There was a quote on social media that caught my attention. The phrase, “Broken crayons still color” is a truth that I have embraced and shared on many occasions through my own testimony. We have heard and will continue to hear throughout our state convention, “Embracing brokenness as opportunity for the Gospel.”

Each of us have had our fair share of brokenness in our lives where we have experienced deaths, discouragements and disappointments. I have been broken multiple times and in various ways, but I have learned to embrace those broken moments as opportunities for God to rescue, restore and redeem me.

I am reminded I still have value and purpose. I can still be used just as a broken crayon can still color. There are people all across the state who are broken, but do they know how to find hope and healing? Sharing our story helps others identify and understand what God has done for us and what He can do for them.

Early in my marriage, my wife and I had a baby girl who was stillborn. A time of brokenness yet God sustained us. About two years later, we were expecting again, and in the fifth month of the pregnancy, my wife had to be hospitalized due to pre-eclampsia.

We were told by doctors that we were at the point where we had to deliver immediately. Our baby boy was delivered prematurely and rushed to the NICU. We knew the chance of survival was slim but remained hopeful. Three days later, he died. Another moment of brokenness where I had no answers or explanations.

I believe others embraced our brokenness as an opportunity for the Gospel. My wife and I discussed the possibility of foster-adopting children, and we went through the application process. In July 2004, we were contacted by a tribal child welfare, notifying us there was a newborn baby boy needing placement and if we were willing and interested.

We agreed, and that evening the baby boy was placed in our home. Two weeks later, the baby boy’s 4-year-old brother was placed with us, and by the end of the same month came their two sisters. This was the first time, all of the children were together in one home.

Our plans were to adopt the children as our own, but the biological parents would never fully agree to terminate parental rights. I answered the call to ministry in 2007 at Indian Falls Creek (IFC), and my wife was on course to graduate in December that year with her elementary education degree from Oklahoma Baptist University. After IFC, the children were removed from our home without any real cause or justification. We were both completely broken and devastated.

I questioned if I made a mistake in answering the call, and my wife wanted to quit school. We later found a note from one of the girls which read, “Mom and Dad, I don’t know why this happened and why we had to leave, but thank you for taking us in and caring and most of all thank you for telling us about Jesus! Mom, you’re going to be a great teacher, and Dad, I hope you go preach all over the world.”

Brokenness is all around us, and I share my story to encourage you to share your story with others, so they can begin to write their own. Psalm 96:3 says, “Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous works among all the peoples!”