The Gift of a Broken Identity
A broken identity can actually be a gift. Sounds crazy right? Yet it’s true. Because, as the Bible tells us, in our weakness, God is strong.
I want you to take stock of all the things you believe about yourself right now. Not what you should believe, what you intellectually know from sermons and Bible reading and Sunday school songs, but what feels true right at this moment. If it makes you feel embarrassed – don’t be.
This is where you are starting from. This is what you have to work with right now.
And if what you have to work with is thoughts like “I’m worthless.“ or "I’m not beautiful." or "No one loves me." then that’s what it is.
Wishing, or just trying to gut it out and believe harder won’t help.
Do you know why? Because you are weak.
But you know what is crazy? That is a good thing.
If we were strong enough to fix ourselves by ourselves then we would be very tempted to do so, right? Everyone is all about self-help and self-improvement in our culture these days. And in theory – I’m on board with that. But, the danger is in feeling and thinking that we, on our own, in a vacuum, can bring about all these beautiful changes.
We can bring about beautiful change, but only in communion with God. And that’s why your weakness is a good thing.
Your broken identity is an incredible opportunity to go to God in vulnerability and allow him to be your strength.
Imagine yourself as a little girl. You don’t know how to make your own lunch, but you are desperately hungry. Your dad is in the next room.
What is more logical – two make a huge mess of the kitchen and burn yourself on the stove trying to make your own lunch or simply going to the next room and asking your Dad for help? This is a loving Dad. He will make lunch for you. He knows that you can’t make it for yourself.
It would be crazy to think that He would expect you to do so.
And yet this situation is the same: we are desperate and unable to provide for our own needs. So why do we act like we have to check off the boxes alone and bring our completed checklist to God when it comes to healing our identity?
You don’t have to get to a place where you have things figured out before you come to God. Admitting that you feel worthless right now doesn’t degrade God’s love for you. I think that might be what we fear – admitting our feelings of lack to God would be like saying that He isn’t enough for us. That’s not what we’re saying at all.
Being honest with God we are saying that our minds and hearts are out of sync. We know in our mind that God is love - that He loves us. But we don’t feel it in our hearts yet. And when the chasm between our head and our heart can feel uncrossable, God can build a bridge.
We are just asking for his help to build that bridge. He knows we don’t know how to do it. So just like the little girl hungry for lunch, when we ask God to build that bridge for us he is delighted to oblige.
So here’s how we heal:
We bare our souls before God.
We pray, pray, pray.
We use science.
Writing is a proven way to create stronger connections between the head and the heart. In writing both how we feel now and how we desire God to form us we can use the very skills God created in us as humans to cooperate with God in strengthening the connection between our head and our heart.
We begin again every day.
I strongly recommend making the truth and scripture verses a regular part of your every day life. You can use one of our lock screens on your phone (head to Instagram to grab them from our story highlight), you can set up a desktop background on your computer, and very soon we will have a whole collection coming out created specifically to fill your day with these truthful verses.
The more we see the truth the more it gets written in our heart. Think about how much we get inundated with lies - from TV, movies, magazines, tears, and the culture at large. We are getting slammed with those lies day in and day out. It’s no wonder that we’re struggling to cling to truth. We have to give it a fighting chance. We have to fill our lives with it
We ask for help.
Go on this journey with sisters. Gather a small group of women from your church, school, or community to talk about identity. Talk about the lies that you believe about yourself and what you are trying to cooperate with God to believe. Affirm each other in who you are. Let friends and mentors have the opportunity to respond to the negative voices in your mind by vulnerably sharing your struggles with them. God desires to use us as his body presence in each others lives. Receiving affirmation from devout friends can remind us of how God sees us.
Broken identities can feel like wounds that won't heal, but it doesn't have to be that way. Not only can we heal, our journey of healing can lead us deeper with Christ, the true purpose of life on this Earth.
That sounds like a gift to me.