When the Vase is Broken

Making a tent in the living room with my sister and our good friend caused a major disaster. We three elementary grade school girls took a bedding sheet and used everything possible within the movable boundaries of the living room to maintain our tent. The coffee tables and end tables came into play. We even used my mom’s ceramic wash bowl. The weight would surely hold the sheet in place.

The tent was wondrous until it shifted, and the wash bowl shattered. In quick and fast recovery mode, we knew what had to be done. In spite of my sister’s leg bleeding from the broken pottery, we took Elmer’s glue and pieced the vase back together. Surely my mother would never notice. She would never notice the traces of transparent, coupled with traces of white, glue that had seeped and dried through the cracks of the olive green pottery.

Of course, she noticed.


When my girls were tiny, and they’d get injured, I’d scoop them up and immediately rush them outside. There was something about the fresh air that dried their tears. I’d kiss them. They’d see the dog, and we’d playfully run after the dog. Anything to make those baby girls laugh.

I would sit down on the porch swing with the injured one in my lap, and I’d sing over her.

No more tears. A smile had emerged.


We just celebrated my daughter’s 15th birthday.

Looking back in remembrance, our lives are like one broken vase all pieced back together. After experiencing the pains of infertility, the uncertainties of adoption, the frightening experience of our baby girl being diagnosed with a kidney tumor at only 13 months old … we are the broken vase.

The Lord picked this broken child up, rocked me, and sang over me. The Lord—the one who rules brokenness—was the glue that pieced me and continues to piece me and the continually falling pieces back together.

If you’ve been broken and pieced back together, it’s noticeable. The scars show through certain shirts, through certain night clothes, through certain bathing suits …

The temptation settles in to hide in shame.

And we remind ourselves that those scars prove the miracle that we are. We were near death, and God mended our lives.

Others will notice. Others need to notice. Don’t hide the scars. Smile. Because others are broken, too.

“The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” —Zephaniah 3:17

What have you experienced? Abandonment, pain, fear? The scars prove the miracle that you are.

8 thoughts on “When the Vase is Broken

  1. Shelli, thank you for the soul affirming beauty you share here. My girlfriend and I just spent the last 24 hrs talking about how valuable our stories can be for others who are on a path we've already walked. I love reading your story. We were not healed to hold the Good News to ourselves.

    Blessings & hugs ~ Wendy ❀


  2. Shelli, what a beautiful post. It's only through being broken that God's light is allowed to shine through us. When we are broken, He can bring forth beauty through us that can never shine forth from a heart that's never walked the pain of brokenness. Loved this, Shelli!


  3. Oh, Jeanne … you gave me goose bumps. You made me think about the glow lights that the girls get for special night events … to help light their path and help us to see them … the only way they shine is if they are broken. Love you, sweet friend.


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