caroline holzberger

Keepin' it real about motherhood, Jesus, life, and everything in between.

If it Ain’t Broke…

Don’t fix it.

We’ve all heard the phrase many times before, especially in my neck of the woods – the South.

We aren’t known for our ‘deep thoughts’ to be grammatically sound. Quick disclaimer: I was raised by an English teaching Mom, and therefore she constantly lovingly corrected my poor grammar.

Me: “Can me and Lindsay go to the mall?”

Mom: “Can Lindsay and I?” shoot me now.

I bear the mark of a grammar nut. Notsomuch a scarlet letter…more like the red ink letter of a Bic grading pen. My former-writer big brother inherited a much keener sense for the world of grammar, especially when it comes to writing, whereas I feel punctuation rules are mere suggestions, we are a product of our environment. So, nevertheless, I have been known to correct people, yes adults, when they speak poorly. And, those of you who know me well, know that ‘broke’ is my all-time biggest pet peeve. It literally give me the chills to hear “My car’s broke.” Shudder. No, your car is brokeN. N-N-N-N – it’s only ONE more freaking, letter for goodness sake. So, in case there not their or they’re is a chance you say something is ‘broke’ and subsequently your I.Q. drops twenty points please know the correct way to announce such news is, “My car is brokeN.” Please, for the love of everything grammatically pure and holy – say the ‘n’ too not to or two. Thank you. I’m done.

So…”If something isn’t broken, it doesn’t need to be fixed.” – that’s the gist. And it sounds logical, I guess. Sort of. Although, I think it truly depends on what the ‘thing’ is we’re talking about.

For instance – if we are speaking of a favorite recipe, perhaps the saying holds true. If you know the delicate affair between the sweet and the tangy offers up a perfect meal that tables of people have swooned over – then sure. If it ain’t broke(n), don’t fix it.

But, maybe the line drawn in the sand between ‘broken’ and ‘not-broken’ isn’t quite as clear?  Maybe you’re talking about the way you’ve done your hair? At different times in our lives, both my big brother and I have been plagued with the decade old hair style. Dun, dun, duuuun. His was far less fortunate than mine (sorry big bro- you know I’m right) but it always worked for us in the past. And hey, if it ain’t broke(n)…right?!? Besides, it’s quite a commitment to up and change your hair style out of nowhere. As a wise friend says, “your hair style is like an outfit you have to wear every day” Preach. After all, it’s one thing to have a bad hair day, but an entire bad hair decade?!? That’s tragic. But…is it really ‘broken’ per say? Not really…who’s to say? So…I guess don’t fix it? Or fix it? Sheesh – who knows? Find a cute hat and call it done.

But, sometimes the broken thing is far more serious. Unfortunately, over the last two weeks, I have both seen tears and shed tears over one broken thing that can’t be ignored – a broken heart.

I am not exaggerating when I say that I have literally been in contact with people who have shed real live tears in my presence over a heart that is truly broken. Not kinda broken. Not almost broken. But, bro.ken. And, every one of these people’s hearts were broken over a love that was equally as broken. Each of these people cried over a marriage – not what it used to be – not where it should be – not what they dreamt it would be. And here’s the notsofunny thing – it doesn’t matter a flying flip how long you’ve been married, either. One couple had been married three months. Another, over ten years. Another, more than four decades.

All broken.

All in desperate need of fixing.

And all with one common theme – sin.

Whether that sin was indifference or infidelity. Isolation or aggravation. Each tear cried was over how sin had broken their hearts.

And now, as I type this, I’ve cried my own tears over a broken heart. Not my own, this time, although I’ve cried many tears over my broken heart – but this time, on behalf of a treasured friend of mine. Her heart was broken Saturday as she got the news. You know the dreadful scene I’m referring to. She came face to face with the sudden and tragic reality of death. Not only of her husband of over forty years, but of the very life that she knew.

Like each of the tears I’ve seen these past two weeks, this damage was done by sin.

No, her precious husband didn’t die in sin or from sin – he died because of sin. The wages of sin is death. (Romans 6:23) The grief she is trying to not suffocate from, was never God’s intention. Ever. He wanted to be united with us for eternity. He didn’t desire death. Or separation. Or broken hearts. Or sin. But, that is what happened. That is our world now. Engulfed in sin so deep, we can’t often see out from under it.

Dear friend, may I make a humble suggestion?

If it IS broke(n) – let Him fix it.

In fact, if isn’t technically ‘broke’ yet – let Him fix it anyway. God truly is the only One who can heal a broken heart. He can mend wounds, revive love, and fulfill the longing of every one of our hearts.

Will we still cry? Yes.

Will we still hurt? Yes.

Will we still grieve? Unfrtunately, yes.

As long as we are on this earth, we will be faced with broken thing after broken thing. Whether it is a broken heart. A broken relationship. A broken home.

We will face it. But, the great news is, so will He.

I don’t say this contritely. I don’t say it with shallow words and fleeting emotions. I say it from experience.

My heart has been broken time and time again. But, even more than that, my heart has been almost broken time and time again. One sliver shy of completely shattered. By sin. By divorce. By hate. By death. By revenge. By insecurity. By fear. By abuse. By illness. By neglect. By insecurity. By infidelity. By almost each and every thing this world can throw at a person. I’ve seen it. And I’ve survived it. But, not with a nonchalant mentality of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’.

To allow God to really ‘fix’ a thing – you have to invite Him into that thing.

You have to give Him your thoughts, trust Him with your fears, acknowledge your insecurities and your worst nightmares. Give it all to Him. Let it go.

Let Him do the fixing. Because one moment before something is broken, He is already there. You may not even know it is about to break, but He does. And He’s ready. He is able to keep any and every thing from breaking, but He is sovereign enough to allow a break to occur. He is with us either way. And every way.

So, on behalf of me, my heart, and my dear ones around me whose hearts are broken into two…go to Him. Reveal what He already knows. Shine light on what is about to break within you. Don’t wait one more moment. Because, as my friend learned this weekend, in a moment, everything can change.

I publish this blog today, on my thirteenth wedding anniversary.

That’s right, friend, thirteen years ago today, I said “Yes” and so did he. We vowed to take the two broken hearts we each had, and unite them as one, before God and hundreds of loved ones. We knew that two broken hearts added together did not equal one whole heart. That’s not how this math works, dear friend. And, we’ve come to realize with all we’ve been through, that we are far more broken than we ever thought. But, I can say, with joy, that although we are very broken people, our love is not broken. Our marriage is far less broken than is used to be. In fact, it’s in the best place it’s been since this date became something to celebrate.

All thanks to God.

All because we didn’t wait for the thing to be broken before offering it up to Him. We didn’t nonchalantly push it aside, assuming it would all just work out fine in the end. I’m sorry, but that’s crap. That’s not how this life works, dear friend. If you haven’t figured that out, you someday will. Living among this sinful world, and sometimes leading that pack myself – I can’t sit back and wait for something in my life to break before I take note of it. I can’t just hope I get my fairy tale ending. Marriage takes a lot of freaking hard work. So does parenting. So does working. So do friendships, and illnesses, and finances and all of it. We, as believers, need to show this dark and dreary world WHO is the Only one who can truly do the fixing. WHO can we turn to? WHO can we rely on? WHO will be there when everything around us shatters into a million pieces?


That is the one and only answer to the question.

And for you, I don’t even know what your question is about? Maybe your marriage is broken? Maybe it’s your career, your reputation, your self-image, your hope. Please, dear one, don’t wait until your thing is broken. Go to Him now. He is waiting…

And now, I give Him thanks that heaven is now the new home to an amazing man of God. A husband, a father, a friend, and a servant. He was here with us Saturday morning and He was in the presence of our Lord that afternoon. And while I know my precious friend is grieving today, and her grief will continue for only heaven knows how long…I also know where her hope lies. I know Who her help will come from. And I know that she knows they will be united again someday. Because they both gave up their broken lives, their broken wills, and their broken hearts to the only One who can mend them not only on this earth, but for eternity. Jesus Christ.

Lord Jesus – heal our wounds. Be our refuge. Flood us with your peace. We need you. All of us. Desperately. We cannot do this life without you, nor do we want to try. Use our brokenness to point others toward You. If nothing else, be glorified. Amen.

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One thought on “If it Ain’t Broke…

  1. on said:

    ty Carrie. wise words!!

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