Whole: When We Are Broken

Quiet dandelion splayed

 

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

My Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—WHOLE. This largely unedited “rough draft” form of writing stretches this perfectionist, in the best of ways. I write for five minutes on a given topic. If you’re interested in learning more about 5-Minute Fridays, check out our hostess, Kate Motaung’s site. Or, click on the link at the bottom of this post. As you read my simpler Friday posts, I hope you’ll join in the conversation!

WHOLE

As a little girl, I began my school years feeling whole. Confident that I was a nice person, worthy of having friends. Who wouldn’t want to be friends with me?

It only took a couple years of being picked on to see that I was not really all that “whole” anymore.

A couple more years, and the lies broke apart my self-concept, leaving me fractured.

As I’ve written before, I spent decades trying to work through the fractures in who I thought I was, and align it with who God says I am.

I’m watching my boys walk through some of those same childhood struggles. Kids picking on them. Friends turning on them. It breaks my heart.

Always it’s the words that inflict the most damage.
I’m not advocating fighting, but boys sometimes throw a couple punches, and then they’re done with it.

But when the words come in? Those are what devastate a spirit.

white flowers snowy backdrop

When we believe what people say over what God says about us, that’s when our whole spirit becomes a fracture, a broken reflection of who God intends us to be.

That’s when we refract a crooked sort of injured light to the world around us. It’s filtered through the pain of words that broke our spirits.

I pray for my boys that they won’t walk through the years and years of pain that I have. I pray they will begin early to see who they are in Jesus’ eyes, rather than who they are spoken to be through their peers’ mouths.

It’s when we can begin to see that Jesus has made us whole—that He is the One who offers healing, that He is the one who puts the broken pieces back together—that we can be whole again.

Wild flowers burgundy amid white

It’s when we come under the sometimes painful revelations about the lies we’ve believed, the coping mechanisms we’ve developed— and when we allow Him to strip them awaythat we can become the clearer reflection of who God created us to be.

What about you? How have you seen God making you whole in some of the broken areas in your life? How has God done some healing in your life, making you more whole?

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28 thoughts on “Whole: When We Are Broken

  1. “When we believe what people say over what God says about us, that’s when our whole spirit becomes a fracture, a broken reflection of who God intends us to be.” Such a true statement! God’s definitely got me going deeper to get my identity in Him, rather than what I do and approval from others. It’s a bit of a scary place, but I know His plans are to prosper me, and leading me to trust completely in Him.

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    • Lynn, though it sometimes hurts when God takes us deeper so we can find our identity in Him, it’s a good hurt because it also leads to freedom. I’ve succumbed (many times) to seeking others’ approval, only to fall short and get frustrated that I fell into that trap . . . again. I love your big picture: God’s plans are to prosper (make us wise) us and to lead us to completely trust in Him. Great perspective!

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  2. THIS: “It’s when we can begin to see that Jesus has made us whole—that He is the One who offers healing, that He is the one who puts the broken pieces back together—that we can be whole again.” I was picked on and eased as a kid too. It really does affect how we see ourselves. Praying for your boys. I’m in the #8 spot this week.

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    • Tara, I’m sorry you were picked on too. It’s hard to overcome the lies we hear in those tender years and replace them with truth. Praying for you today, my friend. And thank you for the prayers for my boys. MUCH appreciated!

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  3. “It’s when we can begin to see that Jesus has made us whole—that He is the One who offers healing, that He is the one who puts the broken pieces back together—that we can be whole again.”

    so true isn’t it? thanks for those good words:)

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    • Martha, I love the hope Jesus offers us as we yield and submit to Him. As we trust Him with our hurts, He put the broken pieces together to create a beautiful piece of art in us. Thank goodness for His patience when we resist Him, huh? Thanks so much for stopping by today. 🙂

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  4. Hmmm….I’m thinking these are definitely words I need to hear, as I let my own insecurities gain more and more ground each day. I need to dwell on the scripture of what God says about me for a while…drive away those voices that tell me something different, because they are of no use to me.

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    • Jen, I know what it feels like to have insecurities usurp our essence. I’ll pray for you today that God will speak to you about how He views you. Precious. Treasured. Worth singing over and loving completely. His thoughts toward you number more than the sands on EVERY single beach, more than every single star.

      May His voice, his words of love to you speak loud and erase those other voices. Thank you for your transparency today.

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  5. Some of us grew up with the rhyme: sticks and stones can break my bones but words will never harm me. Eventually, we discover it’s not true that words not only hurt but can break us in two. I’m so thankful Jeanne, that God never gives up on restoring us to wholeness. Your words are so true: when we believe what people say about us over what God says…..oh, yes! Thanks for that beautiful reminder.

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    • Debby, it only took me a couple years in elementary school to understand the fallacy of that rhyme. Even as I sing-singed it to those who teased and bullied me, my heart knew those words were a flimsy protection for my heart.

      I’m with you . . . so thankful God never gives up on restoring us to wholeness. I love that He sees the completed creation He’s making with us (Phil 1:6). May we both listen to God’s words over us, and not people’s words.

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    • Agreed, Lisa. Jesus is the only One who can make us whole. And He has a knack for doing this work in the most unexpected of ways, doesn’t He? Sometimes I’m amazed at the beauty He works through our brokenness.

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    • I’m so with you, Anita. Just when I think I’ve finally got a handle an area of my life, God comes around and shows me I still have more to learn. Thanks for the reassurance that I’m not alone. 😉

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  6. I just started reading Richard Rohr’s “Falling Upward.” He reframes the notion of being wounded – that in order to go on this heroic journey, we must be wounded. My hope is that my wounds bring hope to my girls. That I can somehow help them learn from what I’ve learned. I know they’ll be hurt and have their own wounds, but hopefully we’re all learning…. Thanks for your transparency.

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    • Tate’s an interesting thought, Annie, about the need to be wounded before we can really embark own the journey. I’m certain God will give you ways to help your girls both in avoiding some of your areas of struggle and as they encounter their own woundings. We ARE all learning. Thanks for adding to this conversation.

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  7. Jeanne, I so appreciate your honest sharing here and can certainly identify with being broken, having a fractured life and desiring wholeness in many areas. Words do indeed hurt us with wounds that lance deep, often taking years to overcome the damage they have inflicted. It’s been a lifelong struggle for me to try to rise above the negativity of my childhood experiences, some of which was verbal abuse. And it’s only made possible by God’s grace. Then when we are in a stronger place? We have the ability to become wounded healers working alongside the hurting as we empathise and help them through their own pain. Your sons are blessed to have such a caring, forward thinking mother who will pray them into a stronger place as she shares her own hard fought for wisdom with them.

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    • Joy, I am continually amazed when I catch myself remembering and reacting (in my heart) to mean words spoken to me as a girl. As I’ve brought my rejection issues, and the resulting emotional issues to the Lord, I find myself thinking about those events. God, in His mercy, is beginning to help me feel and move beyond them. But it takes time for His healing to do it’s complete work, doesn’t it?

      I am so sorry for the abuse you endured as a child. I know that God is using you as a wounded healer in the lives of others. It’s amazing how He can redeem our pain in this sort of way. Thanks for your kind words, my friend.

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  8. Jeanne,
    He uses the wounded to comfort the wounded. A girl who always had confidence and acceptance would have no balm for the neglected and mocked and scorn. Jesus was not voted most handsome. He was “normal” and blended in. He was overlooked. But His heart? Royal.
    So, instead of clinging to our gradually drooping sagging flesh that needs more pain and surgery to “stay” young, let’s see the beauty in the smile lines and the soft hugs. My Grandma was always soft and kind. I really didn’t think about how she looked in a swimsuit.
    This is a tangent. So sorry. But, you moved me. I want to encourage you that you are a gift and what you went through has made you more compassionate and more Christ-like.
    I adore your friendship!
    Love,
    Tammy
    (#74 on FMF)

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    • Tammy, you’re right. It’s through the pain life inflicts that we learn how to be a comfort and an encouragement to others. We can encourage from a place of knowing God’s word. But I think when there’s genuine empathy also poured into those words—empathy learned through walking the painful journeys in life—that’s when encouraging, comforting words go deeper into others’ hearts.

      As always, you are good at sharing truth and encouragement. I’m so thankful for you, friend!

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  9. Going through something right now where my family needs to be made whole again. Because of the depth of the brokenness, I don’t think we’ll be feeling whole anytime soon. But we’ve been here before and we know that there is another side to it. So all we can do is cling to what we already know about God, He does make all things new.

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    • Gene, please forgive me for not responding sooner. Life’s become a little less time-friendly as I work through my recovery. I can’t figure out where all my time goes each day. 🙂 I prayed for your family the day I read your comment. I’ll be praying again today. Feeling whole is sometimes elusive. Sometimes we just need to lean on God in the fracturing times. Thank goodness He makes all things new! May He do that new work in your family.

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