My Broken Story

When I look back at my life I see various events that help define me.  Many of the events were part of my brokenness.  I can let those events define my future, or I can define my life backwards.  As a child of God, I know who I am and whose I am.  I know my future is determined.  I will spend eternity with God.  If that is the case, I should define my future in light of that eternal perspective.  My life is not just a cause and effect life, defined by the past, broken as it may be, but instead I can define my life based on its outcome, eternity with God.

Let me give an example from my life. I am a strong introvert. I really did not learn to chit chat until I was in college. The church I attended during my college years was an outreach to college students. I would after church stand around, sipping punch and eating a cookie waiting for someone to come up and talk to me. Conversations were happening all around me but not with me. I was somewhat of a wallflower. After quite a long while, I decided I have had enough of this and I attempted to take part in the conversations. It worked sometimes and not so well other times. Eventually, I learned to chit chat. Still today, others tend to be better at it than me, but I can do it. Because of this broken part of my life story, today, when I see a person alone at church, I will usually approach them and try to strike up a conversation. I want them to feel welcomed and not the loneliness that I felt. God has rewritten that part of my broken story and turned it into a good thing. My life has been redefined by that eternal perspective, and not by the brokenness of the past.

How do we define our lives? We seem to define ourselves by doing.  We respond to the question “Who are you?” by giving our occupation.  Doing seems to define us, but should it?  We might better be defined by our inner self, our “being”.  It is out of our thought life flows all our doings. Unfortunately, this also includes our fears, our struggles, our broken relationships, and our selfishness.  We are broken deep down inside.  But as Christians, we have hope.  God is for us, and he has made us his own.  We can be defined by our identity as a child of God. We are not defined by our broken doings.

With the enabling help of the Holy Spirit, we can begin to repair our brokenness and turn it into a blessing. Too many times we conform to the brokenness around us, to the culture of the world. We may say we are Christian, but many times we act like we are an atheist, thinking only of temporal desires and ignoring God and his wisdom. We need to be transformed and our minds renewed.

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.  Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:1-2)

That Romans passage tells us to submit ourselves to God, because of what God has done. We are not to be influenced by the broken world around us, rather we need to be transformed and renewed. This means we need to be intentional and disciplined in dealing with our inner self.  We should not become distracted by the many temporal things around us, rather we need to look to our eternal relationship with God and strengthen that intimate relationship. By focusing on God, and not on the events of the past, we will find wisdom and fulfillment.  (Daily reading of the Bible helps you grow in that relationship.  The S.O.A.P. method is one way of many ways to study Scripture.)

A good start is to note who we are, and whose we are. That definition of “being” is important and it sets the focus. We are God’s own, his children, saved for a life of good works which he has prepared for us to do (Ephesians 2:10). We need to recognize that our story is a part of God’s big story of salvation, and he wants to use us. With the enabling help of the Holy Spirit, we can renew our minds and “take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).

This post was inspired by Ken Boa’s book, “Rewriting Your Broken Story”.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s