Broken Hallelujahs


There is this song I love, 
You probably know all the words, too.
It played from my speakers recently as I drove, and I hit repeat on my phone each time it ended.   
The song always feels troubled and beautiful to me all at once.
And I've heard it dozens of times.
But it got all the way into my bones and heart that day.  
And then I knew why.
From the single line:

Love is not a victory march
It's a cold 
It's a broken

 I think I will look back on this year as my broken Hallelujah year.  

1. Praise ye the Lord!
2. a shout of joy, praise, or gratitude

I've spent so much of my time trying to put my thumb on God.  
Pin Him to what I think He must be.
Just hold Him steady for a minute to get a good, clear look~ 
But the more I've squirmed and shifted and adjusted, 
The more mystery He looks like.  
And there is less and less of what I imagine Him to be
And more and more of Him inviting me into a dance.
The kind in the movies where the camera spins and 
Everything is blurry and good and lovely.  
A movie-dance where the girl is holding desperately onto Someone, 
But her eyes are closed and 
Her head is back
And she is laughing. 
Nothing is very clear, 
But everything is right.

I don't like to dance. 
I'm actually terrible at it.
And completely awkward...
The kind of awkward where I really feel the need to shove my weird arms down into pockets.
Because pockets are an awkward girl's best friend. 
It just feels lately like I've been spinning and
My hallelujah feels broken. 
Because I'd prefer to see my Dance Partner for everything He is.
Know His next move.
See the big picture, all the way zoomed out.
But that isn't the dance I've been invited into,
And that makes my 
A choice;
My praise song, 
A struggle;
My Hallelujah, 

But I keep uttering it anyway. 
Even if all I'm seeing are glimpses into 
What I search for.  

One of the best paragraphs I've read in a very long time is from
A Million Miles in a Thousand Years (by Donald Miller):

'The next day, when I was walking with my cousin Carol, she asked me where I thought my uncle was.  She knew he was in heaven, but she wanted me to tell her what I thought he might be doing, what heaven was like.  I told her I thought heaven was outside of time, and perhaps we were already there with her father.  She seemed to think that was nice, but I could tell she wasn't comforted.  And later that night I pictured Uncle Art, and I could see him in heaven, and he was sitting at a table and there was a celebration.   There was dancing and bottles of wine, and there was music.  I could see him at a wedding, and I realized that's what I should have told Carol, that her dad was at a wedding.'

I am a figure-it-out-person. 
I liked word problems in math class. 
Which is probably in some way tied to my awkward dancing and need for deep pockets, 
But whatever.
I like learning. 
And thinking. 
And most of all, getting the right answer. 
But for all the reading and thinking and all-out-nerding-it-up that I do, 
I learn the most about God
At the table.  
Surrounded by friends who somewhere along the way morphed into family. 
Food, beer, laughter, strings of lights, way-too-loud kids, inside jokes...
It all feels a bit of familiar heaven.
Like I am totally sitting at a table in heaven, outside of time and space,
Yelling back to my awkward-ass earth self, 
This. Is. It. 
It is all in the glimpses
And the fleeting, but perfect moments.
It really is a Wind in my soul.
And I see it, if just for a second.

This is what matters.
This is what I am created for.


So even if I feel less than settled in 
My theology at times,
Even if I feel dizzy
And all my straight lines get blurred
And all the black and white turn into shades of a thousand colors, 
(Because I assumed somewhere along the way my Creator could be solved like a word problem), 
My Hallelujahs are still whispered,
Broken as they are.
Because His love is not something I win.
It will never be a victory I claim.
It is an invitation. 
To learn more.
To know, for certain, less.
To eat and laugh and love others 
Around a table
Or a borrowed firepit.
Under stars.
Sitting on blankets and beach chairs.
And somehow, 
Beside heaven.

I think my broken Hallelujahs 
Have led me closer to the wedding feast.


  1. I love that song too, and do the same with repeating it. You're such a beautiful writer. I know you read a lot - but should consider writing your own book!

  2. A thought provoking post Krista .... and a challenging one for me who accepts things as they are more than questioning them :-)
    p.s. I love that song too.

  3. Oh Krista, I have commented before how your posts touch me, remind me of me but this one I have read, read and re-read...the 'awkward ass earth bound girl'! talk about a moment of oh my someone gets me!
    Thank you once again for sharing your journey with us xxx
    Sandie xxx

  4. At first I thought (for some inexplicable reason) that this was going to be about the casting crowns song Broken Together. Have you heard it? It's also very moving and honest.

  5. Beautiful thoughts and words!! So grateful to be part of your "family"

  6. Wow! Just wow. You're so gifted with words. I guess I hadn't realized how broken I'd been feeling until I read your post. You've moved me to tears. Today you not only touched my heart, but my spirit too. And I Thank You for sharing your beautiful heart with us. ♡♡♡

  7. I love to read your posts Krista. They're food for the soul. I drink it in like a long cold soda. I found my way back to the version I love, that I found many a year ago, (almost 20 I think) sung by a little known artist called Jeff Buckley. I've loved that song for years, and I suspect it moves me as it does you. Thanks for the prompt to fish it out again. I think my original was an EP called Grace. Awesome, heartbreaking, soul shaking version. Bless you sweet friend. Hugs, Wends xxx

  8. You are a very gifted person. Amazing writing style and such a talented artist.
    Though my spiritual belief is very different from yours I love this song. It is already on my list of songs to be played when I pass.
    This is my favorite version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_NpxTWbovE



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