We live in a broken world, surrounded by broken people longing to be a little less broken today than they were yesterday. Unfortunately, I am one of these broken people. Perhaps you are as well.
Like damaged items can be repaired and repurposed, broken people can be restored, made useful, and even beautiful. But to do this, broken people must face traumatic wounds that sometimes require support from others and God.
“You’ve got to admit you’re broken before you can be made whole.” ~ LeCrae
But repair or restoration will not happen until we are ready to address our brokenness.
Broken people can handle surface wounds.
We handle cuts and bruises with antiseptics, Bandaids, and Aspirin, but some wounds are not visible to the human eye.
We treat cuts and bruises with Bandaids, Aspirin, and Antiseptics. But what about the unseen wounds?
Sometimes these wounds go unacknowledged and untreated for years. We pretend that everything is alright. We shake off the injury and move forward as if we are invincible. And these wounds often refuse to heal and become infected.
I have discovered that I don’t have the skillset, perspective, or experience necessary to repair some wounds. I need an additional pair of hands to clean and bandage the wound.
Broken People Need Help From Others
That help might be friends and family or a professional. A family member or good friend can recognize an unstated need and offer assistance.
How often have I not realized my condition and had someone bail me out of trouble? I am so grateful for observant friends who wouldn’t take no for an answer.
“The worst kind of brokenness is the kind that you don’t know you have.” ~ Amy Neftzger
Sometimes my friends and family would listen, comfort, affirm, and advise me on a healing journey.
I am grateful for these caring people. But family and friends are sometimes unable to be objective due to their involvement. Sometimes their involvement makes things worse.
I realized that I needed professional help in some areas of my brokenness. Things were getting worse, and I was getting desperate.
There are times when professional help is needed.
When I was younger, I would do everything possible to avoid going to the doctor when sick or injured.
I am grateful for skilled counselors, doctors, medical professionals, neurosurgeons, and care ministries. All of them have assisted me along the way. I highly recommend using them.
Sometimes things have to get worse before they get better. As a part of the surgical repair to my neck, my neurosurgeon intentionally broke my neck. My counselor explored some complex life events to ease the symptoms of PTSD.
But sometimes, even professional help is not enough. Sometimes we need a miracle, something that humanity is incapable of providing.
Sometimes Broken People Need Divine Help
Sometimes my only solution was to bring my wounds, my brokenness, to God. I was ashamed of my weakness and could not resolve it independently. But I found a God who extended grace without shame.
I have found God willing to get his hands dirty and become intimately involved in my pain. My brokenness drove me to seek out a God who was already pursuing me.
I remind myself that my broken condition is not permanent. On the contrary, I am restored, made useful, and even beautiful. And this allows me to face the wounds and uncertainties of tomorrow with hope.
“Our life is full of brokenness – broken relationships, broken promises, broken expectations. How can we live with that brokenness without becoming bitter and resentful except by returning again and again to God’s faithful presence in our lives.” ~ Henri Nouwen
Our Brokenness Can Be Useful and Even Beautiful in His Sight.
Honestly, the Bible verses about this sounded hollow for many years. I didn’t understand how God could love me with all my wounds and scars. But this changed after the birth of our first child.
My wife complained about her stretch marks; she thought they were ugly. I remember looking at the stretch marks and telling her how beautiful they were. They were a constant reminder of her love for our child and me. They did not detract from her beauty but enhanced it.
There are several benefits to being broken.
Brokenness makes you approachable. Sheila Walsh says, “My brokenness is a better bridge for people than my pretend wholeness ever was.”
Brokenness makes you a living, breathing example that restoration is possible. Someone has hope because they see that you have not only survived but thrived under challenging circumstances.
Brokenness creates a hunger to see others restored.
“There is a strength, a power even, in understanding brokenness, because embracing our brokenness creates a need and desire for mercy, and perhaps a corresponding need to show mercy. When you experience mercy, you learn things that are hard to learn otherwise. You see things you can’t otherwise see; you hear things you can’t otherwise hear. You begin to recognize the humanity that resides in each of us.” ~ Bryan Stevenson
We need to be willing to address our areas of brokenness. That may require some self-examination, the intervention of friends, professional medical help, or a miracle from a loving God who is pursuing us.
Additional reading: When you feel broken, remember to do this.
“There is a strength, a power even, in understanding brokenness, because embracing our brokenness creates a need and desire for mercy, and perhaps a corresponding need to show mercy. Bryan Stevenson
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My mission is to help individuals and churches become safe havens for the broken.