A Cold and Broken Hallelujah

Today, I have all the feelings. Every single one of them. That’s not good. I don’t think we’re suppose to feel every feeling all at once because it creates an emotional tornado. Just like the real weather…all the seasons and precipitation options happening all at once creates chaos. Its not a good way to do things; but that’s what has happened in my brain the last couple days…Ā  Emotional tornados and an explosion of ALL THE FEELINGS!

Life has been a little crazy here lately, to say the least. Along with that there’s a lot of transitions, thousands of unknowns, and EVERYTHING is out of my control! That’s a very uncomfortable place for someone like me to be, but I’m truly doing my best. As is my norm, many days I don’t feel like my best is good enough, but it’s all I’ve got for now so I’m trying to accept it as is.

Now, it’s not a new realization, but this last month, and even more so in the last few days, I’ve realized that life is hard. I know…I have felt just as shocked about this as you; but it’s true. Truthfully there have been a series of very difficult times over probably the last 10-12 years of my life. Sometimes it has felt like mostly struggle; and the worst part is, much of it has been self induced struggle due to poor choices and a vast lack of self respect and self worth. I’ve worked hard on those issues and as a result of their improvement, a new arena of struggle has begun. It’s ironic that as I’ve continued to gain strength and become healthier in my life, the struggle has seemed to increase in many ways. It’s a true testament to the “it’s going to get worse before it gets better” theory. The good news in that though is that at some point, it does in fact get better. Right? šŸ˜‰

I have many friends who appear to have easy and flawless lives. Now let me preface this with the fact that I am well aware none of us have it all together, and all that glitters is never gold. I’m also a firm believer in not comparing our behind the scenes to other people’s highlight reel.Ā  BUT, there are some people who seem to have it more together than others. I have a couple of friends who literally appear to just float happily and beautifully through life. Everything they do is gorgeous, they have peace and joy that exudes from them, people flock to them and are drawn in by their presence, and they simply appear to walk with angels and dance with Jesus. In my dreams I’m this person, but I’m real enough with myself to know that I’m just not that person. I appreciate the ones that are and I am awed and inspired, but I am not them.

The song ” Hallelujah” starts off with “I heard there was a secret chord that David played and it pleased the Lord…” That’s what I feel happens for some people. They seem to know a secret chord that connects them to God and it pleases Him, and their life shines from the inside out as a result. Many times I feel like I missed the memo on the secret chord that pleases the Lord. I don’t know what it is, I don’t know how to play it, and even when I try it comes out broken and off key.

I feel like my life is much more like a later verse in that song that says,
“…and love is not a victory march. Its a cold and it’s a broken hallelujah.”
Many times, especially lately and especially when I am feeling all the feelings, spinning in my own tornado, nothing feels beautiful. Nothing feels organized, joy filled, or peaceful. I certainly don’t feel like I’m walking with angels or that they’d even want to walk with me, and most likely Jesus has given up on our dance. I’m not playing the right chords, my steps are all messy, my emotional tornado is destroying things, and nothing feels pleasing to anyone.

What I’m discovering and learning to accept is that maybe that’s the plan. Some people are suppose to know the secret chords and walk with angels and have a seemingly easy and flawless life. Others are suppose to be messy and disorganized, make poor choices and fall down way too many times, be an emotional tornado and destroy things; but then learn how to keep going. Maybe I’m suppose to be okay with the fact that I have a lot of broken pieces and I will never have it as together as I want to. There will always be struggle and my hallelujah may always be a little cold and broken. What’s important is not that the hallelujah comes out beautifully every time. What matters is that there is a hallelujah, no matter how cold, broken and messy it is.

When I feel all the feelings and I feel like a messy disaster, I am learning to try to just be that and let it be okay. God looks at me and says it’s okay, and all He wants from me is my hallelujah, no matter how it comes out. So, today I’m learning to feel all the feelings, let them make me feel overwhelmed, be in whatever mood I need to be in, allow my hallelujah to be cold and broken, but then give it all to God anyway; even if it’s broken and damaged and messy and ugly. Every single mis-shaped, out of place, poorly planned, jagged, sometimes disgusting piece of my life, my heart, and my soul are His and He loves them all. He is okay with my clenched fists and tight jaw as I struggle to give Him control. He can handle it. He doesn’t need a flawless, angelic walk from me all the time. He needs me to be me…and right now that’s messier than I want to be but it’s okay. The coldness and the brokenness of my hallelujah may be exactly where He wants me to be because it reminds me to turn to Him. And that is where I will find the beauty.

The sing ends with,
“But remember when I moved in you
And the holy dove was moving too
And every breath we drew was Hallelujah

Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah…

Maybe there’s a God above
But all I’ve ever learned from love
Was how to shoot somebody who outdrew you
And it’s not a cry that you hear at night
Its not somebody who’s seen the light. Its a cold and it’s a broken hallelujah.”

I haven’t seen the light on many things yet, but I’m thankful for a patient and understanding Father who loves me despite my slow, stubborn approach to finding the light. He takes my cold and broken hallelujahs and he makes beautiful things out of them. My tornados, my mistakes, my jagged edges, my slips, my falls, my broken pieces, and my entire messy life…He planned it, He created it, He has a purpose for it, He loves it, and He calls it beautiful! So I can call it beautiful too. I can stand with my heart busted wide opened, my fists clenched, my brain swirling, my soul shattered, and my eyes being the only thing lifted upward; and I can sing to Him my cold and broken hallelujah through my failed victory march. I can lift my weak arms up to Him as I fall to my already bruised knees, knowing He will catch me and wrap Himself around me, even when I’m annoyed, angry, irritable, frustrated, confused, ugly, broken and messy. That my friends, is where the beauty lies. That’s where I always find it. It’s in the the cold, broken, messy hallelujah!


Bon Jovi Hallelujah: http://youtu.be/34nrWcUglVg

11 thoughts on “A Cold and Broken Hallelujah

  1. I love that song, so much. I’ve heard many different renditions and each one is equally beautiful. One of these days I hope to sing it in church or for family. Thank you for sharing this heartfelt post. I got goosebumps reading this- there’s just something about the way you write that connects with me.


    • Oh Thank you so much!!! That means a lot. It is freeing to know that we do all have a secret chord that is uniquely ours and nothing will ever take that away…even if we’re a broken, busted mess. šŸ˜ƒ we are all pleasing to God because we are his children and he loves us. Thank you for saying motherhood is mine. šŸ˜


  2. Beautiful post. I really think everyone feels this way at some point…like others have it together while we’re just stumbling along. I love what you say about comparing your behind the scenes to others’ highlight reels! By the way, I didn’t know Bon Jovi covered that song. I love the Jeff Buckley version.


    • Thank you so much. I agree everyone feels this way somewhere along the way…some more often than others haha. And Yeah…there are soo many versions…I like almost all of them. I’ll have to look up the Jeff Buckley version! ā˜ŗ


  3. Oh, Rachael, your honesty really speaks to me (and I’m sure to many of us), though many of us are timid to share it sometimes. But through your words, you give us the words that is so difficult for us to express. Keep doing what you’re doing for the glory of His name!


    • Oh that truly means so much to me. Thank you!!! I feel like God has called me to write some of the hard things and so I do and I pray it touches other people as it heals me. Thanks for reading and your kind words and support!


  4. Oh, wow. Beautiful and vulnerable and so relatable! One of my favorite songs, for those very reasons. I am right there with you, feeling those feelings, praying broken hallelujahs. Just remember how many broken folks He uses for His glory. They are all over the Word, and all around us. Blessings and hugs.


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