Am I Broken?
by guest blogger Katie Richards
Around the age of 23 my mind began to flood with questions. Some of these questions came from the transition of college life to living in the real world. These questions had me pondering what I wanted my life to be about, the contribution I wanted to make to this world and the risks I was willing to take to make this happen.
But then there was another set of questions. These questions were birthed out of pain and confusing life circumstance. These question were much more introspective and their answers were not easy to accept. Questions like, “Why do I keep repeating this pattern?” “What is wrong with me?” “Will I always be like this?”
The answers to these questions kept leading me to the root question that I desperately needed an answer to: “Am I broken?”
Fast forward four years and hours of counseling later, these questions have given way to answers, insight and a lot of healing. But not everything has been cleared up. There are still small amounts of unhealthy residue that show-up at random times in my life and in the back of my head the question of “Am I broken?” still finds a voice.
As I have walked this journey I’ve been able to share parts of my story with different people. The story of my process is often answered with similar stories from others. While the events of the stories may differ, the feelings of inadequacy and impairment are often the same.
I’ve started to believe the question of “Am I broken?” is being asked by more of us than not.
The person whose spouse has betrayed them, the couple who is having fertility issues, the student who never gets asked on a date, the professional who has been laid off and can’t find a job, the person who seems stuck in a cycle that they just can’t break.
At many points in my process I asked (and continue to ask) the Lord this question. Over and over again He has been gracious to give me the loving truth of “Yes.” And in the same breath the redemptive answer of “No.”
I am broken. Scripture makes it clear that I came into the world this way (Romans 3:9-12) and that I am in need of healing that only a savior can bring.
It’s in the sacrifice of the savior that I am healed.
The gospel makes it clear that the Lord sent Christ to be my savior and redeem me. That on the cross my sins were not only atoned for but Christ’s righteousness was credited to me (2 Corinthians 5:21).
It’s been through the continual unveiling of the gospel that God teaches me the question to dwell on is not “Am I broken?” but “Do I believe the Lord to be Healer?”
While seeing God as Healer does not excuse me from pressing into and dealing with my sin issues and brokenness, it does give me a different focus. I am not left to dwell on my shortfalls but am freed to enter into a deeper relationship with the one who has healed me.
So what about you? Are you feeling broken? If so, how are you finding healing?
About the guest blogger: Like Kelsey, I met Katie at my church in Nashville. She’s actually my community group leader and has become a dear friend to me in this city. By day, she works for the YMCA as their Regional Training Director. By night and/or weekend, she is a speaker, team-building facilitator and blogger at Katie Thinks…Thoughts on the “in between,” the strange stage of life between college and whatever is next. She also has the greatest laugh ever and mad kayaking skills.
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I am broken. Healing… it’s hard to find.
A good word. My brother once told me that he became disgusted with himself when, during trials, he found himself turning to God and using Him “as a crutch”. He abandoned all he knew of faith and God and turned to himself instead.
He COMPLETELY missed the point. The Lord OFTEN, even REGULARLY, uses painful life circumstances we all face TO BREAK US and to point us to Himself–that we WOULD lean on Him.
Katie hits the nail on the head when she says, “Do I believe the Lord to be the healer?” That’s exactly it. We are broken. Some of us realize it sooner than others, some of us through differing circumstances, but those of us who receive the grace to turn to Him for healing are the only ones who ever truly find restoration through redemption. You see, His perfection more than covers our brokenness.
Nicely said, Katie.
I recently had a close friend (Actually, recent ex-boyfriend, but I feel more like it’s a period of transition in our relationship, I don’t know some days as it’s a very new thing and it happened over an email followed by an in-person visit so it still seems a bit surreal to me. Either way…) ask me this question and he’s asked me it in the past and I told him, based on what I had known about him at that time, that I didn’t think he was broken, but that he certainly had his issues and problems that he needed to work through, but that I was willing to be there to help him with those issues no matter what because I loved him and cared for him and only wanted the best for him, even though some of the decisions we made together, and some of the things we said to each other, weren’t always the best.
In any case, this was an amazing article! It opened my eyes up to his most recent inquiry of the same question to which I responded, “Yes.” I did not intend for it to be harsh or mean at all, but I needed to be honest with him in that moment. I think I upset him, which I didn’t want to do. I love him dearly and it sucks that we often hurt the ones we love the most. But how does one respond to such a question? “What makes you ‘broken’?” is perhaps how I should have responded, but who’s to say? It is what it is. I still have Faith, Hope, and Love. A great deal of Love, enough to even fix the bridge, if necessary. Thank you for writing this article and helping me see that we are all broken, all imperfect beings, and all deserving of being healed. I know right now my heart is broken, or at least breaking, but I hope he has faith enough to know that I meant no ill in my response to him.