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what coffee taught me about brokenness

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Hitting my alarm clock with perhaps a little too much fervor, my brain tried to sort through the fog of typical morning questions like where am I? what day is it? am I supposed to be going to school? and why was I dreaming that I was going to Mexico? After I sorted through my confusion, I smiled, remembering I’m on Christmas break and can wake up lazily, enjoying the morning. In light of this revelation, I grabbed a sweatshirt and headed to the kitchen to make a fresh cup of French Press coffee.

Now, if you’ve never made a good ‘ole cup of French Press, you’re missing out. This is the BEST morning pick-me-up remedy out there. It’s a simple process and delivers results that leave your taste buds dancing. But enough about that, back to the story at hand.

I found my way to the kitchen and began dumping heaping scoops of coffee beans into the French Press, topped with boiling water, and then sauntered off for a few minutes to let it steep.

Little did I realize that I had missed a vital step.

Instantly, as I poured my cup, I realized something was wrong. Coffee is not supposed to look like tea. And then it clicked. You’re not supposed to put WHOLE coffee beans in the French Press! In order to make a delicious, flavor-filled cup of coffee, you must first grind the beans, breaking them apart.
Welcome round two.
After making my second round and inhaling that first delicious sip, I began thinking about life and what those coffee beans represented in me. Often, I forget (and perhaps don’t want to accept!) that it’s in being broken that the full flavor of me is exposed and poured out onto the world around me. 
I don’t tend to appreciate brokenness. In fact, I run as fast as I can away from it. I’ve experienced it too many times and the uncomfortable weight of helplessness surrounding me makes me wish I had control. 
I think I’m supposed to live in brokenness though.
When I’m broken, there’s nothing left of me…the only thing left for me to do is trust God. There are so many things in my life that I can’t control: what I’ll be doing after I graduate from college, if a relationship will work out or not, if my friendships will stand the test of time, where I’ll live…the list could go on. And this is the point when I usually try to control those looming question marks in my life. I wrap them into tiny little coffee bean shapes and place them neatly in the French Press of my life. But I pillow my head at night dissatisfied because my life tastes like tea when I ordered coffee, flavorless and dull.
Do I believe God wants me to live in a broken state, depressed and in despair? Not at all. It’s what I choose to do next in my brokenness and uncertainty that makes all the difference.
When I look at those looming question marks, what I do with them is what matters. I can either embrace the fact that I am not in control and allow everything of me to be broken, leaving room for me to trust God completely; or I can package my life into neat portions and live thinking I’m in control, but in reality feeling truly miserable.
Rich flavor is only found in brokenness. I want to become a person who lets her hair down, ditches perfection, wanders well, and welcomes brokenness with open arms.

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