I Am Not Defined by My Brokenness | By Sarah Saenz

For a long time, I thought it was just me. I thought I was different. I thought that what I had experienced, what I went through, made me unique.

I saw others and thought, "You haven't endured what I have. You are a full and complete person. I'm not. I'm uniquely broken."

I have carried this idea around for most of my life. However, the Lord recently has begun to unveil some truth to me, and in His love, He has shown me just how wrong I have been.

You see, personal brokenness does not start and end with me. Not at all. I am not the only one; I have never been the only one. And the lie that tells me that the broken and sad portion of my life is what makes me "different" and sets me apart, is just that - a lie. The truth of the matter is, the world is full of broken people filled with broken pieces. I am NOT the only one with a story of heavy wreckage.

Brokenness does not make me unique.


As this revelation hit me, the truth of it was confirmed in my heart by all the times I could see this in God's Word.

Imagine the brokenheartedness and anguish that was King David's. Consider his life. He was chased down to be killed by King Saul, a man he loved, respected, and often comforted with his music. He was betrayed by his own friend and mentor! Consider when he lost his infant, knowing it was due to his own sin. Later, another child, Absalom, plotted against his own father to steal his kingdom.

How many stories of brokenness could David have told?

However, he is not remembered or venerated for his broken life. It is not what made David unique. He is described as a man after God's own heart, a worshipper, a lover of God's presence - not broken, not singular in the tragedies of his life, but unique in his pursuit of the Living God.

David should have been a hollow, tormented, flighty, and depressed individual. There were, no doubt, moments like this in his life as we see in the Psalms. However, these were moments he walked through, not landscapes he dwelt in. He should have been a victim, but he was not. King David was defined by his healing, by the wholeness he had in his relationship with God. His healing defined him and made him unique, not his brokenness.

David is not the only such person in the Bible, either. Consider the woman at the well. She was infamous in her hometown for her failed marriages and relationships. Consider the woman stricken for twelve years with constant bleeding. She was called unclean and outcast from society, robbed of all her money by deceitful doctors promising her a cure. Consider the woman caught in the act of adultery, her sexual life publicly exposed for censure and judgment.

Could you not say these women had a sad and broken story to tell? But we do not call these women broken. We remember them because they were healed.

Brokenness is not unique, healing is unique.

I am not different or unique because of what I have had to endure in my life. We are all broken, because this life breaks us! Every one of us has experienced this. It may be sexual abuse(like in my case), the loss of a parent or spouse, a failed relationship, the death of a child, the loss of a job, a heart-stopping diagnosis, or a permanent disability. This life breaks us all. But brokenness is not unique to anyone; healing is unique.

Now I can testify and express my favorite part of this: I am healed. Broken is not my name or my identification. This is why I am different. This is what makes me unique and sets me apart. The invisible hand of God reached down into the uttermost secret and broken place inside of me, and with "one touch of the hem of His garment", I am whole.

He is the only One who could reach into my heart this way, because HEALING is unique to Him. Healing is what God does, the Healer is who God is. It is why He tells the Israelites in Exodus 15:26, "I am the Lord that healeth thee."

He is the healer.

Jehovah-rapha: the Lord who heals you.

And Jesus did not come to just heal some, He came to heal all.

I would ask you, my sister and my friend, what brokenness are you carrying inside of you? What sadness are you clinging to because it makes you different? What distinction are you looking for by holding on the sorrowful portions of your life? Because you are more than that. That event cannot define you or elevate you. The Lord longs to heal you; He longs to free you from victimhood. Let Him. Let Him accomplish in your heart what is unique to Him and give you the name He has prepared for you: HEALED.

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