A Lesson on Brokenness and Restoration

“Wholeness does not mean perfection. It means embracing brokenness as an integral part of life”. Parker J Palmer

Unravelling

During what I refer to as the most chaotic, and deeply painful season of my life to date, as I sat pondering my future and feeling a huge solid wall between myself and God, somewhere in the deepest places of my soul I felt irreparably broken and beyond redemption. I felt a deep sense of worthlessness and inadequacy with more questions than answer. I had been written off, and I wrote myself off as well. 

Things do fall apart, you lose your grip, and you practically watch your life spiral out of control.  The more you attempt to gather items and create a semblance of order, you are stared back by the futility of your efforts. There is a deep sense of loss, one’s heart breaks into a million pieces, your spirit is crushed, and your soul is restless as your life crumbles in front of your eyes. Bitterness, anger, regret to replace the joy, peace and love you once enjoyed in your life. 

In a world where it is easy to overlook one’s positive traits but sharply focus on one’s flaws, you instinctively want to hide your brokenness because our society tosses away broken or damaged objects. Your confidence plunges to unprecedented levels until it dissipates completely to be replaced by self – doubt, inadequacy, deep sense of bitterness and rawness. 

The source of brokenness

As a people, different circumstances break us, and I am saying tongue in cheek – some of them are self-inflicted. It could be broken promises, unfulfilled dreams, lies, betrayal, rejection etc. Regardless of the source of one’s brokenness, there is Love and Grace that wants to redeem us, restore our soul and lead us beside quiet waters and quieten the noise around you. That is God!

Kintsugi (Golden Repair/Golden Joinery)

At the height of my brokenness, as I listlessly searched the internet, I came across an ancient Japanese custom called Kintsugi, which greatly fascinated me. Kintsugi means Golden repair. Later on in life, I would draw parallels between the Kintsugi philosophy and how God seeks to heal and restore us for His glory. 

An ancient Japanese man had broken a treasured pottery set that he owned. In an effort to restore his precious pottery objects, the man discovered the Kintsugi technique. In Kintsugi, the crafter meticulously works in the background using precious metals, especially gold to bring together the broken pieces of pottery.  Gold is a precious metal that is known for its brilliant qualities of being solid yet being able to be pressed into shape without breaking or cracking.

Kintsugi philosophy does not seek to hide the brokenness of the pottery. Instead, it seeks to embrace the brokenness/flaws and enhance the scars. The breakage and repair are part of the history of the item, and they are events in the life of that pottery. The end product is a unique piece of pottery with the gold, highlighting the filled cracks and enhancing the refined beauty of the previously damaged piece of pottery. No repaired/restored piece of pottery is similar to the next one because of the randomness and chaotic nature of the breaking process. The broken pottery has a history and a new beautiful story. 

Image from:  https://images.app.goo.gl/nVGEjjUhd6upzCmt6

Key Lessons from the Kintsugi Philosophy

  • Precious objects will at some point fall and break
  • Breakage does not translate to uselessness
  • Nothing is ever too shattered for repair
  • With meticulous care and love, the breakage can become valuable
  • We don’t hide broken objects, and we display them with pride to reflect the repair and healing
  • Brokenness brings new beauty, uniqueness, strength and inspiration.
  • Crafter works meticulously behind the scene to create a unique object with beauty and finesse beyond our wildest imagination. God’s Love and Grace restores our soul.

Final Word 

Just like the original Japanese pottery owner went to great heights to find a sustainable way to restore broken pottery object to its glory; as God’s treasured people, God wants to do the same for us.   

God is our ever-present Help, our Redeemer who wants to rescue us from the raging fires, harsh judgements of this world and turbulent waters. God wants to restore our soul and lead us beside quiet waters. We need to humble ourselves before God, surrender and acknowledge the futility of our efforts and allow God to shape us according to His will for our lives. Our scars are random and unique, and therefore the restoration process and end – product will be unique – God has the master plan.

When you allow God to restore you, your brokenness brings new beauty, strength and inspiration. God will comfort you, restore your mind and give you the confidence to face life and claim your destiny; hence Tony Evans believes that “Brokenness is often the road to breakthrough.” 

You can become whole, complete and beautiful beyond the brokenness

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Nothando Bizana
Nothando Bizana
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38 Comments

  1. Tetelo
    May 25, 2020 / 7:01 pm

    This is an incredibly beautiful post. As I try to pick up my own life, I will remember that my scars are random and unique, and therefore the restoration process and end – product will be unique – God has the master.

    • Nothando
      Author
      June 18, 2020 / 7:06 pm

      I wish you strength to focus on what you need to do. Delve deep within to tap into your inner strength 😇

  2. Molebogeng
    May 25, 2020 / 7:40 pm

    I didn’t know I needed to read something like it. Super relatable. Love it. Thank you

    • Monezi Mabusela
      May 26, 2020 / 4:07 pm

      This is beautiful indeed, it reminds us to embrace our scars as they are the signs of our breakthroughs.

      • Nothando
        Author
        June 18, 2020 / 7:11 pm

        God speaks to us through our scars. Thank you for reading 🌟

    • Nothando
      Author
      June 18, 2020 / 7:07 pm

      Thank you for reading. Light 🕯🕯🕯

  3. Vuyelwa
    May 25, 2020 / 8:35 pm

    This is a beautiful piece of work.. It also teaches us to never give up on ourselves. We are more than our brokenness and the prospect of restoration gives us hope to pick ourselves up and move forward.

    • Nothando
      Author
      June 18, 2020 / 7:08 pm

      Redemptive power of the Holy Spirit 🕯

  4. Thamsanqa
    May 26, 2020 / 7:32 am

    Wow. I am speechless. Thank you ! I needed that

    • Nothando
      Author
      June 18, 2020 / 7:09 pm

      I am glad the article made an impact. 🌼🌼🌼

  5. Fundiswa
    May 26, 2020 / 8:58 am

    Came at the right time while we are in a bit of dilemma with our lives due to Codiv-19. Such an inspiration, thanks Sisi.

    • Nothando
      Author
      June 18, 2020 / 7:12 pm

      God is with us even when we walk through the shadow of the valley of death. Thank you my sister ❤️

  6. Nolusindiso Matyumza
    May 26, 2020 / 10:24 am

    Thank you for thought evoking piece. Great to know God sees value even when the work of clay He created is shattered beyond redemption through my human eye.

    • Nothando
      Author
      June 18, 2020 / 7:13 pm

      Thank you for reading. Indeed we are God’s master-piece.

  7. Lamlani Konza
    May 26, 2020 / 12:51 pm

    Powerful piece. It teaches us and shows us about the beauty of our brokenness. We should embrace our brokenness, because without them we wouldn’t be these strong unbreakable people that we are today.

    • Nothando
      Author
      June 18, 2020 / 7:15 pm

      The depth of the pain equals the our spiritual strength when all is said and done. Thank you for reading.

  8. Zoliswa
    May 26, 2020 / 3:55 pm

    This is a good well thought piece of work. It’s well written and succinct capturing the reader’s emotions. This is a snapshot of what I’m currently going through. This gives surety that despite the challenges that we go through in life, our lives are in the Potter’s hands, the Master of the Universe. Excellent work

    • Zwide
      May 26, 2020 / 5:07 pm

      What a thought provoking well crafted piece of work from the heart. Nothing is impossible with God, we must have faith.

      • Nothando
        Author
        June 18, 2020 / 7:41 pm

        Thank you 🌼

    • Nothando
      Author
      June 18, 2020 / 7:17 pm

      Thank you for your kind words. God will take you out of the darkness and lead you to His light. Hang in there my dear sister ❤️

    • Nothando
      Author
      June 18, 2020 / 7:22 pm

      Thank you for your kind words and for taking time to read. Hang in there, all will be well! Love ❤️❤️❤️

  9. Mrs Gwadiso
    May 26, 2020 / 4:16 pm

    Great motivational piece sisi, well written.

    • Moyo
      May 26, 2020 / 6:59 pm

      This an amazing piece ! Motivational as well ! Thank you sisi ! I enjoyed it

    • Nothando
      Author
      June 18, 2020 / 7:18 pm

      Thank you. Remain Blessed ❤️

  10. Bulelani
    May 26, 2020 / 4:25 pm

    In life, things happen around us, things happen to us, but the only thing that truly matters is how you choose to react to it and what you make out of it.thank you so much for the uplifting piece.

    • Nothando
      Author
      June 18, 2020 / 7:18 pm

      Thank you for your comment! Be Blessed🙏🏽

  11. NONTLAHLA TYOLODA
    May 26, 2020 / 4:49 pm

    Great work lady. It’s reflecting on our lives today. I like the part of the portery. We really need to invite God into our lives and return to God as our porter. We do have broken hearts due to many circumstances around our lives. We really need to focus to God with all our challenges by praying all the time

    • Nothando
      Author
      June 18, 2020 / 7:20 pm

      Our porter wants us to allow Him to do His work in our lives. Thank you for your comments 🙏🏽

  12. Timothy
    May 26, 2020 / 5:13 pm

    This is a powerful massege which advise us that nothing is impossible in God.I remember when John Wesley was struggling to come close to the grace of Lord Jesus Christ,and he said the sin was destroying my life pillar to post.

    On the 24th June 1738 in the evening he said I was reluctant to attend Moravians meeting but I ended up in attendance.When he arrived one person read the preface of Martin Luther about the epistle of Roman’s chapter 1 immidiately I heard that my heart was strangely warm and that moment I trust to God and knew that my sins were forgiven.
    We all broken in different ways in our lives but at the end God is the answer of all our situations.we must pray that the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ apply his salvation to us so that we able to stand for what ever challenges in life.

    God bless you now and for ever amen!!!

    • Nothando
      Author
      June 18, 2020 / 7:39 pm

      Thank you for such a deeply spiritual comment! I reflected deeply and I realized that I need to expand on this article and go deeper into God’s Grace! Thank you once more!

  13. Lumka
    May 29, 2020 / 11:27 am

    This is beautiful

    • Nothando
      Author
      June 18, 2020 / 7:36 pm

      Thank you ❤️

  14. Ndlovukazi
    May 31, 2020 / 5:55 am

    A well knitted life manual meant to among other vital things, reassures those in despair and self-regret that there is still life & hope after failure. Hope is like a fountain, it never runs dry so in times of failure one should simply gather their courage, disregard what people say, use the little resources they still can afford and rise again because it’s never too late to correct one’self. Thank yu so much sis

    • Nothando
      Author
      June 18, 2020 / 7:36 pm

      Thank you. It is indeed never late to correct and ask the Lord to walk with you and hold your hand.

  15. Elvin Harris
    May 31, 2020 / 10:29 am

    A Wonderful and well-written piece. Thank you for your Courage and Honesty to share your brokenness with us, but also your journey of restoration.

    We can definitely learn a lot from the philosophy of Kintsugi.

    However, I would argue that restoring brokenness in a human being is somewhat different from restoring a broken physical object. We don’t need a craftsman to make us whole and beautiful again. I am of the view that we have abdicated our responsibility for our own healing and restoration to God, when in fact God has already imbued within us, by Divine Design, with the ability to heal ourselves. Of course, the Grace of God is very much part of our healing process, but in a supporting role. We need to be the Lead Actor in our own healing and restoration, for God has provided us with the tools to do this, and move away from the old refrain “Let go and Let God”.

    I think that if we look deep enough, we will see that ALL healing and restoration has come from the positive movement towards healing by the person thus afflicted, however small that movement may seem

    Only a tiny spark is required from us to leverage the power of God to work wonders and miracles in our lives….

    But it starts with us.

    • Nothando
      Author
      June 18, 2020 / 7:32 pm

      Thank you for your insightful comment! A different perspective indeed. God helped me retract out of my hellish descent into a bottomless abyss. Thank you once more!

  16. Phila Jolobe
    June 9, 2020 / 7:12 pm

    Wow, never thought about restoration this way, a truly incredible piece.

    • Nothando
      Author
      June 18, 2020 / 7:28 pm

      Thank you for taking the time to read and provide such a kind commentary. This is my first write-up after 20 months of a terrible mental block. Praying for abundance and Divine protection in your life 🕯🕯🕯

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