Monday, January 31, 2011


Do you believe that broken things can be fixed?

When I think of something being broken, I imagine a Barbie doll with a missing leg or arm. She looks so incomplete but the painted smile on her face is daunting. Barbie has no choice but to smile, whether she has all her limbs or one or two missing.

I remember being broken at a very young age. I remember my father (I only have two solid memories of him) fighting with my mom one day and breaking the locks on our apartment door out of anger. I remember watching everything ensue, understanding that something was not right yet not comprehending the situation at all. I remember my mother crying and I wept for her. I knew she was sad because Papi did something that was not nice, but my mommy was inconsolable, and I felt obligated to take in all her tears. I was four years old. I was already broken.

It seems that when you are ripped apart that first time, the next time it happens doesn't hurt as bad. Eventually you get used to it, even longing for it because it becomes normal.

But we all know broken is not normal. You either get fixed or you get thrown away.

If my mother would've seen the Barbies I dismembered, cut their hair, and colored their faces with markers, she would've thrown them out.

I saw them differently. They were different in their brokenness, their ugliness. In their changed appearance they were unique. I liked them this way, my misfit Barbies. They gave me comfort. Not everything was perfect. Some have flaws, many missing some vital pieces, but they remained the same Barbie, with the never-changing, painted-on smile. I longed to pretend everything was okay, plastering on my own Barbie smile, hoping people noticed that and not my missing pieces. Instead of searching, or even realizing I could search for healing, I opted for plastic surgery.

And now I have very big scars.

My father was broken. My mother was broken. It seemed like damaged goods became the family heirloom, therefore I inherited the fractures, always believing it was natural. Embracing them like items of value and significance, I never thought for one moment that I was not whole, that some rehabilitation was in order.

Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed;
Save me and I will be saved,
For you are my praise.
-Jeremiah 17:14

The healing process takes time. I know God forgives our sins the second we confess whole-heartedly, but we forget to see that the aftermath of that sin is in need of healing.

How do we stop from doing it again? We look to Jesus for help.

How do we turn away from what used to hurt when it seems so commonplace to do so? Ask Jesus to hold your hand as you walk away.

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
-Matthew 7:7

Jesus gives me immense hope. In Him I can heal. Perhaps I can never attach the arm and leg I am missing. With age, my face will change, my hair will gray. Whether because we have been broken by original sin, our own experiences and/or just our body's natural decaying process, one thing that never changes is God's promises to us. In our constant need for repair, God comes with His toolbox, to mend our souls and set us free in hopes that we will just turn to Him and say,

"I'm done with being broken Father. Now all I want is the everlasting cure."

Doesn't it feel so comforting to know that?

God bless!

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