To The Woman Who’s Been Broken: Before The Healing Comes was originally published March 2019 on Status Quo Questions. This revised version was published in the Calla Press Literary Journal March 2022.
Being broken can be a disorienting thing, especially when the pain lingers longer than the circumstances that caused it. Those of you who have been broken, I mean it when I say my heart aches for you. To the woman who feels trapped within herself, like nothing more than a shell of who you used to be, I get it.
I wish I could give you an easy answer to make your current situation turn around instantly, but I can’t… Not completely at least. I don’t know what it was for you—a hardship, a relationship, a difficult decision, etc.—but there is something precious within a woman that breaks when her trust is violated, when she is treated as valueless, or when everything within her that she was created to share with others is stifled and portrayed as insignificant. And when it breaks, the smile stops dancing in her eyes and the song within her heart fades to silence. She goes through the motions of doing what she knows to do, all the while struggling to salvage what’s left of who she used to be.
I spent years fighting through this. Who I am would long to help and serve others, but who I had become was always exhausted, always defensive, always insecure, always feeling the need to stay in self-preservation mode. And when you’re in that mindset and more pain comes, you are driven further and further into a survival mode that keeps you locked in the chains of who you have been taught to be.
What amazes me about that time is how patient God was and continues to be. There were times I stumbled through life, knowing He was good, trusting Him as my God, and yet the only prayer I could muster out under the weight of what I was carrying was, “please help me.”
And you know what? He did.
During this time, a passage I held near and dear was Psalm 143:7-10 (NLT):
“Come quickly, Lord, and answer me, for my depression deepens. Don’t turn away from me, or I will die. Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you. Rescue me from my enemies, Lord; I run to you to hide me. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.”
If you’re not going through something heavy right now, maybe that sounds dramatic. Looking back, it’s crazy to think that was my daily life. If you’ve carried any type of heavy pain, maybe you can relate. If you’re going through it now, know that it does get better, so keep going.
It amazes me to look back and see how one situation led to another, and how God somehow was able to use those circumstances to help me trust Him more. Somehow in the timing, in the brokenness, in the desperate search for rest, He was there every step of the way saying, “It’s going to be ok. Step here now.”
It wasn’t always a warm and fuzzy feeling, although there were times God touched my heart in ways only He knew how. Sometimes there wasn’t peace and the pain distorted how I viewed my life. Sometimes moving forward just meant clinging to the truth of His Word while He worked in areas I couldn’t see. It was believing He is good even when it felt like He was silent.
If that’s where you are, lean in. Let the truth written in the Bible be your comfort. Cry out, even if all you can muster is “help me.”
I know that can be hard to do when you’re hurting. There are some days reading the Bible feels like reading any of your other books. But when you draw close to God, when you make the decision that you are going to seek Him, it’s amazing how He reaches out to draw close to you too.
This isn’t intended as a “just pray and read your Bible more, and you’ll get over it.” What I’m trying to say is, draw close to the God who loves you dearly and He will take care of you. He comforts the brokenhearted, He gives hope to the depressed and peace to the anxious, He defends the weak, He moves mountains to find even just one lost and wandering person. He loves you so much. So much more than you can see right now.
A few years ago, I was talking with my dad and out of the blue he said, “The Lord doesn’t cut corners. You’ve worked really hard to get to where you are now, and something great is coming.”
Maybe that’s what it’s felt like for you: working really hard. And to an extent, it is work fighting through pain. Fighting to not let it settle, fighting to pull up what has already started to take root, fighting to not give up before your freedom comes. Sometimes, it’s a fight.
Sometimes, though, we fight too much. We fight because we feel like it’s our responsibility to clear our own path to victory. Sometimes we forget that God is our hiding place, our defender, our healer, our pathfinder (or path-maker), our loving Father. Sometimes we keep striving to earn these things when really, we just need to rest.
My dad was right—God doesn’t cut corners. Even when we think we are “better,” God sees areas of us that have lain broken for so long, we forgot they needed healing. Maybe they’ve become such a recurring part of life that we don’t realize they really aren’t a part of who we are. They aren’t a part of who we were made to be.
The good news is, there’s no better place for our broken pieces than in the hands of the One who joined them together in the first place. He knows what to do. We don’t have to strive to prove ourselves anymore. We can rest and just let ourselves be a daughter of the King again.
Rest and let God teach you. Rest and let Him revive the parts of you that you’ve forgotten about. Let Him stir back up the song that used to play in your heart. It’s not going back to who you were before the pain anymore; it’s allowing Him to show you a whole new you who is finally alive and free.
When we surrender all of who we are, brokenness and everything, God takes those pieces and works in and through us to reveal a beautiful victory. You are not too damaged. You are a daughter of the King, created with purpose for good things, to help set others free through the strength of your loving Heavenly Father.
He invites us to come and rest, so He can lead us to the rest of our life in Him.
Here’s to our journey, friends.
For this article and more, check out the Calla Press Literary Journal Spring Issue here →