Brokenness Aside


I went to a youth group a few nights ago at a nearby church. My cousin and sister and I had been talking about this for a while, but like all things we never actually did it. Talk, talk, talk, but no walk. I wasn’t going to go, but I finished all of my work, so I just tagged along.
We drove around a few times, looked into the little building window, and saw a few people sitting around a table. Fear quickly struck us, and we debated whether or not to even walk in.

This was totally not what we were expecting! I mean, it’s a pretty big church, but this group night seemed small and, well, intimate.

It seemed like the kind where everyone knows each other and it felt like high school again trying to make friends as the new kid.

We found a closer spot and looked in. Pretty soon we were left saying, “Well what do you wanna do? I don’t know what do YOU wanna do?”

Finally after a long five minutes, my cousin opened her door and said, “Let’s just go, we never do anything new. What’s the worse that could happen? At least we could say we tried something.”


My younger cousin and sister took the brave card. I just sat there with my heart beating out of my chest until I finally got out of the car.


We were greeted by a sweet girl who welcomed us with a hug. There were smiles all around and people hanging around a huge table with snacks galore. Everyone was gathered nonchalantly around the center table, chattering away and laughing in little groups.

After exchanging a few laughs and small introductions, we headed upstairs for worship.

It was a small but cozy room. A small corner lamp illuminated the Bible verses and encouraging quotes on the grey colored walls that looked like it had been styled out of Fixer Upper’s TV show.

The sound of the soft guitar filled the room and we began to sing the words that displayed on the TV screen.

Will your grace run out

If I let you down

‘Cause all I know

Is how to run


‘Cause I am a sinner

If it’s not one thing it’s another

Caught up in words

Tangled in lies

But You are a Savior

And You take brokenness aside

And make it beautiful


The words hit me hard. The new series of the night was about purpose and our calling. As I watched the short video, I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who thought this was speaking directly to them.

“Do you think your story matters?”

Honestly? I never thought of addressing my life as a story that mattered. I know everyone has a story, but I never really thought mine was that cool or important to matter, much less to tell to others. The rest of the night we all spent around the coffee table. Talking, laughing, and answering questions regarding the video and sharing random thoughts about life, God, and food. Who doesn’t like to talk about food?! After thanking everyone and sharing a few hugs, we stepped outside to go to our car.

“Wow… I’m so glad that we did that guys.” I looked over at my sister and cousin.

“Yeah, me too.”


Meeting new people is one of the scariest things to me, but this night taught me something.

We can hide behind our screens, and scroll and scroll until our fingers fall off looking at the ideal lives of others, but nothing compares to talking to someone face to face.

You see that the person is real and, just like you, broken. Truth is we’re all broken, but we don’t have to live this life alone.

We can come together and root for each other when life is going pretty good. We can sit down and cry, or stand with each other as the waves come crashing in our boats when we’re in the middle of a storm.

We’re all trying to figure this whole life thing out, and when we realize that the cracks are actually places that God can use to shine His light through us, we see that our brokenness can become something beautiful.

Barbara Marcella, a photographer, writer, and creative storytelling the unending wonders of His love.

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October 11, 2017

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