Naming Brokenness to Find Healing

I have known Amanda since she was a college student at Western. It has been a joy to watch her navigate the college years and to come out graduating with a degree, but even more a strong desire to serve God and people. She just spent the last year as an intern at a college ministry and now serves on the Collide team. I always love learning from women younger than me and here Amanda reminds us to name our brokenness…what a wise challenge. Enjoy her post! -Willow

This past year I worked at a college ministry and I absolutely loved it.  It challenged me, I learned new things, and my skills were utilized.  All around, it was a great experience.  One of my jobs was to meet one on one with students and listen as they trusted me with their stories.  

As students opened up to me, I was reminded of a few things.  First, people love to connect with each other (even introverts!).  Second, everyone has a story.  And third, everyone is broken.  I would sit with students and hear about loss, abuse, self-image, mental health- the list goes on.  And while each individual story was different and unique and important, the topic of brokenness was always present in one way or another.  

Through listening to other peoples’ stories and processing my own, I was also reminded that even though there are mountains of pain that people endure, they persevere.  Despite brokenness, we still have hope, want to do good in the world, and want to see change.  Why? I think because we’ve experienced love. We’ve received grace. We’ve been shown mercy.  Through the brokenness, God has always been there and will always be there.

One thing that recently has been helpful for me is to be able to specifically name the brokenness in my life, and  to address it. From there, I am able to start to learn from it, to use it to help understand more about God, and also treat people better because I can empathize with them.  Addressing our own brokenness is difficult but I think so necessary for healing.

For me, being able to name that I am broken because I struggle with self-image has allowed me to start to understand how God sees me.  From there I can reconcile the two and start to learn how to see myself the way I should be seen- how God sees me.  Being able to name that I am broken because I have been manipulated has allowed me to begin the process of understanding how that affects my ability to trust people, especially men. Naming that I am broken because I struggle with pride, jealousy, not loving people as I should, etc. has encouraged me to go to God in those moments instead of sitting in sin. Naming that I am broken because I desire control is something that I need to do every day in order to trust God and give control to Him.

The list goes on in the ways I am broken.  And it can be overwhelming.  But the beautiful thing about God is that with that list of brokenness also comes an overwhelmingly wonderful list of how He fixes us.  How He mends us.  How He takes care of us.  The ways He goes about fixing us are creative, specific, thoughtful, and mysterious. And if I’m honest, sometimes that frustrates me.  I want to be able to participate in the mending process, and in order to do that I think I need to know all the ways I can help and every action I can take.  

But if I’ve learned anything through getting to know Jesus over the past few years, it’s that the ways He chooses to enter our brokenness are never predictable, and that we need to trust that He will heal us exactly how we need to be healed.  With new mercies every day, we are continually being made whole, and it is completely out of our control.

So, I challenge you to name your brokenness and talk about it with God.  Pray, write it out, go on a walk, connect with God the way you know how.  I challenge you to give your brokenness to Jesus and allow Him to heal you in His creative and specific way for you.  I also challenge you to do something that makes you happy. Go for a hike, get crafty, have coffee with someone, pet a dog, garden, read a good book, give a stranger a compliment, cook your favorite dinner, people watch.  Do something that reminds you of the good in the world, and how God is continually restoring brokenness into beautiful parts of creation.– Amanda 

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” -Psalm 147:3

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