Broken

B-R-O-K-E-N!! Have you ever felt broken? Like life really gave you a beating and you just couldn’t get back up? Have you felt that there was no way you would ever be made whole again?

I don’t know about you. But, I definitely have felt that way before and it is not my favorite feeling. It is actually the WORST feeling.

I think that at some point in our life, we will ALL feel broken and hopeless. I don’t say that as some sort of death wish for all of you and I don’t want something bad to happen to you. I just say that because that’s how life is. We can’t escape those breaking moments, no matter how hard we try.

Why? Why do we have to feel broken? Why do we have to go through experiences that bring us down? Why do we have to go through some hard, terrible things?

Although these moments are not something that we would choose to live through, they become the defining moments for our life. It is these moments that make us who we are. You see, there is a quote that explains this perfectly. “In Japan, broken objects are often repaired with gold. The flaw is seen as a unique piece of the object’s history, which adds to its beauty. Consider this when you feel broken.”

I find this quite interesting. Most people, when they brake a glass object, quickly sweep it up and dump it in the trash. That might be the cause of us treating ourselves like trash whenever we are feeling broken… I’m just saying!! But the Japanese have a better tradition that we need to reconsider. They say that flaws are seen as a unique piece of the object’s history.

When I think about my own history, I do think about all the happy moments in my life, the moments that I purposely want to remember. However, I can’t keep out the bad ones. They stick to my story like super glue to an object because they are a part of who I am.

Many years ago, I was a victim to someone else’s brokenness. It in turn left me feeling quite broken and worthless. I’m not even sure that this individual knew that… They kept living on, wrapped up and absorbed in their own brokenness. They didn’t even realize that they had broken me along the way. I’m sure many of you have had similar experiences. Although it is easy to get offended because of it, the truth of the matter is that it was not something meant to destroy. It was just something that happened as a result of someone being broken themselves. When we are broken, we have sharp edges that can potentially hurt others.

I remember that I would cry myself to sleep many nights in a row and pray to a God that I didn’t feel was listening. I felt worthless, hopeless and like trash.

But, He being a loving and perfect God, even a Heavenly Father, was in fact listening. He was there with me every step of the way. He was the Japanese master that recognized that my flaws and broken heart were going to make me unique and beautiful. He turned this part of my life into gold. Instead of hatred and bitterness, a flame of love, forgiveness and hope ignited in my heart. God did not abandon me and He helped me to feel whole again.

There was another time that I felt broken while I was serving my mission in New York City. Missions are supposed to be exciting times and you’re never supposed to have hard times. Or so I thought… As a young woman, far away from her family, experiencing culture shock and not having loved ones to rely on, I found it hard when people would share their horrendous experiences with me. I had not prepared myself for that, thinking that everything was going to be rainbows and butterflies.

My main purpose as a missionary was to invite others to come unto Christ and to love and serve them with all my heart. Loving them and serving them came quite easily to me. I am the type of person that opens my heart quickly to others. I enjoy helping others find joy, love and laughter in their life.

What I wasn’t expecting to feel was the burdens of the people that I served. I didn’t know that I would be witness to the various trials in their lives and that there were rainstorms, dampening the lives of the people that I had grown to love.

Hearing story after story of traumas and broken families and broken people, I was weighed down not knowing how to help them. Because I had opened my heart to them, my heart was also breaking. I was feeling the pains that were written in their hearts. I didn’t have my family or friends to turn to. I felt alone and almost hopeless.

I remember listening to what at the time was my theme song: “Worn” from a group called Tenth Avenue North. The lyrics read, “I’m tired, I’m worn. My heart is heavy. From the work it takes, to keep on breathing. I’ve made mistakes, I’ve let my hopes fail. My soul feels crushed by the weight of this world.” I lived those words. I felt crushed by the weight of the world. I felt tired and worn. I felt like I couldn’t make a difference in the lives of those people who desperately needed hope.

But you know God. He has a plan of his own. He had not forgotten me and He had not forgotten the people that I was there to serve. As I cried out with the pain of a broken heart, my loving God sent me comfort, strength, and peace. That’s when he reminded me of the following words to that song. “But I know that you can give me rest. So I cry out with all that I have left. Let me see redemption win, let me know the struggle ends, that you can mend a heart that’s frail and torn. I want to know the song can rise, from the ashes of broken life and all that’s dead inside can be reborn”.

God was reminding me that he is the mender of broken hearts. That He is the master of turning our brokenness into gold. I was not only able to become whole again, but a lot of the people I served were able to feel that healing power as well.

From just these two simple stories (believe me, there are many more…), I know that my flaws and broken pieces are a part of my unique history. They are my defining moments that shape my character and strengthen my qualities. I have learned more about my God and myself through those moments. I would never take them back, even after all the pain I went through.

When we feel tired and worn and the weight of the world crushing down on us, we need only remember that there is someone who mends broken things and that makes them TRULY BEAUTIFUL. There is someone that listens to what seems to us as unanswered prayers.

“Broken souls that need His mending. Broken hearts for offering. I believe that God loves broken things. This broken soul that cries for mending. This broken heart for offering. I’m convinced that God loves broken me. Praise His name, my God loves broken things” (Kenneth Cope).

All About Me

Who is Jessica Hernandez? The big question. Well, I wish I could say that I have an answer for you, but I honestly don’t. The Jessica that I was as a little girl has gone through many experiences that have shifted, changed, reshaped and ultimately refined her. There is no saying who I will be tomorrow. All I know is who I am today!

The wonderful thing about life is that we are constantly evolving and changing. Sure, it is going to be painful, uncomfortable and it might not always be what we imagine. But, it means we can have new begins and transformations and fresh starts. It means that we are not unchangeable and stuck. What a relief that is?!?

I could write my changing moments in a journal. I could write them into my own personal blog just for me. But then again, I get the feeling that God has put me through some of my experiences so that I can help and support others who go through something similar. I can’t help but feel that God doesn’t want me to remain silent, when maybe my story can help and benefit someone else.

Quite frankly, I don’t know who my blog is for. I know that some days it will be for me. Some days it might be for my future kids. Or some days it might be for someone that I don’t even know that just happend upon my blog.

As I said before. I am Jessica- a wife, a some day mother, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, a teacher for students with special needs, a beautician, and just a normal, every day girl.

I was born and raised in Tucson and I am still here! Those of you that have been in Tucson, know what it is like to fall in love and just stay. I love the smell of desert rain, cuddling in a blanket, reading a book while we get monsoon showers. I also don’t shy away from running out in that rain and dancing my little heart out. I love the stunning sunsets that bless us every night. Tucson is a wonderful place to be.

I come from a family with two amazing parents and 9 rambunctious, crazy awesome kids. I have 5 beautiful sisters and 3 goofy brothers. Growing up in a big family helped me learn a lot about patience, multitasking in a LOUD space, and always living in the moment. I can’t tell you how many times we kept each other laughing or exploring new crazy ideas. I wouldn’t change my childhood for the world.

When I was 19, I decided to serve a full time mission for my church. I was sent to New York to love and teach the people there. That experience changed me drastically. I am so grateful for the experiences I had there and for the people I met who stole parts of my heart. To this day, New York continues to hold a chunk of my heart! There will be more to come on the adventure I embarked upon when I stepped foot in the state of New York.

2 years ago I married the most charming man, the love of my life, Isaac Hernandez. Our story is not the typical romantic story. But it is my most favorite love story and the best part is that it won’t be over for hmmm lets see, just forever!!

Now before this gets too long and you just stop reading. (SORRY!) I just want to make sure its clear that this blog is simply going to be about the life of me. The lessons I have learned and will continue to learn. The adventures that have shaped me into who I am today, both the good, the bad, the ugly, the sad. I might throw in my hobbies like art, singing, learning to cook, learning to exercise at home, and all that fun jazz.

Stay tuned to go on this journey with me and find out what this blog will become and the things we will learn together!

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