Based in Frederick, Maryland, Digital Ink & Parchment is a blog by Alexandria Pallat. Her posts explore the integration of faith in every day life.

Broken Together

Broken Together

How I wish we could go back to simpler times
Before all our scars and all our secrets were in the light
Now on this hallowed ground, we've drawn the battle lines
Will we make it through the night?

It's going to take much more than promises this time Only God can change our minds

Maybe you and I were never meant to be complete
Could we just be broken together
If you can bring your shattered dreams and I'll bring mine
Could healing still be spoken and save us
The only way we'll last forever is broken together

 - “Broken Together” by Casting Crowns

. . . . . .

I haven’t listened to this song in months. I don’t feel strong enough to. I break into a flood of tears each time, and I can feel my heart re-break with every line. Yet it has been circling through my head since Bible study last night.

We walked through and discussed the scripture from Sunday’s service: Jeremiah 29:4-13. I’ve already walked through the highlights of that message and what stuck out to me. But this small group allowed me to go deeper and to ask questions and share insight with others, something I’ve missed out on not having a church family. As we finished up the study, a question was asked about exile, since the Israelites were in exile in Jeremiah. Honestly, I don’t remember the exact question, but I remember thinking I’m in exile.

This seems both literal and figurative. I’m quite literally separated from my husband—while I lack the paperwork (which I have chosen to feel is a “good” thing), we are not speaking. At the same time, I also feel like this is the only way God could get through to me. If it weren’t for this situation, I wouldn’t have, as my therapist put it, taken a look to see “is what I’m doing working?” I would continue to act the same—demanding plans and timelines, making decisions for the both of us simply because I process quicker, never pausing in my view of adulthood. I wouldn’t be writing as I am, joining writing groups and letting my skills and passion flourish. I may never have even tried to draw near to God the way I am trying now.

I am now conscious of how me-oriented some of my decisions were. I was so desperate to prove myself in a world I didn’t feel valued me that I let what was truly important slip away. I pray every day I get a chance to make things better.

Without a sense of exile, though, I probably never would have grown in this way. For that, I have to thank God.

. . . . . .

One of the things this church reminds us is that brokenness is real. We are all dealing with something, but community makes dealing with those things better.

Even with that knowledge, I was surprised to find that song floating around in my head. The song is about a marriage, so of course, I instantly thought of my situation—yes, we are broken, as he had expressed to me before, but we can be broken together and work through it. I still feel that way, and I still want reconciliation more than anything.

But the same can be said for community. Brokenness can be easier to manage when you have a community surrounding you, when you have others who do not judge you but support you and honestly and powerfully pray for and with you.

I don’t know if that song suddenly coming to mind was God speaking to me. If it was, I wish the message of what I can and should do would be clearer; I wish He could just tell me what will happen. I would like to think, though, that it was Him, that He was telling me something. And there’s a part of me that thinks it was because as I climbed back into my car and turned the ignition, I took a breath, said out loud “it’s going to be okay,” and felt a small sense of calm.

. . . . . .

I've been pleasantly surprised at the Christian community in the blogging world, and even more surprised at how willing you have been to share your stories, insight, and inspiration. Like I said, community can be a great thing, showing us we are never alone.

In the spirit of community, I’d love to hear from you.

Have you experienced brokenness? How did you cope? Were you willing to admit you were broken up front, or did it take time?

Have you experienced exile? What happened? Did you learn something from it?

What can you take from Jeremiah 29?

. . . . . .

Maybe being in exile is okay if it means I am being guided and taught. Maybe, then, it’s okay to not only admit I am broken, but also continue to live in what I feel guided to do and not worry what others may think.

I am broken, but God can provide healing if I keep pushing forward.

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