About 3 weeks ago I developed little mosquito bite-like bumps on my skin that were terribly itchy. I thought they were mosquito bites so I just did what I usually do: popped an anti-histamine tablet and scratched. The bumps started spreading EVERYWHERE and turned an angry red colour.
I was worried.
But guess what I did? I popped an anti-histamine and scratched. And then I bought an anti-itching cream from the pharmacy. Eventually, after much procrastination and because I was tired of my family asking me if I had been, I went to see the doctor about my skin issue. At that stage, the itching had caused sleepless nights, I had dark spots all over and I had decided that it was some horrible infection that was going to kill me. Okay, maybe not the last part. The doctor gave me a prescription for some tablets and cream- and guess what – the itching and spreading stopped and I am completely well now!
I know, I could have saved myself a whole lot of grief by going to the doctor earlier. My bad.
But hey, how many of us are not mentally, emotionally or spiritually well and yet do what I did with my skin reaction? We recognise an issue in our hearts but instead of getting help we deny it or try to manage it ourselves until we reach a crisis point where we cannot even function unless we get help. We all have areas of brokenness in our lives. No one is whole, no one is perfect, we all know that. But for some reason a lot of struggle to come to terms with the reality of our brokenness.
Which of these words represents your area of brokenness?
Poor self image. Abandonment issues. Depression. Eating disorder. Self harm. Drug addiction. Sexual abuse. Alcoholism. Failure. Anxiety. Suicide. Domestic abuse. Porn addiction. Rejection…
Owning our brokenness is not easy. But it is so important! Here are my thoughts on why:
We need to own our brokenness:
1 as a first step to finding personal healing.
To go back to my story, one of the reasons that I took so long to go to the doctor about my skin problem was that I did not actually see it as a problem. Eventually, I even got used to the discomfort and having to manage the itching with the cream. It was only when I realised that there was something seriously wrong that I took to step to get some help. I know only a handful of people who would willingly admit their issues and get help when they first discover them. We all want to be perceived as strong, healthy and whole. What we went through is water under the bridge, leave the past in the past right?
Our attempts to ‘just move on’ are the very thing that keep us stuck in brokenness and hinder healing. If we are going to grow and move forward we need to be able to firstly admit that we have a problem and secondly, ask for help. For you, that may mean calling your depression what it is and seeking counselling from a professional. Or maybe it means admitting that the trauma you went through years ago still affects you and you live with it at the back of your mind every day.
2 for the sake of others who have been through the same.
The other day I watched Oprah interview Tyler Perry. On that show he talks about his upbringing: the physical abuse by his father and the sexual abuse he went through as a little boy. It was really hard to watch him share those things. One of my favourite moments is when a Tyler Perry fan talks about how watching Perry’s movies (a medium that he says he uses to deal with his own issues) helped her find healing from the effects of being raped as a little girl. It was a special moment to see Perry stand up and hug the woman. You could see it in on his face that he was thinking: it is people like this that let me know that this is all worth it.
Most of us struggle to own our brokenness because of the shame attached to it. In Perry’s case it was sexual abuse and as a man, one of the hardest things was admitting that he had been abused by men as a boy. But the very thing that he was ashamed to be open about was the key to someone else finding the courage to be open about it too, to own their brokenness. As you walk out your healing, you will get opportunities to share your own brokenness with someone else and it is at that point that your courage will be tested. Be courageous because what you have been through and the lessons you have learned on the way may be the very key to someone else finding healing. And you will look back and think: yes, this is all worth it.
Where do we go from here?
Owning our brokenness is not the same as wallowing in it. Owning our brokenness is about being able to look honestly at ourselves and admit our weaknesses and taking responsibility for finding wholeness. There is an ultimate brokenness that is in each of our hearts and it comes from our separation from God the Father. Christ has made a way for all to find wholeness and healing but it can only happen through relationship with Him, which necessarily begins with us firstly, admitting that we are broken and secondly, surrendering to Him as the only person who can save us from our brokenness and the only one who can truly lead us out. If you want to know more about Jesus
And if you are already a follower of Jesus, my encouragement to you is this:
“[I am] (confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Don’t waste your brokenness, own it.
I am broken. And being healed. And helping others find their healing.
Thanks for reading.