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God’s Tender Healing in Unexpected Brokenness

Recently, I’ve been watching birds more, taking notice of their movement patterns. Some days, it’s the cardinal who stops long enough to garner my attention, or the geese flying in a V-shaped pattern overhead. God created them with a purpose and instinct for survival. Maybe we are more like birds than we think?

I’ve often thought of marriage as an eagle with the husband and the wife each serving as a wing to one body. When both wings work together, they serve to elevate the body and propel the eagle in an upward direction. This allows the eagle to soar and beautifully glide, allowing all who see it to marvel at its splendor, a beautiful reflection of Christ and His Church. But what happens when one wing is damaged and no longer serving the body? You can imagine, the eagle becomes unbalanced and can no longer soar as it was designed to do by our Creator. The same impact is seen in marriage.

Three years ago, my marriage was hit by this type of brokenness. My husband revealed he no longer wanted to remain in our marriage. To say I was blindsided, devastated, and heartbroken would be an understatement. If you’ve been in this situation, you know how this can rip a soul apart and the amount of energy it takes to just breathe.

I spent the next three years fighting a fierce spiritual battle for my marriage while growing closer in my relationship with God, knowing He was the only sure foundation on which I could withstand this storm of life. To be honest, for the first two and a half years, I thought it was only a matter of time before God would change hearts of stone to tender hearts of flesh open to honoring His design and we could begin the work of restoration and healing. I fervently prayed Ezekiel 11:19-20 multiple times a day and all hours of the night for 1,011 days.

It wasn’t until a few months ago that I felt peace as God released me, telling me it was ok to let go through His Word. I had done all I could do and was no longer bound. God had spent the previous three years working on MY heart, teaching me to discern His voice, growing my trust and dependence on Him. He revealed truth in bite sized pieces that I could process without being overwhelmed, all so I could be led out of my Egypt.

My husband and I have been separated for three weeks now. But I’ve had three years to grieve the loss of my marriage leading up to our recent separation. During that time, God called me to write. I started writing out my hurts, fears, and prayers to which God would respond with comfort through His Word. This was my therapy, literally hours per day with God as He grew my understanding of who He was and my own identity in Christ. He took the time to meet me where I was, cradle my hurting heart, and assure me that even when man would fail me, He Himself would forever remain faithful. I was never alone and my heart was in the hands of our Creator.

Lord, it is so much better to trust in you to save me than to put my confidence in someone else.

Psalm 118:8 TPT

Recently, during a quiet moment with God He prompted me to research the healing process for a broken wing. When a bird has a broken wing, a caretaker will gently wrap the injured wing securely to the bird’s body to allow it time to heal. This act alone requires an incredible amount of trust and cooperation from the bird. Once the wing is wrapped, the injured bird will inevitably fall over as it is now unbalanced, but must learn to get back up again. It must learn to balance and correct its equilibrium all over again. The caretaker is present to provide support as the injured bird regains its sense of balance and equilibrium, but this is a process the bird must struggle through.⠀

The caretaker is watchful when the unbalanced bird attempts a drink. If it falls into enough water, the bird could drown without use of the broken wing. This is when the caretaker must help the bird back up. The bird will flop and flail as it attempts to save itself with only one wing but ultimately, it’s the hand of the caretaker that lifts the injured bird preventing it from drowning when in too deep. ⠀

Eventually, the wing is healed and the bird will fly off to resume its created purpose. Maybe it’s not an eagle but rather a tenderly cared for sparrow. ⠀

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“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.”

Matthew 10: 29 NIV

God’s method of mending our broken hearts is much the same. He binds our wounds, provides love and support under the shelter of His wing as we learn to balance in our newly broken state, and rescues us from drowning when we fall in over our heads. The more time we spend in His presence and trust Him as our caretaker, the more our healing progresses.  

Friends, if you are nurturing a broken wing I understand how unbalanced life can feel. I understand how the pain and struggle can make you feel like you are constantly on shaky ground making it hard to stand up again, let alone walk. I know what it’s like to fall into the water and need His hand to lift you out. But I also know the peace and relief that surrounds our being when He does. I have felt that overwhelming wash of relief from our Heavenly Father and knew in that moment, my broken wing was going to heal and I would soar again as He wrapped my brokenness in His love. I wish the same for you.

Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.

Psalms 63:7 NIV

I’m still healing, resting in the refuge of His wings. In fact, that’s exactly where this post was written. God held me and tenderly spoke these words to my heart while sitting in my car in a nearby Target parking lot. I had fallen off balance into water and was drowning as I prayed for strength to get through an event I had previously committed to – one in which my newly separated husband would also be present.

Why am I sharing this? When I began writing two years ago, I knew there would be a time to share this part of my story. I would always say, “When the time is right I will have much to say.” In this quiet moment, God whispered, “It’s time.” Although I want to be transparent in my healing journey to share the comfort I have so generously received, I can only share the part of the story that is mine to share as God leads me to do so. That is the part where God binds our broken wings and gently lifts us out of the water so we don’t drown.

“For you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.”

Psalm 63:7-8 ESV

Friend, if your heart is wounded, I want you to hear this today.

God heals hearts.

I’ve read about it.

I’ve heard about it.

I’ve witnessed it.

And now, I’m living it.

It’s real!

If your heart is broken, cry out to God. He is the healer of hearts and the mender of things broken.

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Psalm 147:3 NIV

Let’s soar and help our sisters in Christ soar together. If you have a story of brokenness and healing, I would love to hear from you. I am wrapping up the Unexpected Series in this quarter but the next series will be titled ‘Unbroken’.


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Stand up, shake off the dust, straighten your crown, and walk forward confidently grounded in truth. 



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11 Comments

  • Jen Roland

    Dear Heather, My heart aches for what you have had to go through, but I have no doubt God will use it to help you and others soar! Your commitment to the Lord in the midst of such a difficult situation was met by His love and faithfulness, and it blesses me to see you pour the love and comfort you recieved from Him upon others who are hurting. This message was truly a gift. Thank you for reminding us that brokenness is not the end of the story, and for pointing us to the One who puts us back together and makes us whole. Love you, friend, and I am praying for you!

    #straightenyourcrown #healinginbrokenness

  • Chris Reinhardt

    Beautifully written Heather. So very sorry you had to experience this hurt but, I praise God it brought you closer to Him. What an awesome testimony!

    Becky’s Mom

  • Debra

    I just wish I could hug you. That took courage, and you stood strong and accomplished it. The best part was releasing that bottled up hurt and disappointment. I love you 🤗

  • Shelley Harrington

    So beautiful Heather. My heart aches for you and also I am so inspired by your wise words. My story is so different and yet I too have a broken wing I am healing and learning to use again, so I am tremendously grateful that you shared your story. I too have been writing about the sparrow…God must be doing something here…you are not alone ❤️

    • Heather Jeffery

      Shelley, God cares for our broken wings regardless of the varying trauma that caused it. He cares for yours too and I know He is doing something new in both of our lives. “For I am about to do something new. see, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19 NLT

  • Mary Armand

    Heather, you are so brave! Thanks for sharing your journey so beautifully. Your words will help others that are struggling with a broken wing. Bless you as you walk out your healing.

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