Picking Up the Broken Pieces
We’ve all been there, right? You know, that place where Selena Gomez was at? Broken, exposed, and maybe even a little embarrassed or humiliated because of our own choices or perhaps circumstances beyond our own control.
I know I’ve had my fair share of moments where I felt like I was on a stage in front of thousands, if not millions, of people completely exposed and transparent. It’s in those moments, much like the one in Selena’s AMA 2016 acceptance speech (CLICK HERE) where we have to make the choice of rather we want to live in the past of our broken pieces, or live from a place of acceptance, transparency, and ultimately strength.
No matter our walk of life or the culture we come from, as humans, we all experience brokenness. We all experience hurt, and that’s a universal truth which is inescapable. I’ve seen brokenness run rampant in the straight/married community because of infidelity, and yet if you were to speak with a friend from the homosexual community you would find that there is just as much brokenness for similar reasons.
Brokenness surpasses the moral high ground that we each enjoy pretending we have. It comes to us in the form of a bad choice, a loved one passing, a friend lying, a life-threatening illness, or any myriad of circumstances. When brokenness arrives, it insists on our full attention, and if we give ourselves to it, then it will also be content in assuming control of our lives.
The problem of allowing ourselves to be bound in our hurt and brokenness is that it keeps the good things that reside inside of us locked away as it’s prisoner. It breeds guilt, shame, fear, and even depression. Our broken pieces of this life weren’t meant to be natural inhibitors, but rather stepping stones toward a larger more joy-filled life. There is a place where we can learn to live above and beyond our circumstances and even the control of our own emotions.
There exists, in Jesus, a peace of mind that is not subject to our own thinking or past actions. How do we find this peace you might ask? I’m no expert, and I’m certainly on my own journey and process towards living in joy and not in brokenness, but one thing I’ve adopted is this:
Philippians 4:8: Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, authentic, compelling, gracious – the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse… [The Message Translation]
Our natural response when brokenness knocks on our door is to not only invite it into our lives, but give it a place of influence and authority, so that it becomes the loudest voice that we hear. We’ve already established that brokenness, hardship, pain, and the like are unavoidable and a part of this life. However, there is a place of strength that we can live from where we are no longer under the influence of brokenness and pain. Do we feel it? Absolutely! But that doesn’t mean that we have to live from that place, and our thinking doesn’t have to be controlled by its manipulators any longer.
I submit to you that we can change the way we think, and therefore change the way we view our own lives – even our pain. Perspective is such a powerful tool, and I fear that it is one of the most under-utilized weapons in our arsenal as humans and followers of Jesus. Don’t allow fear, pain, brokenness, and anxiety to dictate your future, but rather allow the message of Philippians 4:8 to begin to dictate your thinking.
Selena Gomez has obviously found a peace that passes the understanding she had in 2014, as she mentioned in the video. I’m on my own journey for the same and would like to invite you along. Sometimes it may feel hard, and even embarrassing like you’re standing in front of thousands of people. The difference between her and I is that she actually was in front of that many people, and I applaud her for her bravery to speak out about her brokenness and pain. I thank her for her willingness to encourage a generation of people to choose wholeness and not brokenness. So, I’ll leave you with something I personally never thought I’d be saying: In the wise words of Selena Gomez, “If you are broken, you do not have to stay broken…”