SPOTLIGHT - when brokenness hurts

About the Spotlight Writer

 Hi friends! I’m Emily Sartor! I’m about to start my freshman year at Baylor University where I will be studying Nursing. I’m on the grandest adventure with my sweet Jesus, an enneagram type 2, I have a deep passion for people, discipleship, and purposefully making a home of choice. I’m a fan of vanilla lattes and an even bigger fan of the deep conversation that happen while sipping them. 

You can find me on Instagram at

Brokenness has always been a thing I never quite understood. I couldn’t come to to terms with why God would allow it.

Broken people.

Broken places.

Broken homes.

Broken relationships.




Yet, I’ve realized that there isn’t a single person around us who hasn’t lost something, who doesn’t hurt, who doesn’t have some kind of unspoken broken. We can all relate through our brokenness.

In recent months, I have seen Hurricane Harvey destroy Houston. I have seen marriages fail. Friendships end. Close friends and mentors arrested. Betrayal. Numbness.  Deep hurt arise. I have seen brokenness on an entirely new level.

My journals have always served as a safe place for my heart to dump and be refreshed.
But recently, they have been a gathering place of emotion.

“I hurt. Today more than ever. Every emotion flooding into my heart, breaking the glass protection surrounding my heart. Anger. Betrayal. Sorrow. Numbness. All my current reality. Emotions are flooding and I am drowning. I cannot see the hope. Maybe I refuse to, but I feel as if I am in that moment of sinking, floating to the bottom and slowly watching the surface drift further and further away. Brokenness has struck.”

These were the words I had written in my journal just weeks ago. Emotions were fresh and raw, dealing with brokenness first hand.

Since then, my heart has been on a rollercoaster ride. Some days are good, other days are bad. Tears still come crashing and remind me of the trauma that occurred in my current world.

People would tell me that it would all be okay, but I couldn’t see it. I never realized how broken I was. The brokenness I was feeling was managing to bring up so many past hurts,that I didn’t ever feel like it was going to be okay.

People would then ask me if I was mad at God. I guess it seemed that I had every right to be mad at Him. I had seen evil and brokenness wreck every good thing around me. Yet, I couldn’t get my heart to be mad at God. The hurt and the brokenness showed me the beauty of Christ ever more. The truth is that Christ doesn’t change. Scripture remains steadfast. Christ remains good. Ever faithful. He see us when we have no prayers, only tears, then our tears suffice as prayer. He knows the cries of His children. He doesn’t ever leave us or forsake us to our brokenness. I’m clinging to that.

Paul Miller puts it better than I could. He says “The very thing we are afraid of, our brokenness, is the door to the Father’s heart.”

This is the truest of human statements I could find to put what I have realized in these past few weeks into words.

My current brokenness has made community even greater, friendships stronger, and my faith deeper.

From random breakfast dates, worshipping with a broken and hurting community, to sitting on living room floors crying and praying, the Father’s heart has been evident. Everything that is the Father’s heart I have seen better.

I know His heart breaks with great grief when He sees us hurting. He has hurt far more than we could ever imagine when he bore our sins upon the cross. He knows our suffering first hand. He knows our brokenness firsthand. He knows us. But there is a truth we so often forget.

Matthew 5:3-4 (MSG) puts it sweetly.
“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule. “You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.”

We’re blessed when we cry.
We’re blessed when we’re sad. Mourning the loss of what we love. We are held by the One who loves us. There is a strange and aching happiness only the hurting know— for their Father holds them.

I am thankful for that.

I am thankful for Christ, who is our ever present comforter.

I am thankful we never once are left to our brokenness. That the Gospel shines brighter and proves to be the thing that we need to piece us back together.

I am thankful being broken is not the end, but the beginning.

My prayer for myself, my prayer for you is this—that wherever you are, if you are sorting through your brokenness or waiting for it to happen, know that brokenness is not the end. When our hearts break, it makes room for a greater love—the love of Christ. He pieces us back together again in ways we never imagined, stronger and closer to His heart.