Break My Heart. Please.

broken heart

When I started this blog, we were coming off of a life-changing year. As I’ve mentioned numerous times, my blog became a place for me to sort through it all and try and make sense of it. I also wanted it to serve as a reminder of where I was at that place in time so that I would never forget the heartache and the restoration that followed.

I’m so thankful that I did, because recently, I went through a very troubling time. One that left me feeling used, emotionally battered, drained, overlooked, angry and resentful. Emotions stirred in me that I had long forgotten about. I had probably even fooled myself, on some level, into thinking that I was beyond those feelings.

As I’ve reread through my blog recently, I’ve been convicted of how far I had come and how many steps I took backwards during those recent months.

It’s not easy to admit; it’s not as though I was acting out. But I was allowing these emotions to dictate how I thought, and as a result, I was left feeling distant from the Lord. Because part of the ministry that I feel called to is sharing the message of the Lord’s restoration and redemption, it is not something that I feel that I can or should try to hide. As a Christian, I can just as easily forget about the muck I was pulled from, as the next person. And I can just as easily step back into it if I’m not walking with my eyes open.

I had temporarily forgotten who I was and where I had been.

As I’ve felt myself falling back into the sweetness that comes from being completely surrounded by the arms of Christ, I’ve found myself praying one thing over and over: “Break my heart, Lord”.

When I look at where I was, what I was saved from, and what I have experienced through His grace, I am ashamed at the lack of action I have taken to share that redemption and hope with others. I want my heart to be broken for others. I want to remember and never forget those who are struggling and suffering.

I don’t want to be held back by those emotions.

At church a couple of weeks ago, the pastor was talking about some of the things that hold us back from saying “YES” to the Lord. He referenced the story of Gideon and the defeat of the Midianites (Judges 6 through Judges 7), particularly Judges 7:1-7. While there is a much bigger story to this chapter, one of God’s glory, these verses give us a lesson on what can hold us back from going where God is sending us:

The LORD said to Gideon, “You have too many men for me to deliver Midian into their hands. In order that Israel may not boast against me that her own strength has saved her, 3 announce now to the people, ‘Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.‘ ” So twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained. (emphasis mine)

Lack of courage. These men who loved God and wanted to go where God wanted to send them. But they wanted to place their “yes” on the table and keep their hands on it so that they could pull it back if it frightened them too much. (thank you to my pastor for that great concept). This isn’t about not being afraid though. It’s about trusting God.

4 But the LORD said to Gideon, “There are still too many men. Take them down to the water, and I will sift them for you there. If I say, ‘This one shall go with you,’ he shall go; but if I say, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ he shall not go.”
5 So Gideon took the men down to the water. There the LORD told him, “Separate those who lap the water with their tongues like a dog from those who kneel down to drink.” 6 Three hundred men lapped with their hands to their mouths. All the rest got down on their knees to drink.
7 The LORD said to Gideon, “With the three hundred men that lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands. Let all the other men go, each to his own place.” (emphasis mine)

Living carelessly. These men loved God and weren’t afraid but were living carelessly. A man bending down to lap the water rather than scooping it up with his hand was putting himself and others in danger. He was careless. And this put him on the bench rather than in the game (again, thank you to my pastor for that great concept). This isn’t about being perfect, but about being spiritually careful.

I had allowed myself to be benched over the last year by not being spiritually careful – by being involved in something the Lord hadn’t blessed or directed me towards. I had tried to fit the Lord into the situation rather than being where He wanted me. There was no blessing and no growth within it, because I wasn’t where I had been called to be. It took me away from where God really wanted me to be moving and working. And there continued to be a lack of growth as I struggled with the emotions after resigning/removing myself from the situation. I was angry that I had wasted all of that precious time with absolutely nothing to show for it. I had been living carelessly.

restored heart

I was careless and that caused me a lot of grief and pain. My heart was broken, but I found comfort in the One who can put a broken heart back together and bring hope to the brokenhearted. Now, I want my heart to be broken for others, so that I might point them to the One who heals.

(top photo source: TimOve)
(second photo source: CarbonNYC)


  1. http://CharmingDriver says

    Oh honey, you did your time. Please don’t pray for your heart or spirit to be further broken, pray for the strength to help others caught in the same viper pit.

    You’ve done your time, I mean it. And I envy your courage to throw your shoulders back, put your chin up and get on with life on your terms, with your spiritual needs met and exceeded.

    You’re a good kid, never forget it.

  2. http://KJG says

    I don’t know your story as I am a fairly new reader, but your post today rings true in this heart. I, too, am one who knows the depth of rescue required and though I am grateful, I find that I drift away from awareness. Thank you for the reminder to be vigilant.


  3. http://Lelia%20Chealey says

    Wow! I loved the honesty in this post. What God has showed you. Keep seeking Him for anything that you have gone after in the past that hasn’t been about Him was just blown out of the water with the openness in this post. Beautiful and your heart for Him beats very loudly in this post.
    Thanks for blessing me this morning.
    Love ya,

  4. http://dawn224 says

    xo – may all your relationships this year be full of blessings :)

  5. http://amyanne says

    Thank you Lord for the gift that is Karla! You are an encouragement. Your transparency and willingness to share with us is a blessing.

    The world says we deserve everything. But we don’t. We deserve nothing, yet God in his mercy through the grace of Christ gives us EVERYTHING. It’s learning to live in light of that…being humble enough to accept that gift, where I stumble. My pride (the sin pregnant with all the other sins) trips me up and I stop trusting in God and begin trying to do His work for Him. It’s not until I’m miserable and breaking under the weight of trying to be God do I see the truth, repent and confess my need for Him in all things.

  6. http://Fran says

    Oh how I wish the 2 of us could sit down and talk. I could have written this post too. Beautifully written Karla. I need to get over myself and sit at His feet and just sit in His presence. I’m such a mess right now. Ugh. Break me Jesus.

  7. http://Anonymous says

    Beautiful, Karla. You speak for so many of us.

    Mrs. Wetzel

  8. http://Mary%20R%20Snyder says

    Careless — oh my how that speaks to my heart. I’ve been careless and I want to be broken for Him.
    Your words are just what I needed to read this morning. Lord, let me step out in faith and courage.

  9. http://Darla~SassyHomemaker says

    (hugs) Karla. I think so many of us have this same story in one form or another. And some of us even started to repeat the story again cuz apparently we didn’t learn from it the FIRST time.

    The only thing we can hope is that each time we are tempted in our weakness, we can see it quicker and be stronger and STAND UP to the temptation.

    I’ve had to learn the lesson of “you just learned something you didn’t know about that situation, and now ya know” instead of beating myself up that I didn’t catch it as fast as I wish I would have. You’re back on the right path now and I’m sure it feels great, and “now ya know”.

    Eyes on the prize girlfriend, eyes on the prize.

  10. http://Megan@SortaCrunchy says

    You know, I think I don’t know the story of the beginning of this blog. I can’t remember how long I’ve been reading here because I feel like I have known you for a long time!

    I had tried to fit the Lord into the situation rather than being where He wanted me. Don’t I know this? Thanks for sharing from your heart today. I know God will continue to allow ministry to flow from your life.

  11. http://Purple%20Mama says

    I’ve been following your blog for a few weeks now. First time commenting. I just had to tell you that God used your post in my life in a powerful way this morning. I was ignoring His leading in a particular area of my life and this post helped Him get my attention! Thanks!

  12. http://Wecare4much says

    So beautifully said Karla. I so appreciate your willingness to let us learn from your broken heart. I know how painful it can be to put those pieces back together again. The Hillsong song “The Potter’s Hand” started running thru my head as I read your post. Blessings to you. I look forward to reading more of your journey.

  13. http://Carrie%20Postma says

    Thank you for sharing your heart in this post. For being so transparent, honest, and faithful to our Lord. You are a light, my friend!

  14. http://Christine says

    Oh my… I feel almost breathless after reading this. You caught my attention immediately by asking for your heart to be broken… I didn’t understand and it encouraged me to read on and on. Would you say that we all should be broken-hearted most of the time and should we not enjoy the goodness while it lasts? My thought is that while enjoying it, I should realize that it is a great blessing and the goodness doesn’t always last… I shouldn’t take advantage of it, but I should cherish it and value it and be thankful for it instead.

    Whether or not I got the message you were trying to send, this post has really made me think. It makes me feel ashamed that I haven’t been living like I should be. And by knowing that I believe there is only room for improvement. :)

  15. http://Karla says

    Hi Christine~I’m so glad you asked that as opposed to just wondering it and thinking I meant something I didn’t.

    I don’t believe that we should walk around with broken hearts. The Lord wants us to experience joy and peace.

    My point is that I want to have my heart made to be like His. I want the hardness and ickiness removed. I want to care about others so strongly that I can feel for them and ache for them. I want it to MOVE me and to lead me to helping them and praying for them… I don’t want to be ok with a knee-jerk “I’ll pray for you” and then not follow through.

    And I think sometimes we do need to be brought to our knees in order to get there.

    If you click on the “Classic Karla” link at the top, you will see links to some of my posts about my walk and where I’ve been.

    I hope this helps some. Please understand – I don’t think we are to be walking around in misery. But we can’t ignore those who are hurting.

  16. http://Robin%20~%20PENSIEVE says

    You know…you’re asking for what we know the Lord wants from you (and me); I’m so thankful He gives us a NEW heart so we don’t have to live with the one that’s been shattered and bruised.

    Sweet one, it’s in those darkest hours that we see ourselves apart from a life in Christ, and the contrast compels us to run back to the light. What an amazing God who promises never to leave us…Who forgives so lavishly…Who loves completely.

    I’ve had some of these rough times, too…you know all too well. My prayer has been for God to shape me into the woman of his crafting, so I can be Jesus to someone who needs a friend who’s “lived” a little.

    So happy for you that you’re in “this” place; you sound joy-filled :).

    love you xo

  17. http://Deb says

    Karla, Bless your heart…I’ll be praying for you. 2 yrs ago April 5th I had my heart broken, I wasn’t sure how I was going to survive it. After the shock wore off I realized how much of the problem I was and your prayer became mine in a slightly different way. “God loves us right where we are at, but he doesn’t want to leave us there.” Our pastor spoke those words Sunday morning and they have rang in my ears and in my head since. I am thankful for April 5th, 2007 if nothing else it caused me to sink to the bottom so that I could seek, find and listen to the only true help this world will ever know. My focus is sharper. Is it great and wonderful and perfect every day….heavens no!!! But I am changed and for the better….it’s true, it’s really not about us. As usual I had to learn the hard way. Keep us posted along your journey….we all have a legacy to leave…much love and blessings….deb your facebook friend from KC

  18. http://Musings%20of%20a%20Housewife says

    I’m glad you’ve found your way back. I felt like your voice really changed there for a while. It’s nice to have YOU back. :-)

  19. http://Beth%20(A%20Mom's%20Life) says

    Welcome back Karla! I’ve missed you around here.

  20. http://THE%20Stephanie says

    Such great insight, Karla. I’ve been there myself, as well.

  21. http://titus2woman says

    It appears this post has touched a chord with so many! I too can relate and am reminded of wisdom from Debi Pearl: We become what we practice. It’s so funny~I had a difficult season in life a few years ago, and in it I TOTALLY lost who I was. I had been practicing bitterness and disrespect and depression~and that’s what I became. I had never been that person before… Then I purposed to practice something else and was delighted to find the old me again! ~with improvements, *I hope*~ (((((HUGS))))) sandi

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