I remember growing up in youth group, listening to people share their testimony about how they found God. Drug addicted, sleeping around, drinking too much, these individuals shared their most broken places and told us about the hope of God finding them there and restoring their lives. And it truly was a beautiful story of redemption but I didn’t know how to apply it to my life.
I received a message that immense brokenness is always a requirement to be saved by Jesus. That our testimonies must have elements of addiction and despair and total depravity before we can claim the title “Christian”.
The church has done us a disservice by preaching that brokenness is the only way to feel close to God.
When we focus too much on our brokenness and trauma and pain, we will never get to freedom. It’s safer and more comfortable to live there. It’s easier to identify as a victim or a sinner than it is to proclaim freedom.
I think we move further from God when we do this, not closer.
Because in refusing to let things go and give them to God, we’re telling Him: “I don’t trust you to take care of this so I’m going to keep doing it for myself”. We’re choosing to live in a wounded world of distrust and fear - and Satan wins.
Where God offers freedom, we choose anxiety. Where God offers confidence, we choose fear. Where God offers a fuller life, we choose to cling to what we knew rather than what we could be.
I’ve lived here, subtlety, for a long time. Allowing hurts from people and the church and life to rule the way I enter into new relationships and experiences.
It feels so complicated to move out of trauma - and it can be. That’s why we have counselling and pastors and community - we need support to get better. I’m a firm believer in that. But those resources aren’t the real solution. At the end of the day, you can find every resource in the book and still never move from being trapped by your past. Because it’s not their decision, it’s ours. We have to choose freedom for ourselves. It is imperative that we get to the place where we can believe that God cares enough for us to give Him our burdens. It’s not complicated to lay down what hurts the most at Jesus’ feet. But getting to a place where we trust Him enough to do that - that takes work.
I believe it’s worth it though.
The church lead us to believe that sin is a forever state of feeling guilty and not enough and scared. God tells us that sin is forgiven in an instant and we can move to newer life the second we choose.
The church lead us to believe that brokenness is a requirement to being Christian, and that we have to keep staying in those cycles. God tells us that we were never made to be broken, and He wants to bring heaven on earth.
If we want things to be on earth as they are in heaven, we have to start believing that we can exist on earth as we will in heaven. We have to let go of our brokenness to step fully into the freedom we have been offered, but we cannot claim both.