It was poolside in Haiti where I first shared God’s story in my life. Overlooking the beauty and vastness of the Caribbean blue, you cannot help to acknowledge God’s Holiness and your brokenness. The Holy Spirit, crafted a space of authenticity and safety amongst a group of women united in our understanding of our need for Jesus. It all started when a friend began to share God’s story of redemption in her life with a freedom and joy I had rarely seen, yet desperately longed for. The Holy Spirit used her story as an invitation to share my own brokenness.
This journey began several years earlier, as I sat eye to eye across from my husband and exposed the darkest parts of my bleeding heart to the man I had committed my life to. It was the same darkness that had hardened my heart to God, devastated my faith, and imploded my marriage. In that moment sin, secrecy, and shame were brought from darkness to light. In that sacred space where our brokenness collided God ushered in redemption.
And although, I was living in redemption, freedom and joy were suffocated by footprints of shame. I was terrified of being exposed. However, that April day, as the Caribbean blue crashed against the grainy white sand, I exposed my darkness. Just as those crashing waves wiped away footprints in the sand, God’s crashing love washed away my footprints of shame. The divine exchange of shame for freedom mended the cracks in my heart and birthed a joy I had longed for. It forever changed my perspective on brokenness and authenticity.
Why are we so afraid to expose our brokenness? Why are we so afraid to stand before God and each other authentically?
Our brokenness and sin are characterized by both running away from God in pursuit of fleshly pleasure and also striving to preform for God in order to earn His favor. Both leave us empty and lost. Authenticity before God humbles us to admit our need for God to save us from our brokenness and sin. It allows us to see who we are in light of who God is. We are sinful. He is holy. Therefore, we are separated from him. Yet, in his great love, while we were broken He sent Jesus to restore us to right standing before God. No matter how hard we strive we will never be enough. By confessing our brokenness to Him and placing our faith in Him we are restored to relationship with God. Through Jesus our brokenness leads to redemption.
However, God’s Word also commands us to confess our brokenness to each other. Confession creates space for us to remind each other that our righteousness is in Jesus alone. It silences the accusations that Satan throws at us in attempts to let us live redeemed but ashamed. It enables us to come along side each other in grace and truth to spur one another along in Christ-likeness.
Ellen Mary Dykas writes, “God’s Word commands us to walk in the light with one another, but all too often our discipleship ministries never seem to go very deep with people. This is because we stubbornly resist being real with one another, confessing our sins and helping one another forsake them. Freedom and flourishing, will happen only as we confess our real selves to God and to one another, pray for each other and help one another apply grace and truth to all our struggles.”
Could it be that the “freedom and flourishing” we all long for could be found by simply laying our true selves before the God of the universe and our tribe of people and positioning ourselves to be overwhelmed by the flood of His cleansing love? I promise you, your life will never be the same again if you risk a posture of brokenness.