Beautiful in the Broken

THE STORY:

Beautiful in the Broken is another song started up in the Smokey Mountains. There are actually two stories that ended up creating this song.

Story #1: Mike and I were invited on a songwriting retreat in Gatlinburg with several other writers, including our co-writer on this song, Aaron Steenhoven. It was actually on Mother’s day weekend, May of 2013, and my Mom had recently passed away, so her memory was invading my heart that day.  As Mike, Aaron and I sat down to write, Aaron was asking about my Mom and a particular “quirk” about her popped into my head.  My Mom loved broken things. Oh, yes she did.

My Mom grew up in the depression and to say money was tight for her family as she grew up is a huge understatement. When you grow up sharing one pair of shoes with your sister, or not having dinner some nights, well.. it makes you pretty frugal as an adult.  So, that being said, she was ALWAYS looking for sales, bargains… anything to stretch a dime. One of the ways she would do that is find the bargain bins in stores like Kirklands, and our house soon became decorated with ceramic birds that were missing a wing. Or a fake planted pot with a hole in the side of it.  Or a wall hanging that never hung straight because the holder on the back wasn’t set in the middle. She would carefully place those objects around so that the flaws were usually hidden, but if you looked closely, you would find a flaw, a chip, a broken spot, in almost every single thing in our home.  It drove me crazy as a kid… but now I see so much charm in it all.  While most people didn’t want anything broken in their homes, Mom saw the beauty in those things. When others saw trash, she saw value. When others discarded them as useless, she found them useful. She saw Beautiful in the Broken… and Jesus does too. We are all broken, but Jesus sees past our scars and cracks and bruises and loves us anyway.

So, to honor my Mom that first Mother’s Day without her, we started writing this song.  As we started writing, another story came out.  This one about me and a particularly hurtful experience I endured by the hands of other Christians.

 

Story #2: I had just gone through my first divorce and was in a very dark place in my life. I hadn’t been going to church for quite awhile and my heart felt led to find a community of believers and surround myself with Christian fellowship again. I found a church that seemed welcoming enough… until I tried to join. I was told that because I was divorced, I was not allowed to join this particular fellowship. I was hurt and confused. They said I needed to go back to my husband and “make things right with him”, then we could, together, join the church. “But my husband is now married to someone else.”, I tried to explain. “Well, then that is going to be on HIM when he stands before God.”, one of the elders tried to explain to me. They assured me that I was still welcome to ATTEND this church, they just couldn’t allow me to join because the rules did not allow divorced people to be members. 

I was now in the “divorced people” category, which apparently meant I was too broken to be invited into God’s church as a member.  Wow. I was just stunned. As you can imagine, I walked right out of that church and never looked back. I decided that I was done with God right then and there.  And for the next year or so, I lived my life as an unbeliever. I didn’t pray. I didn’t open my bible. I avoided churches and Christians at all cost. I decided that I had messed up too much for God to want me anymore and so I was done with it all.  But I was taking the rejection of HUMANS as a rejection by GOD, and I couldn’t have been more wrong.  Luckily, God continued to pursue me, even in my rebellious state. When I look back on that time, I see His protection over me. I see His constant love making sure the right people were put in my path to bring me back home.  Yes, I was broken… but He still saw me as beautiful and valuable and worthy.  

After a disastrous year of messing my life up in so many ways, I came to the realization that maybe life on my own without God wasn’t so great. I slowly started inching my way back into my faith, and one of the first passages that I randomly opened my bible to was John 4, which tells the story of the woman at the well. Man, I could SO relate to her at that moment, but it gave me so much HOPE. It was right then that I realized that God had NOT abandoned me. Humans had judged me and turned me away, but not our sweet Lord.  It was the beginning of a renewed relationship between me and Jesus and I couldn’t have been more happy to turn over the reins of my life back to Him. It was a sweet, sweet relief.

And so…. we wrote “Beautiful in the Broken” about that time in my life, and as a tribute to my Mom. If you are feeling like you’ve messed up too much to matter to God, please don’t listen to that voice in your head. I am living proof that you are never too far away for God to find you and pull you close and love you back into His Kingdom. Just like my Mom loved broken things, Jesus loves broken people. And we are all broken in this world. 

 

 THE LYRICS:

 

BEAUTIFUL IN THE BROKEN

Writers: Marcia Ramirez/Mike Waldron/Aaron Steenhoven

 

She thought the damage had been done

She was sure she was too far out of the reach of love

A scarlett letter on her name

 

But when she saw him at the well

He looked in her eyes, told her everything about herself

And saw right through her sin and shame

 

She thought she was too far gone

But He showed her she was wrong….

 

CH: We’re all cracked, we’re all shattered

But to Jesus we all matter

We have scars, We have bruises

But that doesn’t mean we’re useless

When the eyes of the world

View us as hopeless

He sees Beautiful in the Broken

 

I thought the damage had been done

I heard the preacher say if a man leaves it’s all your fault

You shoulda made it work somehow

 

I felt abandoned and alone

But God was always there, in the middle of the sticks and stones

Oh, I can see it clearly now

 

Just when you think you’ve gone too far

He’ll meet you where you are

 

CREDITS:

Drums-Wes Little

Bass-Brian Allen

Acoustic Guitar-Mike Waldron

Electric Guitar-Derek Wells, Mike Waldron

Keyboards-Blair Masters

Soprano Saxophone-Andy Suzuki

BGV’s-Sam Skorik

Recorded at Sonic Eden Studio, Nashville, TN

 

 

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