Broken…..but still useful?

I Peter 4

12Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. 13But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.

Well, the snow has arrived!!

So have piles and piles of wet coats and soggy gloves!

Yesterday, Olivia and Todd began preparing for some sledding fun when Olivia came to me with a problem.

Her snow pants, which have been part of our snowday events since big brother Erich (21 now!) wore them, had a broken strap and even the safety pin holding them up had worn out over time.

Fortunately, I was able to replace the broken safety pin with a new one and send her on her way to some fun in the snow. I looked at the pin and thought to myself, “Well, you did a good job for Erich, Evan, Todd, and Nick….” and then I set the pin aside not really thinking another thing about it.

Just a little later, Cameron (Olivia’s little friend) came to me with yet another problem. Her snow boot lace had a knot that was too tight for her to get out. I worked and worked on the knot and realized it was just too tight for me to budge with my fingers. Then I remembered the broken safety pin!

I got it off the shelf and using its sharp point I was able to loosen the knot enough to untie it totally!

Cameron then went on her way happy and ready to sled!

I looked down at the pin and had an entirely different thought!

“You still work! You still have a purpose!” It’s just different now!

I guess I had one of those moments where I just knew God was speaking to me in a personal way.

See, I feel so broken. I feel so “set aside” at times.

A mom “set aside” from being Nick’s mom.

A cargiver “set aside” from taking care of my sick child.

A teacher “set aside” from teaching because I just couldn’t juggle it all at once.

A friend “set aside” from some of my friend’s lives because they probably just feel awkward around me right now.

A church member “set aside” from many of my ministry passions because I’ve just been so consumed with my family.

And the list goes on and on and on.

So, when I sat down the pin, I sort-of bonded with it. I remember the feeling I had as I looked at it sitting on the bathroom shelf-

Bent, stretched beyond its capabilities, unable to hold things together anymore.

Poor pin. Poor, useless pin.

You can probably imagine the joy that stirred in my heart when I realized that the very pin I had empathized with just minutes before was the only thing that came to my mind when I couldn’t undo the knot in Cameron’s boot!

As Cameron left the room, I looked down at the pin and felt such excitement!

The pin was broken, but it was still useful!

Oh, thank you, God, for promising to use me in spite of my brokenness. And in fact, promising to use me in ways only possible because of my brokenness.

Lord, you truly can make all things new!

Psalm 34

17 The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.
18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
19 A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all;

Thankful for God’s Promises,

10 thoughts on “Broken…..but still useful?

  1. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. One of the first verses I ever underlined in my Bible.

    I love your story and your willingness to see God when he shows himself.

  2. You continue to amaze me with every word. My scripture for you today is 2 Corinthians 1:3-4:
    Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

  3. Truly…often we are the most useful – or used by God – only after we are broken. Satan so wants to convince us that when we are broken we are useless; however, God sees all the potential for “creative new uses” undoing knotted laces!

    What a great lesson for all of us. Thanks, Tammy

  4. Beautiful story. I love how you take an ordinary thing and show how God can speak to us through it if we just pay attention. It has me thinking throughout my day how God may be speaking to me. Thank you for the examples in your stories of how each of us can listen for God in our day.

  5. Oh Tammy!

    What a beautiful illustration of how God continues to use broken things.

    I could not help but think of the story of David. After he repented before God in PS 51, he requested the most amazing thing,

    “Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.”

    I could see David, dancing with broken bones! What a beautiful picture of restoration.

    Oh, God has so much to do in your life Tammy. And yes, you will sing a NEW song, you will dance even in your brokeness and be used MIGHTILY of the Lord.

    One hour, one day, one step at a time.

    You amaze me…


  6. Tammy, you may feel set aside from many things and yes you are but you are set aside FOR many other things. You will never know till you go to glory how much your honesty and wonderful way of seeing God in the things of everyday life has blessed us from all over the world. Many ladies here in Busselton and southwest West Austrralia know of you and pray for you and your family. As Chrstians we are a set apart (set aside) for God people. May you continue to share your blessings with us.

  7. It is so beautiful when the Lord draws close and speaks to us through something so simple … a safety pin … thank you for sharing I am sure your story will encourage a lot of people, it did me. Blessings. Jean