In the face of our own brokenness and failings, in the shadow of past trauma or current hurts, in the midst of woundedness or the perpetual swirl of confusion about who we are and what we’re worth . . .
What does it mean to be whole? How does God’s grace, God’s love, God’s healing change us, shape us, bind us up and weave us together into something new, something healed, something integrated, something complete? Into someone whole?
It starts with facing, first, our brokenness. In honest courage, looking squarely at the stain of sin in our lives. Join me in this month’s exploration of wholeness by first considering this excerpt from my Flourishing Faith devotional study Embrace Your Worth (Wesleyan Publishing House):
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“Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden” (Genesis 3:8).
In your mind’s eye, imagine Adam and Eve, hiding away in the trees of the Garden of Eden. Sin has entered the world—and the immediate human reaction is shame (“We’re naked! Hurry, cover up!”) and hiding.
Can you picture Eve, crouched down, trying to hide herself away from her Maker? Trying to be smaller, to be invisible, to disappear?
Before the fatal choice to disobey God, Adam and Eve walked in confidence and joy and security. But now they’re completely different—isolated, insecure, ashamed.
When sin entered the world, it shattered the self.
The confidence and dignity God intended for us have been replaced by fear, self-criticism, deep loneliness, and shame.
Ever been there? Have you ever, deep inside, felt that sense of shrinking down, hiding away, wanting to be invisible, to disappear? . . . What triggers in your life—circumstances, people, cultural messages—cause you to hide away, to shrink down, to feel isolated or ashamed?
Go on a short walk and look for sidewalk cracks. (It’s OK if you need to bring your children with you!) When you find one, stand directly on it. Look at it for a moment and, as you do, think of your own brokenness—the cracks, the nicks, the distortions within your sense of self.
As you stand there for a moment, silently speak to God: My sense of who I am is broken and cracked by sin. Lord, only you can patch me up and make me whole. I invite you to work in my life.
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The amazing thing about brokenness? The “wholeness” God creates out of our splinters and shards is beyond what we could ever dream or imagine!