Journey with Jen: Kintsugi

Living well is a deep desire of mine. If I were the type of person to assume, I would think this is the case for most people.

We want to be kind.

We want to be beautiful in Spirit.

We want to leave a legacy long after we are gone that allows the warmth of our hearts to be felt even if we no longer are.

Written out, it seems simple, but so little in life is black and white. I want to have a life well lived, but I am so utterly human. I have so many weaknesses and so many broken places. 

When I was younger, I was ashamed of those weaknesses. I worked so hard to hide the brokenness. Society has told us for many years that strong is beautiful. It can be so confusing trying to muddle through what is acceptable and what is not in a climate that changes as often as the whims of celebrities or marketing executives. Especially when we are ALL struggling with finding a solid foundation. 

When I finally realized that, when I was able to truly see that everyone I know struggles in some way or another... then, I was able to embrace these broken and fragile places.

Friends, seeking perfection is the enemy of loving yourself.

These differences we have are so much smaller than the things we have that help connect us a believers. Our struggles make us more approachable. Our brokenness and reliance on our Heavenly Father connects us in the most beautiful way.

There is a centuries-old Japanese art of fixing broken pottery called Kintsugi. Translated to “golden joinery,” is the process of taking the broken pieces and putting them back together with a special lacquer dusted with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. Beautiful seams of gold glint in the cracks of ceramic ware, giving a unique appearance and the use of the metal makes the repaired pottery far more valuable than the original. God did the same for us with the blood of Christ. He does the same for us day in and day out.

More times than I would like to admit, He has pieced my fragile Spirit back together and I am more valuable because of it.

This realization was so freeing. It allows me to be real and to be honest about my failings, about my pain. There is a strength in being open about our weakness and vulnerability. There is a value in allowing our cracks to be seen. The beautiful way that God pieces us back together will never be replicated in someone else. It is also something that cannot be done by just anyone. People always want to fix me. There are always suggestions about the newest fad in medicine or alternative medicine. I understand that. I am a “fixer” myself. I want to be the hands and feet. I want to be Vanilla Ice and solve some problems. 

But, news flash: we as believers struggle. Some of our struggles are long standing.

We get sick.

We go bankrupt.

We make bad choices.

And that’s ok. It is ok to struggle and to let others struggle. It is OK to not fix everything.

In fact, it’s not our job. We are friends, spouses, parents, children, co-workers... no one has ever called me Savior. In these struggles, God has room to show up big. In the illness, the struggle to find enough money to pay all the bills, or the worn spot in the carpet beside my bed where my knees have logged more hours than one could imagine... it is there where God fills in our cracks.

I am not the Potter. I am the clay. I have been molded. I have been pieced back together and my cracks have been filled with so many lessons, experiences, opportunities. We learn from the struggle. We are blessed in the repairing.

We WILL struggle.

We WILL break.

That does not make God any less Sovereign. It makes us human and in need of a Savior who loved us enough to cover all of our shortcomings and love us still.



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