides in Washington, DC. Her most passionate pastime is reading and studying the Bible. She began writing after recovering from breast cancer where she had uncovered some hidden talent at a community writer’s group. She attended a “Writing for Your Life” writer’s conference, she won an honorable mention for a poetry submission, and she was featured in a workbook for writing a new form of poems called Grid Poems. Elizabeth’s most profound scripture is 2 Kings 5 because of the lessons on humility, obedience, and respect. Connect with her at firstname.lastname@example.org.