When your jaw is broken and your mouth is wired shut for more than 7 weeks, well…let’s just say life looks a little different and many lessons are learned. Here’s some insight I’ve gained through this journey of brokenness:
Take the Motrin.
When the pain was excruciating, but the 6 hour mark had not come, indicating it was time to take the next round of medicine, I had a decision to make: take the medicine early or suffer through the pain. As wise ones advised me, I took the Motrin when I needed it.
How often in brokenness do we long for help, but don’t turn to the only one who can truly help? God is waiting for us to turn our gaze towards Him. When we have come to the end and cannot bear the pain of brokenness, He gives more grace. In our weakness, He is our strength. And in our healing, His power is perfected.
Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. | Hebrews 4:16
I went through Thanksgiving and Christmas, and soon will ring in the New Year, too, with my mouth wired shut. Take a second to imagine that. No turkey (which I was secretly thankful for…) or pie for me. Though I could not eat normally, was I to be any less thankful than if I was not so broken? I had much to be thankful for, especially straws, children’s Motrin (bubble gum flavor), protein powder, chapstick, my hand-held blender, and MOST thankful for Blue Bell ice-cream that made my milkshakes so good.
Brokenness gives us the opportunity to thank Him in a way we never have before. Rather than choosing to ignore all of the good that God has done, is doing and will do, we can choose to praise Him. Instead of our complaints, He deserves hearts full of thanks.
There is an end.
From the first day my mouth was wired shut, I looked forward to the day the wires would be removed. First the countdown was week by week, but as the weeks quickly passed, the countdown was soon in the single digits. I knew that, soon enough, there would be an end to my brokenness.
7 weeks, 7 months, 7 years or 70…even a lifetime could not compare to an eternity spent with our Savior. Are our eyes set on that day that we will become whole as we stand in front of the Lord Jesus? On that day, the seasons of brokenness will be over. Soon we will be like our Savior, and we will remain with Him forever. Let us live today in light of that day.
When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. | Colossians 3:4
Take it one day at a time.
Talking, eating, singing, smiling, coughing, sneezing, yawning, and more – everything was different. The normal routines of life had changed greatly with my new limitations. Getting through one day was a victory and meant that the end was even closer.
Time is needed for broken parts to be mended back together in the way God would want. When we are broken in front of God, He takes His time to teach us. His focus is our sanctification, not our satisfaction. Brokenness is not only allowed, but lovingly provided by God.
…the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. | James 1:3-4
A patient heart is a trusting heart.
I had to learn to take things slow, very slow. I had to learn to wait for the good that would come after the wires would be removed. I had to learn to wait more patiently than ever before, but still with expectation for the day I would be able to eat Chick Fil A and tacos again.
Brokenness often brings uncertainty. What will life look like after such unexpected trauma? How can I go on with life as I have planned? More than uncertainty, brokenness breeds patience. There is a peace that comes with waiting on God in uncertainty. We wait with confidence and with great expectation. We choose to be patient through our brokenness and trust that He has it all under control in His ever-loving, most-capable hands.
Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the Lord. | Psalm 27:14
It’s not about you, it’s about Him.
Because of my broken jaw, God gave me the opportunity to encourage, challenge and point to Christ on a silver platter. Social settings were more of a blessing than before. Each interaction provided me another chance to give Him the glory. Each interaction gave me a platform to proclaim how He has comforted, encouraged, sustained, and carried me through this season. Each interaction was a divine appointment to lift up another in their brokenness.
Our lives should not revolve around our brokenness, but around His life, which was broken to give us life. He deserves all of the glory.
Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your name give glory because of Your lovingkindness, because of Your truth. | Psalm 115:1
His plan is perfect.
Cancelling plans for 7 weeks and accepting the quietness and slowness of life comes as a challenge for people like me. I like to talk. I like to laugh. I like to spend time with people. Taking a break from life as I knew it was what I needed, but I wouldn’t have known that until I experienced it.
Brokenness bring us to another level of surrender. Thankfully, God knows just how to bring us to our knees in humility and desperation for Him. He knows that our brokenness will result in the acceptance of His plan, which is always good.
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. | Romans 8:28
Sometimes it’s okay to not be heard.
I was not able to express myself as usual with a mouth full of wires and teeth clenched down at all times. There were times I had to repeat myself again and again or a good friend would act as a translator. With a muffled voice and because of the tension and pain in my mouth, I enjoyed staying quiet.
Sometimes words are not needed to express what is in our hearts. The Lord sees our brokenness and even cherishes it. Though others may not know how our brokenness is affecting us, HE certainly knows, sees and cares. He hears us even before there is a word on our tongues.
Even before there is a word on my tongue, behold, O Lord, You know it all. | Psalm 139:4
In the midst of suffering and brokenness, its easy to focus on the pain and the broken pieces of life that surround us. In my brokenness, through the long days and painful nights, through the discomfort and the new normal, one thing would ease my mind and heart: CHRIST. He walked through life here; so He knows how painful life can be. He went through the worst physical pain one could imagine and came out victorious. In Him, our lives are hidden. If anything will get us through our brokenness, it is Christ.