Toni Collier is the founder of an international women’s organization called Broken Crayons Still Color, which helps women process through brokenness and get to hope. She is a speaker, host, and author of Brave Enough to be Broken, in which she shares her personal story of brokenness and provides you with a biblical roadmap to guide you on your healing journey. Toni is teaching people all over the globe that you can be broken and worthy and unqualified and still called to do great things. She doesn’t want you to just face your demons, she wants you to quash the illusion of your brokenness so you can live the most colorful life possible, on and off stage. It’s a grace to welcome Toni to the farm’s table today…
I went over to a friend’s house to congratulate her after finding out she was pregnant. Her daughter burst out of her room and said, “Yay! I prayed for a whole year for a baby sister and God gave me one!” My daughter Dylan overheard, and on the car ride home asked me, “Mom, if I prayed for a year for a baby sister, will God give me one too?” Another kid? I almost spit my chai latte out.
Her innocence made me think of all my prayers for the things I longed for. The moments when I’d seen a friend get something I wanted and a longing rose up in me, the moments I pleaded for God to take the anxiety that plagued me at night away and the times my prayers were just broken cries for comfort. Those prayers were the ones that just needed breakthrough, healing and with-ness.
“God wants nothing more than for you to talk to Him.“
I replied to her, “Well, babe, God wants you to bring all your prayers to Him, big or small. And He loves us so much that He gives us the ones that He knows are good for us and doesn’t give us the ones He thinks won’t be good for us. God wants nothing more than for you to talk to Him.”
She smiled, and later in the ride I heard her whispering to God with her eyes closed. She was leaning into the awe and wonder of a big God that answers prayers–even the small, broken ones.
“When we realize we’re not the author and finisher of our stories, we want to connect with the One who is.”
Part of what it means to be broken human beings is the realization that there’s someone greater than us at work, hovering over us and guiding our prayers towards our good. When we realize we’re not the author and finisher of our stories, we want to connect with the One who is. We want a relationship with the Creator. Not only the One who created the world but the One who knit us together cell by cell in our mothers’ wombs.
Prayer is how we do that. But often prayer is mistaken as something else.
- Prayer is not a magic formula. It’s not intended to be done and then, poof, everything we want or don’t want will magically appear or disappear.
- Prayer is not our duty to God. It’s not something that can be checked off a list. As an achiever on the Enneagram personality spectrum, this has been my greatest struggle. I want to perform my way through life. I can attempt to place my value in how much I can get done, and I must be actively aware that I tend to do that with prayer as well. Prayer is more about being than doing.
“Prayer is about bringing our surrendered brokenness to a whole God who is the glue to our shattered existence.“
- Prayer is not meditation. There’s nothing wrong with meditation. It can bring real peace and rest to our bodies. But prayer is much more than that. Prayer is about connecting to the Source of everlasting life, joy, and purpose. It is intentional shalom and focused presence.
Prayer is about bringing our surrendered brokenness to a whole God who is the glue to our shattered existence. It doesn’t require a strategy or a set of rules to follow because God is more interested in our heart towards Him than our ability to say the “right” things to Him.
God wants us to show up as our authentic selves. While He knows everything, He delights in hearing about the things in our lives that scare us and confuse us. He loves to hear our longings for wholeness, for healing and even for new baby sisters.
So, start praying honest prayers full of raw emotion. He can handle it. He marvels at the beauty of our feminine hearts that become completely surrendered and willing to be held in His hands through prayer.
“God wants us to pray in intimate spaces with sincere and even broken hearts.“
Matthew 6:5–6 says, “When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door, and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
God wants us to pray in intimate spaces with sincere and even broken hearts. And, just like we feel more connected to our friends when we share our deepest thoughts, feelings, and experiences, when we do that with God, we become more connected to Him.
None of us are perfect. And that is okay! Trauma, abuse, childhood wounds, and toxic relationships have broken us. But there is no shame in brokenness. In fact, it’s in our brokenness where the healing power of Jesus comes to find us.
Brave Enough to Be Broken: How to Embrace Your Pain and Discover Hope and Healing is Toni Collier’s personal story of brokenness, and it is a biblical road map you can use to heal from the pain, the shame, and the regrets that have tried to steal your joy, so you can rest in the unconditional love, healing, and hope of Jesus. Toni knows that many of us feel the pressure to be perfect when what we really want is the freedom to be broken. She invites you to lean in with her as we explore our brokenness together and discover the light of Christ ushering us to a new day of healing. Redemption will look good on you.
Visit ToniJCollier.com/Brave and download the first chapter now.
[ Our humble thanks to Nelson Books for their partnership in today’s devotional ]