Day 17: A New Story // 31 Days of Hope in Brokenness
Hi there! This is day 17 of a series I’m writing this October called 31 Days of Hope in Brokenness. You can find the entire series here: 31 Days of Hope in Brokenness.
Growing up, I remember this girl in my class who was overweight and kind of awkward. She was frizzy-haired, had zero fashion sense, and was smart, but a bit of a know-it-all, which no one likes, so she didn’t have very many friends. Once, after a popular boy pretended to be interested in her as a joke and then went and laughed with his friends about how fat and ugly she was, she realized her body was apparently unacceptable to other people and Fat Girl became the story that she told herself, about herself, for the entirety of her childhood and adolescence. Anytime she had an odd social encounter or someone was less than nice to her, she chalked it up to her body shape instead of normal human awkwardness and imperfection. She became an expert at making herself smaller, hiding in clothes, sitting as close to the window as possible on public transit so she didn’t touch anyone, trying never to be too loud, too big, or draw too much attention, and always trying to squish herself down so as not to offend others by taking up too much space. It continued to define her well into her twenties, where she is still fighting it off daily, and I know this because she is me.
I think so many of us walk through life wearing our brokenness like a name tag.
We tell ourselves an old story that the enemy began telling us long ago: we are broken. Worthless. Piece of garbage. Disqualified. Not good enough. And we live in that story, believing it deep in our bones, because the enemy of our souls is really good at telling lies that are just a hair off from the truth. In this case, Satan targets our sense that humility is the right response before God. The enemy loves to twist our good and right desire to be humble into an unhealthy sense of self-consciousness, inferiority, and shame. Why? Because it keeps us from believing we have any business serving God or doing any work for His Kingdom.
Acknowledging our need for healing is healthy and right, but walking around in our brokenness as if it were our true identity is sidelining us. I wish that every woman knew just how important, powerful, and needed she is. In fact, let me speak these truths over you right now, friend: because of Christ, you are so deeply worthy, capable, and called. This story needs to find surer footing in our souls than the story that says we are broken. Maybe we are, but I think a lot of us are spending so much time dwelling on our flaws and our sins and our emotional damage that we are forgetting to develop in our strengths, rejoice in our victories, and grow into our best and healed selves. Jesus is writing a new story, and in it we are not broken anymore. Hallelujah.
Lately, I’ve been reading through Ephesians 3. At the end of the chapter, Paul prays the most hopeful prayer over us:
“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”
There is a LOT in there. But I want to focus on this: Strengthen. Power. Dwell. Rooted and established. Grasp. Know. Filled to the measure. These are not words that describe a people hiding behind their brokenness and shame. These are powerful words prayed over you and I, that we may step bravely forward into a world that so desperately needs Him, not hung up on our brokenness but filled to the measure with the fullness of God. Just as we are saved and we are being saved, we are healed and we are being healed. This is the new story Jesus has for us.
Brokenness may touch our lives but it does not need to become our lives. It is not who we are. Dear ones, do not give an obstacle more weight than it has and allow it to get mixed up with your identity. In other words, brokenness might be a chapter in your story, but don’t let it become the whole story. When I think of all the life experiences I have not been fully present for, all the interactions I gave imaginary subtext that hurt my feelings, all the ways I once allowed my damage to live my life for me…it doesn’t have to be this way. My hope for you is that you’ll never be in that place. How do you know if you’re there? Well, do you find yourself thinking about all the things your heart aches to do for God’s Kingdom if only you weren’t broken? Is there a passion you are afraid to chase because you feel so very not good enough/not healed enough/not holy enough/etc. to step into the arena to pursue this calling? Do not miss out on something God has dreamed for you because of this idea of brokenness choking out a healthy self-image in Christ. May we learn to see ourselves as our Father does – already healed, already whole, because He has written a new story. He has done all the work to redeem and reclaim us and y’all, He said It Is Finished.
So today, I double dog dare you to tell yourself a new story. I challenge you to live just one day as if you weren’t broken. For the next 24 hours, I dare you to muster all your brave and all your intentionality and try really, really hard to choose joy. Pretend that whatever is holding you back isn’t there for a day and see what happens. Pretend to be a confident, strengthened, powerful woman who knows her worth in Christ and knows the width, depth, height, and length of Jesus’ love for her. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you. When your old wounds snarl and threaten to drag you back, lift your eyes to your Healer and call to Him until He meets you there. I wonder if at the end of this day, you might realize that maybe your brokenness doesn’t have to be in the driver’s seat of your life. It can sit in the back, until you’re ready to drop it off at a rest stop far, far away. I believe in you. Our new identity is in Christ, not our brokenness, and that means we don’t have to live broken forever.
So may you be strengthened in your inner being by the power of the Holy Spirit. May you be a dwelling place for Jesus as He heals your heart. May you be rooted and established in love, and begin to grasp how wide, long, high, and deep the love of Christ really is, and be full to overflowing with the fullness of God. May you see your healing with new eyes, and step into the new story Jesus is writing for you. I can’t wait to see you shine.