Today’s post is the second of my own Kintsugi stories- read the first in yesterday’s post.
One thing I’ve learned about Kintsugi over the last eighteen months is that if you want God to create something beautiful from your brokenness, you have to give him all the pieces. It can be easy to cling on, trying to hold it together, trying to fix the brokenness by ourselves, but my experience has been that when we surrender it to God, he can work beauty in it beyond anything we could have imagined.
For a long time I had been struggling with church. Despite the fact that there were many things I liked about the church I was part of, I had struggled to find my place, and a series of hurtful circumstances, although largely unintentional, had left me feeling bruised, broken, and on the edge.
I had kept going because it was the right thing to do but, honestly, it was hard. As I listened to people’s joyful testimonies of how the church was like a family, I would wonder why their experience was so different to mine.
Everyone in the church was encouraged to be part of a smaller group, focussed around a particular geographical area or area of mission, and since I had recently moved into a community where one of the groups was based, I began to get involved.
I was wary as the group I had previously been part of had been the main source of my hurt, so I stayed on the edge, not wanting to get too involved, but it was good. I began to get to know people, I was welcomed, and gradually I began to feel more part of things, but then the announcement came: the group was going to branch off and become a new church plant and everyone had to make a decision about whether they were in or out.
I was frustrated- I was just beginning to feel part of this group, starting to find my feet, and now it was all being taken away. There was no way I could go and be part of the church plant. I knew that would mean committing myself completely to this community and these people, and I didn’t think I could do that. It was too uncertain and too scary. There were too many fears and “what if’s”. I knew that what I had was far from perfect, but at the same time I was scared of letting go.
It was as if I was clinging to the broken pieces of my relationship with church, desperately trying to hold it together to protect it, but what God really wanted was surrender.
And it came in a moment: a moment that looked like nothing externally but meant everything internally. As I stood one night in the middle of my community, waiting for a friend, God took hold of my heart. As I looked around, he showed me the need and he showed me the potential, and he called me to be a part of it. It was as simple as that, but it transformed everything.
I was apprehensive, but I said yes. I committed to be part of the church plant and I gave the broken pieces to God to see what he could make of them.
The last eighteen months have been a beautiful work of Kintsugi.
I have found the church family I longed for- a place where I feel welcomed and accepted for who I am, where I feel my gifts and contributions are valued. I have made some wonderful new friends and I have learned to open up and be honest with them. We have been able to work together to see change in our community.
I have felt my broken pieces being bound back together as places I didn’t even realise were hurting are healed.
It hasn’t always looked as I expected, but God is doing something beautiful here, and it is a privilege to be a part of it.
It is an on-going process of letting go, but as I have given the broken pieces to God, I have witnessed him creating something far more beautiful with them than I could ever have created myself, and I have been blessed in ways I’d never have imagined.