Last year I was blessed with the opportunity to go through a women’s bible study at StoneWater Church over the book Brokenness—the Heart God Revives by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. Prior to this study I would say that my view of “brokenness” was pretty skewed. Whenever I thought of being broken, I pictured someone who had experienced emotional pain, loss, or heartbreak. Little did I know that this was not even close to what it means to be truly broken!
One of the first things I learned in the study was that brokenness is synonymous with humility. To be broken meant letting go of all pride, becoming transparent, and surrendering to the will of God. In the beginning, I did not think that I had an issue with pride. I never really considered myself to be a prideful person. Boy was I wrong! The deeper I got into the study, the more the Lord revealed areas of sin in my heart that were all rooted in pride. Worrying about what people thought of me, serving others because I felt obligated, not openly sharing my personal struggles, or even expressing new things that God was revealing to me in my walk…each one of these things boiled down to pride—the desire to seem better, stronger than I really was.
A concept that Nancy Leigh DeMoss really hit hard throughout the study was the idea of “taking the roof off” and “letting the walls down.” Taking the roof off is the first step. This refers to letting go of “secret” struggles, being open and honest with our Creator—no longer hiding from God (which is impossible anyway, considering He is omniscient and omnipresent!). It may seem pretty simple, but until I really examined my heart, I did not realize how hard this actually could be.
The next step is letting the walls down. This has to do with letting down your guard toward others—allowing yourself to be truly transparent with those around you. I thought step one was difficult, but that was nothing in comparison to this! Letting down my walls opened me up to a certain kind of vulnerability that I wasn’t used to—by allowing everyone to see all of me, my strengths and my weaknesses, I opened myself up to be seen in a way contrary to what I had kept hidden before. Although it was uncomfortable at first, I can honestly say that the freedom that came with being transparent was incomparable! I no longer felt trapped in my struggles or worried about being in it alone. I realized that I could lean on my brothers and sisters in Christ for support, accountability, and encouragement.
Along with this newfound freedom, I also received an awe-inspiring sense of peace. The first step toward brokenness is letting go of your own pride, your own will, and submitting to the Lord. Nancy says, “Brokenness is the shattering of my self-will—the absolute surrender of my will to the will of God. It is saying “Yes, Lord!” – no resistance, no chafing, no stubbornness—simply submitting myself to His direction and will in my life.”
I have found this to be overwhelmingly true. The more I let go of my pride and cling to Christ, I see just how beautiful brokenness truly is.
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” – Psalm 51:17