The Transition to just Moments of Brokenness
One of the comforting things I sometimes share with myself these days is some wisdom shared with me from a now deceased close friend who never, ever gave up on me all through the time (years) he watched me self destruct. He shared them with me at a time when I was fighting through moments of weakness during that period when I was trying to put a semblance of life back together. He kept drilling it into me:
“I’m not the man I could be….
I’m not the man I should be.
But thank God, I’m not the man I used to be.”
Those words put added life to something of equal personal importance that was shared with me by another dear (and departed) friend and mentor from here at West Ridge. This was after an extended period of time during which I “opened the books” and made myself completely, and very painfully, transparent to him. I did it at his beckoning because he knew (as I know now) that I was shackled by the past sickness that was me, just as he knew that I would never fully experience God’s wonderful grace until such time as I was free of those shackles. He shared 2 words with me during one of our discussions soon after I opened the books: “God’s Hand.”
When he explained what he meant I finally “got it.” He showed me how God’s Hand was all over my life, and the lives of others around me, as He always protected me from me, and others from me during those dark years. And, He did it whether I knew it or not, wanted it or not, saw it or not, or asked for it or not. He just did it, and He did it because He saw things in me I would know nothing about until much later. When I “got it” (the meaning of what my friend was telling me), I began to understand and appreciate the brokenness in me and the path it had led me to…that place where I am now, in full relationship with Jesus Christ.
Am I brokenness free? Certainly not. But what’s nice is that now my days are days that are filled with hours of lucidity and just moments of stupidity instead of the reverse. I’m still not the man I should be, nor the one I could be, but I always remember that I’m not the man I used to be because God’s Hand has never, ever stopped massaging me, nor will it ever. Because of that Hand, I am now able to recognize (and feel) my brokenness and then I deal with it by sharing it with That Guy on the other end of That Hand and then asking His forgiveness. He knows I will always be broken. He also knows what lies ahead for me as I continue to grow in Him.
How do I deal with my brokenness? By thinking of it as a good thing. It’s good because through it I learn more about myself, albeit sometimes painfully. It’s good because it brings me joy when I recognize it and release it to Him. It’s good because it reminds me of God’s unimaginable love for me. It’s good because it challenges me to improve. And it’s good because I can do something positive about it instead of just beating myself up continually and giving up on myself. He never gave up—why should I?
– Joe Miller