Nine years ago, Jesus broke my heart.
God’s call for my family to move overseas shattered it. I lost the world I loved overnight. The next day, I entered a new world I didn’t know and initially didn’t like.
As years passed, I slowly grew to love my new world as well as my old world. But now, nine years later, I’ve realized that my heart is still broken, but in a different way—split between a home nestled in Asian mountains and a home bordering a breezy Floridian beach. A part of me always aches for another home on the far side of the ocean. No matter where I go, I am distant from something, some place, some person I’ve come to deeply, dearly love.
I feel perpetually homesick. As I prepare for another transition beginning a new season in life, I’ve been processing these emotions. For a while now, I’ve wondered…
Will I spend the rest of my life with my heart broken in pieces?
God answered this lingering question through a book I recently re-read called Kisses from Katie. The author, Katie Davis, tells her story of moving to Uganda at nineteen years old, where she eventually adopted fourteen girls. When she discusses God’s call to a life overseas, she writes:
“Jesus wrecked my life, shattered it into pieces, and put it back together more beautifully.”
I highlighted this line in the kindle app on my phone and read it over and over again. I resonated with the quote, but I wasn’t sure why.
Soon after, a friend showed me a passage of scripture in Hebrews. This verse follows a list of Biblical heroes whose lives were “wrecked” by Jesus. But they stand out in history for their strong, steady faith in the promise of a home found in Christ.
“They were transients of this world. People who live this way make it plain that they are looking for their true home.” Hebrews 11: 15 MSG
They’d experienced the broken-heartedness of living in a world where they would never find a true home. And they’d allowed Jesus to piece their hearts together again… His way.
I realized that in some ways, we all have broken hearts. We all ache for a sense of complete belonging and contentment. This is why we feel the need to name a certain place on earth. We try to figure out our roots, pinpoint one physical location as “home,” because we think this might ease our longing. But I’m learning that God just wants us to accept the fact that this world will never, truly feel like home. He just wants me to accept my broken heart. To embrace the yearning.
Because, in an odd way, I’m learning that my broken heart is a gift. God has allowed me to feel this pain, this ache, for a something promised: home. He’s allowed me to understand in a concrete, tangible way what being a “transient of this world” means. If I choose to commune with Him, God will begin healing my broken heart. The picture painted in Psalm 23:2 is God’s invitation to this quiet connection.
“He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet streams.”
In these moments of stillness, healing happens. And as He repairs cracks and carefully mends my heart back together, He also reveals a deeper, richer, fuller way of living. A life marked by hope, humility, and a holy discontentment that indicates “I’m looking for my true home,” my home in Him.
I know my longing for a physical home will never completely disappear. It’s a natural side-effect of simultaneously loving more than one place. But by shattering my heart, God has given me the opportunity to know Him better, to be changed, and to grow.
Yes, a broken heart hurts. Yes, the process from hurt to healing can be painful. But I’m learning that when Jesus broke my heart, He did so tenderly in order to draw me closer to Him.