Break (and Grow Back Stronger)

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:

They say that when you break a bone, it grows back stronger than before, but that myth has been laid to rest. The truth lies in the process of healing—what bones do when they knit back together.

Fractured (the same as broken) bones get immobilized, and thus they start to get weaker. As the body knits the fracture, it deposits calcium at the break site, thus causing a temporary difference in strength between the break and the surrounding bone (without weight bearing and pressure, bone starts to lose its strength). Once the bone has healed and the cast removed, the break site and the bone eventually reach the same level of strength again.

We don’t always feel a broken bone, and just because we can walk or move our fingers or toes doesn’t prove that we don’t have a break.

But not all breaks happen to our bones. Our breaks-that-are-not-bones? Our heart wounds and soul wounds? We have a choice in how those heal and whether or not we become stronger as a result of the break.

I know. I’ve had my share of soul wounds and heart wounds. A husband with cancer. A daughter who struggled with self-harm. Someone dear to my heart who pushed me away. We all have them—those breaks-that-are-not-bones.

I have learned to call on the Great Physician to heal those breaks. While my petty prayers may petition instant healing and rapid resolution of what pains me, they allow the Holy Spirit to work within me. Changing me and my desires so that I become stronger during the time of healing.

And unlike bones, the healing produces a stronger me. Click To Tweet

A me that understands human nature more. A me that desires less of me and more of Him. A me that looks with greater compassion on other wounded people. A me that looks a little longer into the eyes of my fellow travelers to see if they might suffer from a break-that-is-not-bone. A me that seeks opportunities to pray for those around me.

Fellow traveler, can I pray for you? (email me if you don’t feel comfortable asking for prayer publicly:

Anita currently teaches English to 7th-12th graders. She describes herself as a 'recovering cancer caregiver' who gives thanks daily that her husband has been cancer-free for ten years.

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  • Hello FMF neighbour! I enjoyed reading your post. The ‘me’ you describe is the kind of ‘me’ I want to be as well. Glad to be traveling this journey with you.

    • Howdy, neighbor! Let the journey commence!

  • Hi Anita. As one who has felt the pain of a broken heart for several months now, I’m now watching and feeling God repair it and I’m praising Him for it. There will certainly be a stronger me when the healing is done one day. I’m certain there will be ministry opportunities that are birthed from this season of intense hurt. Bring it, Lord.
    Leah Adams recently posted…Five Minute Friday ~ BreakMy Profile

    • May God continue to heal and patch and renew your broken heart, my friend.

  • Tara

    Amen sista!! I love that you are praying for others. That has been such a joy for me during Lent praying over my FB friends list.

    • And I’m so very glad you’ve been praying, my friend!

  • Liz

    I’d appreciate prayer: My husband and I are in the midst of a transition. There have been many breaking points and frustrations and tears, but now the breaking point has gifted us peace and comfort. It’s a relief, but we also know change is around the corner – change we don’t necessarily know how to prepare for.

    Thanks for your offer, and for today’s post!
    Liz recently posted…I will never go skydiving again.My Profile

    • Etched across the chalkboard on my mantle is Proverbs 3:5-6 I am sure you know these verses very well, but it is a gentle reminder to me that my job is to TRUST and LEAN NOT unto my own understanding, but to acknowledge HIM and HE will direct my path. Life is a journey. And His ways are often confounding and confusing however, I am praying that you will be encouraged as you remember He is directing the path, in Isaiah He says we will hear a voice saying to turn to the left or right. Praying you hear his voice and find strength in knowing He is perfect in all of His ways even in the ever changing course of direction in our lives He is there.
      Laura recently posted…Five Minute Friday: BreakMy Profile

      • Thank you for the reminders of those powerful verses–ones I cherish and love to read over and over again.

    • I’ve been lifting you up in prayer each time I see your face pop up on Facebook, someone else’s blog or when I think about ministry (and that’s happened quite a few times today already!) 🙂 Remember, he equips the called, he doesn’t call the equipped!

  • I loved this post! So often I ask Him to bring speed to His healing and often tend to miss that there is a greater lesson at hand in the slower process as He takes His time…lets me rely on Him. It’s never easy, but in hindsight I always have to look back and think “Wow…I guess you really do know what You’re doing.” 😉
    Jennifer Frisbie recently posted…Five Minute Friday: BreakMy Profile

    • I love hindsight–it’s even mentioned in the Bible (Micah 6:5, I think).

  • Anita, I’m so glad our God is the best Physician in the universe. And that He knows the hurts and breaks we’re working through. And you’re right. As God mends our breaks, He gives us eyes to see the world more like He does.

    Beautiful post today.
    Jeanne Takenaka recently posted…Break: When God MendsMy Profile

    • Thank you, Jeanne :). That’s what I want–better eyesight!

  • “We have a choice in how those heal and whether or not we become stronger as a result of the break.” I love this, YES and YES we always have a choice. My husband lovingly reminds me of this often. I choose. We are overcomes by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. Let healing begin with the words of my mouth and the mediations of my heart. I choose to speak life and not death. Praise in order to spread His fame. Praying for you sweet friend!

    Laura recently posted…Five Minute Friday: BreakMy Profile

    • Thank you for your prayers, Laura :). I love it when we have people to keep us accountable and help us remember that we have choices!

  • So much amen! He uses all things together for our good and so often it is out of my healing from a hurt that I can most powerfully minister! I love that you are offering prayer here, friend! I just love your heart!
    ~Karrilee~ recently posted…The Wisdom of Self Care… or Knowing When To Take A Break! (A Five Minute Friday post)My Profile

    • Thank you, Karrilee–may we always be healing and sharing and praying for each other as we grow stronger in Him each day.

  • Such great reflection on “break”, Anita – there are so many ways that we experience brokenness and healing. You are right, our Great Physician heals and binds those wounds if we will allow Him to – when we get out of His way and trust Him with the mending. Thank you for sharing and I pray your teaching went well last night – I have no doubt God moved through you to bring healing! Blessings, friend.
    Tiffany recently posted…The Great Adventure {FMF: Break}My Profile

    • It went well, thank you for supporting me with your prayers :). So often people think they are all alone and that no one has ever felt like they do. I told my daughter’s story (with her permission) of her struggles with cutting–and it was so impactful because the girls know my daughter :).

  • Yes. Oh yes, Anita. The healing we’ve received from our woundedness enriches our lives so much that it bubbles up and over. Praise God for those healing streams.

    Sabbath refreshment to you, friend …
    Linda@Creekside recently posted…In Which I Keep on Journaling My Conversations with GodMy Profile

    • 🙂 No one wants to be wounded, but if we leave our healing in God’s hands, you’re right–it enriches our lives!
      Anita Ojeda recently posted…Everlasting LoveMy Profile

  • An encouraging post. I see the truth of your words in my own life. Thankful to God that I am in a good and whole place right now and that He is using the good times to stretch me just as much as the hard ones right now.
    Jodi recently posted…Five Minute Friday: BreakMy Profile

  • We are four weeks into my son breaking his wrist. At our last appointment the nurse was explaining how new sheets of bone are being laid down to heal and repair the break and then she said, “God made us so cool!” “Cool: because she was talking to an 11 year old boy, but wow! She was right.
    Jenny recently posted…Gratitude Affirmations: SpringMy Profile

    • That’s so cool that your nurse shares about creation! I wish more believers felt comfortable doing that!
      Anita Ojeda recently posted…Everlasting LoveMy Profile

  • oh my goodness, so good, Anita! I often feel my enemy wamting to break me. But I know that God does not allow any harm to touch me that has not first passed through His kind fingers. Fingers hat strengthen and bind up. Wish we could have some of these “conversations” face to face over a cup of tea.

  • Thank you for this today! Beautiful way to start my weekend. The unseen breaks that are not bones require the Great Physician to heal as well as our asking Him for grace in the healing. Praying for you as you work toward finishing your school year well. Hugs!
    Mary Geisen recently posted…Five Minute Friday ~ Break…and #fmfretreat updateMy Profile

  • Oh Anita, the heart breaks are what make us stronger as God brings us through them. But I’d much rather avoid them! May the Lord give us grace as he heals us, and use us to pass his love on to others, as you say at the end of your post. You can pray for me to have joy for each 24 hours, to see each day as a gift.
    Betsy de Cruz recently posted…Feel tired? Take a Break!My Profile

  • I’m thankful our Great Physician heals us of all of our brokenness! The only broken bone I’ve had thus far was a broken toe, and that was painful enough. But the brokenness that wasn’t a bone was far more painful. So thankful for His healing and restoration. Bless you friend, and thank you for your beautiful words!
    Julie Lefebure recently posted…Five Minute Friday – BreakMy Profile

    • I concur–the breaks that are not bone hurt so much. I’m glad God has healed you and restored you!

  • Anita,
    Your message here is very timely to several conversations I’ve had with friends lately. Thank you for pursuing this topic as we all experience breaks, and not always of the bone variety!
    Bless you!
    Lisa Brittain recently posted…Psalm.Sunday.March 29.My Profile

    • I’m glad we have a Great Physician who knows how to heal breaks of all varieties!

  • Anita,
    thanks so much for the FMF visit! 🙂 It took me some time to find you on the page, but I can so relate to your post! For me, the non-bone-breaking was something that was a process that God was leading me through. I actually got to write about it for the blog recently and titled it “Breaking for Healing”. So, I enjoyed your photo a lot. We’ve had a similar throught process. Mine was focused on a bone needing to be re-broken by a doctor when it heals improperly and how God can heal our broken hearts. Love love love your sharing!
    Tammy recently posted…Break: Five Minute FridayMy Profile

    • I’m so glad you stopped by, Tammy! It’s crazy awesome how God works in us and through us.

  • My sophomore did a paper on why bones heal up through teen years verses adult bones needing pins (because he’s had his share of fractured bones). Your post made me smile – and, oh, how I like what you did with it! – our brokenness in Him produces a stronger me! Oh, yes!!! Shalom, Anita! (still smiling)

    • ;). The way God created us never ceases to fascinate me!