Brokenness isn't our problem; ignoring our brokenness is our problem. We're all broken...wholeness begins when we recognize, accept and embrace brokenness.
Hiding brokenness, while attempting to present to the world our version of a healthy individual, creates a schizophrenia, a contradiction in mind and spirit. Can you identify with that internal dichotomy? Brokenness feels like weakness; we don’t like that feeling. It’s strength we admire–in others, and in ourselves. We like feeling strong; it gives us a sense of power. If we’re honest, both brokenness and strengths exist within our authentic selves. Sadly, masking our brokenness feels safer; so we do. Brokenness isn’t our problem; ignoring our brokenness is our problem. We’re all broken. Truly, the journey to wholeness begins when we recognize, accept, and then embrace brokenness.
“What would people think if they saw the real me?”
It’s one thing to accept my own brokenness. The scarier step is letting others see the real me. Unmasking makes us vulnerable to judgment; judged by those who feel elevated when they compare their brokenness and failures next to ours. And then we’re also vulnerable to the well-meaning folks, like me, who step in with quick formulas to help fix brokenness. I’ve learned. Brokenness runs deep. Brokenness wounds. Brokenness scars. Only God can heal brokenness.
Brokenness in Christian Circles
As of this writing, I’ve been a dedicated disciple of Christ for over 42 years. Prior to that, I lived with broken parents; I became more personally broken through teenage experimentation; and I joined myself to a mate, more broken than I.
In church, I was rightly taught the ways of exchange:
- exchange my sinful nature, for Christ’s righteousness;
- lay aside the old man and put on the new man in Christ;
- walk in the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh.
Again, I say, there is nothing wrong with the Biblical truths I was taught. Perhaps what was lacking was permission to be honest–honest with my thoughts and feelings, particularly when I became hurt. Hurt, in heaping measure, was what I carried, shoved down deep inside me, as I chose right words and actions, instead of acting out. And the little girl inside me cried, or silently screamed in her pain.
And Jesus stood before me, arms open wide; not only to embrace and comfort me, but also asking me to come to Him–with all my pain, and mixed-up feelings. I thought He expected me to be perfect. I thought my hurts and feelings were imperfections, not wounds that needed His healing touch.
“The Way” Out of Brokenness
I’ve found, it’s in Jesus’ presence where we CAN BE REAL, can be honest. When we’re honest and pour out our hearts before Him, we meet with a kind, compassionate Savior, who suffered torment of mind and spirit during His days on earth, living as a man. The stability for His soul and walk on earth came from His encounters with His heavenly Father. He admitted in John 8:19, “Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.”
When we read Jesus’ admittance that He lived in complete reliance on God, doesn’t that give us permission to admit our own frailty?
I’m here to tell you: everyone has hurts, habits or hang-ups. I’m here to tell you: embrace brokenness. I’m here to tell you: there is compassion for you and me in the presence of Jesus. Full release from brokenness can only come from honest encounters with Jesus. He understands brokenness. Jesus is the Healer of, and Deliverer from, brokenness.
If you’re not convinced that you’re broken, I invite you to read my earlier post: https://livinginfinitelybeyond.com/the-divine-design-broken-mankind/. The great fall of Adam and Eve re-wrote man’s DNA.
Help for the Journey to Wholeness
Some of life’s wounds are too overwhelming to work through without someone to come alongside us for the journey out of brokenness. Don’t stop at being a Victim, or even a Survivor. Don’t try to be a Hero. We lose too many precious lives to suicide, because their brokenness became an unbearable burden.
Reach out for help. You might want to consider these options:
1. Mental Health Professionals
Seeing a mental health professional has become very commonplace and acceptable in our society. It no longer carries the stigma that it once held. Even if seeking help might be seen as your weakness to onlookers, press on to get the help you need. Understand that your honesty with brokenness can make someone else feel very uncomfortable with their own brokenness. Truly, the journey to wholeness begins when we embrace brokenness.
2. Celebrate Recovery®
Celebrate Recovery® (CR) is a Bible-based 12-step Recovery Program, a ministry that started at Saddleback Church, founded by Pastors Rick Warren and John Baker. They report that in over 25 years, more than 1.5 million people have gone through their Christ-centered recovery program. Their literature records that over 27,000 churches have weekly Celebrate Recovery® meetings.
I became familiar with CR when a local chapter began holding their weekly meetings in our church building. I felt drawn to the ministry—”Maybe the Lord would use me to help someone else in their brokenness,” I thought. Fortunately, to become a servant in this ministry, a person has to go through the 12 Steps as a participant. I say “fortunately,” because it was in a CR meeting that I heard the concept that everyone has a hurt, habit or hang-up. The concept was in direct opposition to what I believed about “laying aside the old man, and putting on the new man.” I bristled against what I’d heard, believing that if I embraced that mindset, it meant that hurt, habits and hang-ups had permission to stay. I didn’t realize that by not admitting their presence, they lived with me on a suppressed level.
Book One of the Participant’s Guide, “Stepping Out of Denial Into God’s Grace,” introduces lessons called: Denial, Powerless, Hope, Sanity, Turn, and Action. As a participant doing the homework for those first lessons, I read Scriptures that gave me permission and grace to accept my brokenness. Some key Scriptures for me were:
“You can’t heal a wound by saying it’s not there!”Jeremiah 6:14, TLB
“If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.”1 John 1:8-10, NASB
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.”Psalm 139:23, 24, NASB
It was that third Scripture, Psalm 139:23, 24, that became my prayer, my opening the door and giving permission to Holy Spirit to begin searching the depths of me for my hurts, habits and hang-ups. I acknowledged my hurts. I became willing to embrace brokenness.
I highly recommend CR. The Program fosters a safe, confidential environment, where hurting individuals gather to find compassion and courage for their personal journey toward wholeness.
3. A Trusted Individual
If you’re not ready, or able, to reach out for help in a structured environment, at least consider sharing your struggles with a trusted individual. Even if you’ve not been a praying person, pray first. Ask God to draw you to someone who will be trustworthy, as you share your inward battles, your wounds, your hurtful ways.
Thank you for reading this post. It is my earnest prayer that you have found comfort in knowing that everyone else struggles, too. If you didn’t realize that before now, please embrace this fact: we all have broken places in our lives. You are not alone or uniquely broken.
Lastly, I need to share that I have discovered that trusting Jesus with my deepest hurts and struggles has taken me to levels of hope and peace and victory infinitely beyond what I could have ever imagined. I know He’ll walk the journey with you as well.