ART SECTION : Broken Vessel (And a Story of Renewed Faith)

September 5, 2018 Claren Stefanie



All these pieces
Broken and scattered
In mercy gathered
Mended and whole
Empty-handed
But not forsaken
I've been set free

(Broken Vessels - Hillsong United)



I've been listening to this wonderful praise song by Hillsong United and it resonates so much to my current life situation and the piece of drawing I'm going to present to you right now.

Yes, I'm still drawing (duh how can I not, I can die if I don't 😂)
This is by far the most personal and the most honest piece I have ever done in my life. And somewhat puts me in an uncomfortable position of vulnerability ^^; I was really hesitating to share this to you because I was afraid of what people think of me, I was afraid people will make assumptions. But here we are, I'm just trying to get things off my chest and share my story with you.

I call it a Broken Vessel


This portrays subtlety and the fragile emotions of being broken, when you have to let go of things and to cut ties with the circumstance you're attached with. You have cracks and flaws, but it's what makes you who you are.

I used a golden watercolor to highlight the cracks, but it was so hard to show up! The surface must be dark enough for the gold to show. 

...

Imagine a jar made of clay, and it's broken into pieces. What do you think is the best way to deal with this?

You have two options :
1. Sweep the debris, throw it to the trash.
2. Do something with the debris and repair the jar.

I bet many people will just choose the first option to throw it away. Well, it's broken, what can we do about it?  It sucks as hell and frustrating to mend broken pieces one by one. It's impossible, right? Who can do it anyway?

But then comes a potter. With His hands, He gathers all the broken pieces. Carefully, He joins the pieces one by one using a gleaming lacquer of gold and resin. Slowly, the broken pieces is being mended, with golden cracks that join them together. And the broken jar, whom we thought to be useless and damaged, is now emerging as a whole new object, more valuable and more beautiful than the intact one when it was in it original state.  

In Japan, it's called Kintsugi (金継ぎ) or Kintsukuroi (金繕い) An art of repairing broken objects with valuable materials ( golden or silver).

kintsugi Japanes art broken pottery

It's a deep, beautiful, and somewhat cliché philosophy per se, and you can see it in may forms of modern art nowadays. At first you might think it's super cliché like, you're ugly and broken but you turn into something beautiful like Cinderella.  But no, it's not about the outer beauty. The beauty lies in the process of it. This is the true beauty of scars and resilience.

In life we experience failure, betrayals, loss, sickness, and many other unseen battles that only each of us know what it is about.  Brokenness is a phase of life that everybody experiences. We can't choose where and how we are broken, but we can always choose how we handle our broken pieces.


When I relate it to my own personal journey, this concept speaks a lot to it and I can't comprehend on how beautiful and empowering it is. Kintsugi isn't just an art of mending broken objects. It's a showcase of strength and resilience. Breathing a new life onto the dead.  A process of healing. It's an art of embracing scars. Every flaw in a person is unique, just like every golden crack in the jar is never the same to one and another. It's what makes a person who she/he is.

A little bit of my background story. All my life I've been having issues with insecurities and self-esteem. Probably rooted deeply within me from the scar I got in my childhood until my teenage years. I have been in constant battle with myself. I always thought I wasn't good enough in everything. And it really took a toll on my perspective about life, my relationship with others, and about myself in general.

Just this year I experienced a total breakdown that left me in a complete wreckage. I was hurt. I was devastated. But this total mess, turned out to be a major turning point in my life. It's through that period of pain I finally found what I had been desperately looking for : Jesus.


It's in the midst of my storm, He found me.


I was never a religious person. In terms of my personal relationship with God, my faith was like a wave being tossed by the wind. It was on and off! I have always wondered how it feels like to really feel Him in my life, I was longing for it. But I couldn't feel the bond with Him. I started to doubt my faith and about God in general, and finally neglected my relationship with Him. I stopped praying. Heck, I didn't even know what it means to pray. I often go to church with an empty soul. I was spiritually homeless.


But it was during my struggle , I didn't have anyone else to hold on to except Him. Guess what, through the pain, it restored my relationship with God on a whole new level. It's something that I would not trade for anything in this world.

He reveals to me things that I have to deal with myself, parts of me that needs total renovation. It's being pointed all clear. And in that process, He slowly heals all the broken parts of myself. My heart, to be precise. Because your thoughts and your mindset, it all comes from your heart. Obviously in this case my heart needs a $200.000 total make over. 😅

I was sad, but, at the same time, I was being lifted from the anxiety, suffocation and emotional baggage that have been building up inside me, and most importantly I was being lifted from my old ways. I remember I was being reminded by God about Romans 8:28. and it goes like this :


When God allows series of events to occur in our lives, we often become bitter and ask, "Why me, God?"

We thought we have all the reason in the world to feel angry, hurt, bitter towards people who hurt us and towards God for letting this happen. But don't get entitled to those feelings. It's easy to fall into victim-mode when you experience hardship and trauma that hurt you. It's easy to point finger at people or situation as the cause of your pain. But no, you don't have to blame people or blame yourself. There are series of uncontrollable events that finally leads you to where you are right now. In some cases, you might have a role in your storyline. Accept your part, learn from your mistake and walk forward. Learn to forgive those who have wronged you, even though I know.. I know how hard it is to forgive.. but please remember, forgiveness is a loving act that you do for YOURSELF. When you forgive someone, you're releasing yourself from the pain.

God is working in our life. He creates something new in you everyday. He is mending your broken pieces, creating something new out of them.  I believe God is building something new in me right now. My inner self is still in under construction. And along the way I realize that healing isn't a stop point. It's a continuous step. Everyday it happens. Everyday I am healing


I can finally see this season of pain as a great blessing and finally can understand why pain is there. It's there for a purpose, it's not there only for the sake of hurting people. As cliche as it sounds right now, sometimes pain is the best thing to ever happen in our lives. It's where God works and transforms us into a new creation in Him.

I have closed this beautiful chapter of my story and I'm ready for a new life chapter that God is taking me to. I cherish this season of self-discovery and I'm so grateful for everything that happened. For it finally lead to my renewed-faith in Him, and finally lead me to make peace with myself. 😀




For you out there who are currently having a battle. You are not alone in this. This battle is not only yours to fight. You might think you have to repair your broken pieces one by one. And guess what, you don't have to.

Honey, repairing you is the potter's job. Hand over your broken pieces to your potter and let Him do the job.

God is the potter. He creates masterpiece out of your brokenness.

Remember,



You are the living proof of strength and resilience.  
A broken vessel that showcases God's wonderful work within you.



Ah, so since when this blog has turned into a preach blog? 
No, honey. It's just a piece of my heart that I would like to share with you. 
A wonderful work of God that has been going in me. 
Just want to remind you, regardless of what faith you are believing in, that God is great and 
He is also working in YOUR LIFE.
No matter what the circumstance is
 Even when you can't see Him. 





Let the story of your brokenness be a light to others <3

With love,




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