Just a little over two months I learned something about brokenness that not only made me study myself a little bit more, but analyze others and get a glimpse into the truth that maybe when everyone says “Yeah, I’m okay”, they are further from okay than a girl claiming that “Things are fine”. More specifically, I have learned that sometimes when we think we know a person, we only see their outer surface layer and that their true self is still hidden behind depths, mounds, and leaps of struggles, insecurities, guilt, and sin, disguised by the realities of built up walls, overthought perceptions, and lack of self-worth; myself included.
When someone hurts you, for instance, we as Christian’s are taught to turn the other cheek, forgive the person, and move on with our lives. But brokenness caused by a hurting heart, crushed soul, and inferior look in the mirror can take a person quite a bit longer than a simple flip of the cheek to get over. Speaking from personal experience, I knew these feelings very well, and it wasn’t until my mother revealed to me that holding onto them and constantly telling every new person I met about them, really wasn’t any way to live. “Amber, by bringing up that hurt time and time again, you are not allowing yourself to heal, and until you truly stop thinking about it and letting it influence everything you do, your heart will always be attached to strings that end in pain.”
Yet even time you see doesn’t heal all wounds; God does. And if we are being honest, we are all broken in some way, shape, or form, but in sharing our brokenness with others, we can be made whole. Let me state that again. Just because you are broken doesn’t mean that you have to act like your life is a perfectly glued together pottery art when it isn’t. It also doesn’t mean that you have to spill your guts about your past and how this person or that hurt you to every single person. But it does mean that in understanding we are all broken, meaning we all struggle with things in the past, present, or future that cause us to become shard pieces of glass, we can help each other to heal. We can reveal to these true friends and realistic people that we are humans with flaws as real as the granola pieces stuck in our braces, or the white mark of deodorant on our little black dresses. Because my friends, no matter how these things measure or compare to the worldly views surrounding us, I would choose genuine, authentic, and true people with of all their flaws included rather than a person that appears perfect on the outside, but doesn’t know how to reveal their character on the inside.
And yes, if you are wondering, even I once fell to the claims of this scheme that the world professes. I thought that I really knew people when in reality, I only knew who I thought they were, and what they portrayed on the outside wasn’t anything that they truly were at the core. I viewed these perfectly looking, feeling, and acting people as goals to look up to and become, but were they actually happy? Were their polished Christian characters as real as they made them seem? Were their inabilities to profess any flaws humble or striking? Was their love for God measured by their lifted hands and charming voices or even real after all? I would like to think so, but the only person who knows that would be themselves and God.
I met a great friend this past year, and they can’t even begin to compare to some of the people that I called “my friends” in the past. They care about me for who I am, not who they want me to be, and more importantly, their love for God is so real that I never have to question their authenticity. Sharing vulnerable information with me, and I choosing to do the same, I feel like this person let me break down some of their walls, and in return, they broke down some of mine. Because isn’t that what true friendship is all about? Learning to become whole again by helping each other to glue those broken pieces back together?
I have heard it said in Japan that when a pot gets broken the people don’t discard its contents. Instead, they piece it back together with a priceless gold because something that has now suffered some type of damage has a history that makes it all the more beautiful. And why? Because this once whole pot has now become whole again by sharing its brokenness with the world, and perhaps we as humans are meant to do the same. To share a little brokenness with others in the hopes that we will find someone just as broken as us, that together can make something whole.
“We are all a little broken [my dear,] but that’s how the light gets in”- Ernest Hemingway