Brokenness to Beautiful

Updated: Aug 19, 2021

A wise man once said, “Everything you go through is to show you a new aspect of who God is.”





As I launch this new website, I am compelled to step back and see God in the things I have experienced which led me to this point.


I consider the moments of difficulty in the journey, both of moving to Texas in 2015 and moving back to Georgia in 2019. There was a series of losses in my life: From losing my job, selling my house, losing friendships, losing my health, losing another job due to my health condition, my beloved dog dying and eventually losing my joy. Upon moving back to Georgia, there was the loss of furniture as I discovered mold in my rented house, loss of direction from months of not finding a job, and I had started to lose hope that things could ever get better. I struggled with ultimately losing control.


During this time, I tried to re-assemble the broken pieces unsuccessfully. I expressed my grief online and something extraordinary happened. Another artist friend reached out to me and gave me tons of stain glass for free! I did what any artist would do; I started making art to feel productive in my use of time. As always, the process lent itself to a new surge of purpose and passion. I chose to use stain glass to create a mosaic on an old vintage windowpane. At one point, I dropped the box of shard pieces and despite my frustration of having to pick up tiny pieces one by one; I stopped a moment to take in the view. It was a mess, but it was a beautiful one. I started to see my life as something in the process of becoming beautiful again.


While at a junction of uncertainty in the design I was creating, I paused to feel the ache of not knowing. Living in the tension of an unknown future, I decided to talk to my best friend and in so doing, began to see themes and images of what I wanted to create in my window. The view was of bringing heaven to earth, bringing hope to my broken circumstances. Bringing color back into a life that had been so void of peace and joy.


As I completed the mosaic, I once again saw how it mirrored my own life. The hours I toiled with no results showed me the futility of striving. Connecting with those who support me in the journey as well as the need to step away for a while to gain perspective was imperative. Mosaic making really spoke to my soul.


I find that art making is a parallel process to my own life within. Whatever it is I’m creating, whatever it is I’m able to take notice of, is a way God and my own self is talking to me. I just needed to listen more, take time to observe the big and little things in the process. By doing so, I realize I am growing. Not only has mosaic making blessed me personally, it has been a gift I’ve been able to share with others. It is a joy to create something of beauty for others who need it because I believe beauty heals.


At some point in our lives, each of us break. It is in this breaking, we discover more about God and ourselves. The brokenness becomes beautiful. As we cooperate with God in the process, He brings heaven to earth. David spoke the truth when he said all of us “have become broken pottery.” (Psalm 31:12). I’m just thankful that there is a God who picks up all our pieces and makes a mosaic of our lives. He’s the one who makes all things beautiful in His time. (Ecclesiastes 3:11) Amen.


W.D.VanOrder

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