What do you do when you have something that breaks? For me it depends on what it is, but usually if I have something that breaks I get rid of it. There’s no sense in keeping something that’s broken and when something breaks I take it as a sign that it’s time to move on to something else and upgrade to something new.
Perhaps this mindset is why I’ve had such a hard time feeling like I can be useful with where I’m at in life. I’ve expressed that this has been a hard year. To be honest it’s been so hard, that I’m pretty dissatisfied with everything and I don’t feel like myself anymore-just a broken version of myself. This is hard to admit this because I’m supposed to be the one that encourages people. I feel like I’m supposed to be the grounded one that has all the answers and helps other people fix their problems.
I’m realizing that the more pressure I put on myself to be the perpetual problem solver or constant encourager, the more I retreat into a sea of insecurity when I don’t have my own act together. I start to feel useless, unauthentic, and unqualified. As artists, we all deal with insecurities that cause us to get too much in our head. Sometimes it’s to the point where we can’t do the very things that we are called and created to do because we’ve reach a point of complete defeat. We feel broken and we start to think that a higher functioning person could get the job done better than we can. We let ourselves get tossed aside like those broken items I talked about in the first paragraph.
I’d love to give you “3 steps to put your life back together,” but I won’t because I’m still navigating through it myself. If something is broken, pretending that it’s not broken isn’t the answer, but throwing it away isn’t the right answer either. This past week I celebrated my 24+6th birthday. Six years ago I went through some serious health issues that almost took my life. However, I was given a second shot at life and I usually like to celebrate that anniversary. In reflecting on the physical brokenness that I’ve since been healed from I was reminded of how God used that brokenness for good in ways I could have never imagined.I wasn’t written off as an invalid who should give up, I was used, my sickness was used, and my brokenness was used. We may not use broken things but God does. Let me give you an example of this.
This past week I saw a friend’s Facebook post that basically expressed how frustrated he was with where he was at in life. I responded with “I’m in the same boat.” The next day we had a conversation that I thought was going to consist of commiserating with each other and instead, my friend was the one encouraging me. That really inspired me because here was someone who could have said, “I’m not in a good place and I have nothing to offer, and I shouldn’t be giving advice,” but didn’t, instead he poured into my life right where he was at. I have to say that spoke volumes and was such an example of God using us in the circumstances that we are in.
We have a team at Disney called the Care Team that does nice things to encourage their fellow cast members. The other day they gave out these snack packs that had encouraging quotes in them. One cast member got a quote that said “We’re all a little broken aren’t we?” He read it and said “well that’s not very encouraging.” I remember thinking, “that’s actually really encouraging!” We’re all in the same boat- no one is perfect! We’re all broken in some way, maybe some more than others but that doesn’t mean we can’t be used where we’re at. We may be broken, insecure, unhappy, or inadequate but we can’t let that stop us dead in our tracks.
There is a song by Matthew West that has really resonated with me. It’s called “Broken Things” and you can listen to it here. If you’ve never heard it, I encourage you to listen to it, especially if you can relate to anything I’ve written in this post. I love these lines in particular:
I think God is the only one I know that can take a near death experience and turn it into one of the best things that ever happened in my life. He’s the only one I know who can use the underdog, misfit, murderer, thief, adulterer, prostitute, nobody, and so many others to play key roles in his story. He only uses broken things so I guess the first step to being used where we are at is by believing there’s a God who does use us where we are at.