The Broken Season: What People Don’t Tell You

I was just scrolling through facebook, and I came across this quote from Bill Bennott that says “How we walk with the broken speaks louder than how we sit with the great.” Man, that just resonated all the way into my soul.

I’ve had some broken seasons. 

That quote just made me think of the people who sat with me in my brokenness, but it also made me think of the people who walked away. 

Have you been there? 

There are so many things people don’t tell you about brokenness.

People don’t always stay:

I grew up in the church, and for a very long time, I idealistically believed all the things the church preached because I didn’t understand the role humanity plays in the world.  I believed that when the world fell apart, the church, its leaders, and the people in it would always be there to catch me and pick up the pieces.  


The problem with people is that they are people–people with their own issues, their own humanity, and their own flaws.  Consequently, when things fall apart, not everyone will stay.  Sometimes, it’s even those people you were closest to, who you thought loved you the most, and who you thought would always walk with you who don’t stay.  

That is heartbreaking.

On top of the world falling apart, you then have to deal with the added feelings of loss and abandonment.

People will say the absolutely wrong thing:

Those people who do stay during seasons of brokenness, they love you, but most of them have no idea what to say or to navigate this season with you.  They will say all the wrong things, out of places of awkwardness, ignorance, and compassion.

At the end of the day, they just want to comfort you, but they typically go about it all wrong.

It’s really lonely there.

Even with the best circle surrounding you, seasons of turmoil, tragedy, and brokenness are some of the most lonely seasons because so much of the work of these seasons falls solely on your shoulders. 

No one else can fix your brokenness.  You just have to sit in it and ride it out.  That can be exceptionally lonely because the work of processing and healing is hard, lonely work.

Again, people don’t know what to say to you, and humans aren’t typically skilled at holding space quietly for each other.

This is temporary.

I am all too familiar with feeling as if a season of brokenness is never going to end.  

But it will.

They always do.

You need to pay attention to the people that are still there.

If you’re in a season of brokenness right now, quietly look around and see who is walking through this season with you.

Those are your people.

Keep them around.

Amazing things can happen in the wilderness.

When I was struggling through my broken seasons, I felt like I was lost in the wilderness.  

I struggled to get my bearings almost daily.

I struggled to see how I could ever make it out of the wilderness.

I struggled to see how God could ever heal this brokenness.

What I learned, though, was that the times I have been the closest to God and heard his voice the loudest were in those seasons of brokenness while I felt lost in the wilderness.

If you’re in a season of brokenness right now, you are not alone. My prayer is that you give yourself a little grace today, that you look around and recognize the people who are sitting with you in this season, and that you remember the hope in these wilderness stories.

  • The Israelites wandered around a literal wilderness for 40 years before entering the land God had promised them.
  • Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness after his baptism. During that time of fasting and prayer, he resisted Satan’s temptations repeatedly, relying fully on God’s word and guidance.
  • Job lived in a metaphorical wilderness as he endured repeated pain and misery, but he never turned away from God, was restored completely, and enjoyed more life and blessings during the second half of his life.
  • Saul had a wilderness experience on the road to Damascus where he was blinded for three days before having a complete life change and becoming Paul–who would write so much of what we know as the New Testament today.
  • The Woman at the Well was living her own wilderness life when Jesus met her at the well and changed her life and her reputation.  After that, she shared her experience with her town and is the reason those people came to believe.

Your wilderness story and broken season is not the end of your story. It’s simply a chapter. So, hang on with grace and look to God for the hope that will come with the next chapter.

Until Next Time,


Reflections for your journal (or for comment)

  1. Who are the people sitting with you in this broken season (or who sat with you in your broken season)?
  2. Who are the people who have walked away?
  3. How have you thanked your circle and grieved those you’ve lost?
  4. What is it you’re learning from your time in the wilderness?
  5. How are you going to give yourself grace today?

Scriptures to read and reflect on:

John 4

Job 42:12-17

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