“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.” – Albert Camus
He stares into the mirror, wondering what he has to offer in a world where all he knows is pain. The identity he claims is one of brokenness and heartache, not one of creativity, adventure, wonder, and eternal design in the image of his Creator. To separate his identity from his brokenness seems impossible to him. He denies that it’s even possible to be more than his pain and his past. As a result of his mental labor, he creates a future that reflects the identity that he claims.
I wish the above individual was a figment of my imagination, but this was an actual conversation I recently had with someone I knew in a former life. He was almost angry with me to suggest that he is more than his brokenness. It was not the common conversation I have with people when talking about brokenness. Rarely has anyone said to me, “How dare you speak words of hope!” In fact, I was kinda taken-aback. How could he be so negative about himself? Did he want to be miserable?
Something that is hard for us to accept, yet incredibly true, is that we are more than the good, the bad, and the ugly of our lives. We are eternal souls, we are artisans, we are loved, we are designed to love in return, we are passionate, and we are relationally designed. We are not the sum of our pain, our past, or our brokenness.
Yet, even though I believe this to be true and can write those words with such emphatic conviction, it is still incredibly hard to believe about myself when I indulge in self-reflection. The first things that come to mind when I think about my life are my disorder, my failures, my regrets, and my often jaded outlook on life. It’s hard to see the summer in the midst of a snowfall.
It’s amazing how a kind word can stick with you for a lifetime. When a friend reminds me of my worth and my gifts, it sparks a reminder of the man I tend to forget. One. Little. Word. A reminder of our beauty and our potential are often more refreshing than a summer breeze.
We all go through seasons of heartache and pain. It’s inevitable in this life. The greatest tragedy is that we miss the beauty that still remains in the midst of the pain. Some of the most creative works of art in human history were created in the midst of great suffering, not in the greatest moments of joy. It’s fascinating how much potential there is within the human soul to create beauty in the midst of the darkest nights.
You are more than your brokenness.
You are more than what someone did to you.
You are not the disorder that you battle each day.
Your life is much, much more than what you can even comprehend. It’s not self-help chatter that I’m spewing at you; this is incredibly true of you and of me. We were created with much more than what breaks us.