Broken Freedom

There stands a woman and her lips spew ugliness and her eyes shoot daggers. She keens in pain while collapsing to the ground. She curls inward around the heart pain and rocks back and forth, back and forth, lost in the pain. She flinches as a hand reaches to touch her—a hand scarred from a different sort of pain. She hears a gentle voice whispering, “I love you. I am with you, and I will never leave you to go through this alone, will you trust me?” The woman’s first instinct is to hold tighter to her pain, but then she remembers: He was broken for her. She uncurls her fist and holds her pain up to him as an offering and in her brokenness she finds freedom.


I have been this woman. I’ve spewed ugliness over loved ones, friends, and God. I’ve clung harder to my pain than I have to him because I felt I would break if I let go and the breaking scared me more than the pain.

I’ve chosen to live with the pain because I knew pain better than I knew freedom. Pain was like the unwanted, yet endearing, shirt-tail relative at the family reunions. You get use to their quirks and the party wouldn’t seem the same without them. I’ve held tight to my pain because of this conundrum of truth: brokenness leads to freedom and freedom leads to brokenness.

Christ’s brokenness=our freedom.

Our brokenness=our victory.

True freedom happens when I accept Christ’s brokenness and when I am willing to be broken. I have two patterns of thought waging war within me: the flesh and the spirit, and the spirit can win only when I’ve experienced brokenness in the flesh. It is then that I become a victor and more than a conqueror in him.

Freedom is abused, misunderstood, and misconstrued. Freedom is not a freedom to do what I want and what I please. We are set free for freedom’s sake in order to do God’s will and be his intended reflection to the world.

There are so many things to stand in the way of true freedom and sometimes it takes a breaking to experience it. Our foibles, desires, sins, idols, past, present, and future stand in the way of freedom. The kind of freedom that God intends for us to run in.

We are set free to be who God intended us to be—not some improved version of ourselves—but a new version of ourselves. Jesus did not suffer an insufferable death so that I could be reformed. I need to be transformed.


Made new.


That’s the kind of grace that motivated my Savior to die a horrific death in my place.  It is the kind of grace I want in my life. It’s the kind of grace that comes through brokenness. It’s frightening, but I know he gently, tenderly touches all the painful places in my heart that I clench my fist around.

Then in his wisdom and timing he removes the old and replaces it with new. My only requirement is to submit and to trust. To be reformed is to retain some semblance of the original, and to make improvements on it. To be made new, to be transformed, means being willing to let go of the original, watch it break, and see something new made out of it.

Transformed through brokenness.

A beautiful brokenness.

A priceless freedom.

Jessica Van Roekel
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Jessica Van Roekel

Jessica Van Roekel is a woman on the journey to wholeness through brokenness. She believes that through Christ our personal histories don’t have to define our present or determine our future. Her greatest desire is to see people live this ‘God-life’ with all the power and grace that God provides. Jessica lives in a rural community with her husband and four children. She leads worship on Sundays, but seeks to be a worshiper every day. You can connect with her at and on Facebook.
Jessica Van Roekel
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