A few years ago, I had a year full of one trial and setback after another. By the end of the year, the chorus of a country song (popular at the time) had landed in my head:
“Run and hide your crazy and start actin’ like a lady …
Gotta keep it together even when you fall apart.”
Chippie doesn’t sing much anymore
Max Lucado’s book In the Eye of the Storm is one of my favorites. He opens with the story of Chippie the parakeet.
Chippie got sucked into the vacuum while his owner was cleaning his cage.
The stunned bird, covered in dust and soot, was rescued from the bag and then rushed to the bathroom where he was thrust under the running water.
As he sat there soaked and shivering, his well-meaning owner reached for the hair dryer and blasted him with hot air.
Max notes that poor Chippie never knew what hit him and concludes with the owner’s assessment of Chippie’s recovery: “Chippie doesn’t sing much anymore – he just sits and stares.”
During that season of trials, I saw myself in that story.
How about you? Does any of that resonate? Are you trying to simply keep it together when all you want to do is fall apart? Have you lost your song? Are you surrounded by brokenness?
If so, I am so sorry. I know it’s hard and I remember how much it can hurt.
Singing the Broken Hallelujah
During that season, I pondered Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.” I’m not sure I ever got to the point of “boasting about my weakness” during those dark days, but I did finally submit to whatever God wanted to work in my life.
I stopped hiding my crazy and handed it over to the Lord. He exchanged it for a renewed perspective. I scribbled a few words marking the moment when I surrendered:
“God is writing a new song on my heart – a broken hallelujah of sorts.
And with that, He is reminding me that when He gives a song, my only response can be to sing.
And so I will sing of the God who doesn’t require I hide my crazy from Him.
Of the One who is working all things for my good and His glory, even when He seems silent and things seem to be falling apart.
I will sing of my brokenness so that others might hear of the only One who can break through the darkness, mend a heart, and restore a song.
Along the way, you – or someone you know – may recognize this broken hallelujah. The verses may differ, but the chorus will be familiar. It’s so much easier to sing a difficult song when you’re standing by others who know the tune well.
And so, I’ll sing the broken hallelujah He has given me – and if you recognize the chorus, feel free to join in.”
Falling Apart Right Into Place
Dear friend, when I wrote those words, I was still as broken as ever. Nothing had changed and healing certainly didn’t come immediately. But I was tired of striving, tired of hiding, tired of trying to fix myself. I learned some of the deepest worship occurs in the middle of the broken hallelujah chorus.
Through letting go, I discovered more about the new thing He was doing in my life. He did turn that broken hallelujah into a song others recognized and gave me a place in His plan I could never have dreamed possible.
I thought things had fallen apart. In fact, they had been falling right into place.
What about you? Is there any part of a broken hallelujah you can hold onto? Maybe you can’t launch into a full chorus yet, but can you just trust Him to give you one note at a time?
Surrender the plans you held for this year and trade them for whatever He has in store. Lean into His promises, feed on His Word, and allow whatever He is doing to come to completion in your life. When He’s finished, you may look around and realize that the place you’ve fallen into is the place where you belong.
P.S. As a result of my experience, I created a Scripture mini-guide called 6 Cries of the Heart.
The Scriptures are categorized based on six different emotional responses we cycle through as we cry out to God when we face the unknown.
It comes with a link to a companion set of praise song playlists. It’s free to my email friends and if you’d like to receive it, just click below.
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