The Importance of Identifying and Naming Our Brokenness

by Maria Tang

From the moment we wake up to the moment we go to bed, are we living in freedom of our belovedness as God’s children or have we convinced ourselves that “I am too broken to love and be loved”?  

Brokenness is something that we perhaps try to shake off or pretend does not exist most of the time. It can seem like a giant monster deliberately clinging onto us just because it can. I am no expert on monsters, but my brokenness is something I have grown familiar with.

 In this season of my life, I am realising that an important part of growing up is to continue growing in wholeness – which also includes confronting my brokenness. As days go by, there is constant discovery of the life I am choosing to live. One area that I sometimes struggle with is being intentional with building loving relationships with my family. It is a constant process of learning to rely on God and His unconditional love for them, because of my own brokenness.

With God’s grace, I have come to notice that brokenness is not something I can ignore or reject, but something I need to pay great attention to. I’m not a particularly confrontational person to begin with, but being honest with myself and God about my wounds and the discomfort it brings actually enables an even greater outpouring of mercy.  

As God’s light enters the cracks and areas of brokenness, He invites me to move with Him. Instead of being overwhelmed by the insecurities and anxieties of my brokenness, I attempt each time to turn to Jesus as a good friend. He slowly works with me to identify the emotions I am feeling and carefully breaks down a particular situation or event to guide me to name my needs – safety, security, being known, heard and loved. 

Naming my brokenness has purified my heart and allowed me to rest in Jesus instead of falling into despair and hopelessness. The clarity of identifying the desires of my heart enables me to live in freedom of being His child, cradled in His arms at all times. Depending on God’s love then allows me to give of myself freely too.  

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us. (Ephesians 1:7-8)  

Recently, sharing life more intimately with my sister has revealed that healing takes courage to stand in pain together. My newfound challenge in befriending my family and our brokenness is an attempt to step towards being in union with God. Even in my impatience of wanting to be restored to wholeness, God speaks into these areas of my heart to say that He is exactly where I am. No matter the amount of tension I feel in my heart and being, He is in the small moments guiding me through the befriending of the parts of my life I think as broken.  

Being broken means that I am fully human and alive. Henri Nouwen writes “brokenness reveals something about who we are. Our sufferings and pains are not simply bothersome interruptions of our lives; rather, they touch us in our uniqueness and our most intimate individuality.”  

I have come to learn that being able to lovingly encounter my brokenness melts away my fear of being incapable of being whole in Jesus Christ. With the grace of God and the gentleness of the Holy Spirit, we can learn to be sensitive to what we are feeling in my heart and body, enabling us to discover God’s invitation on how to better respond.  

We are never too broken to try again with Jesus. When our eyes meet His loving gaze, and we are in communion with God, we can face our brokenness because He is who we are safest with. Confronting and befriending our brokenness can seem like a leap to take, but the call on this journey is to no longer live in shame, but take small steps towards letting light and God in. The prayer of my heart today is that we rely more on God to encounter our brokenness. As we rediscover our needs, Jesus breathes new life in these areas of our hearts. Let us fall into His arms of mercy and love. We are made to live meaningful lives in Jesus – I am praying that Our Lady continues to intercede for us as we discover this. 

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