"My brokenness is a better bridge for people
than my pretend wholeness ever was." ~ Sheila Walsh
I tend to be very transparent about many of the experiences I’ve survived. People often question why I am as open as I am. I don’t understand the question because to me there’s no other way to live. I know people who work very hard at putting their past behind them and acting as if they’ve always had it together. I’m still working at getting it together and each day is a process. I often joke that I am a work in progress and that is work and progress at the same time.
I spent years pretending that I was doing fine when I wasn’t. I excelled in the workplace, but I would fall apart at home. Only the people closest to me had any idea what a mess I was. Out in public people thought I was a rising star. What a joke! Our greatest ministry is at home, not in the world. Later when my children began to struggle, I didn’t have to look very far to wonder why. It was because of the inconsistencies that I had represented in our home.
When we fall apart, the world does not console us. It would behoove mus to recognize that fact. We can have all the successes in the workplace and on campus that we want. However, when push comes to shove, it will be our families that are there for us in our midnight hour. If our witness has not been authentic at home, we will have earned whatever crisis we find ourselves in.
Once I took off my mask and was able to admit my flaws and mistakes and ask for forgiveness from those I had hurt the most, then I could receive true healing. God already knew what a wreck I was, so did my children. It was at that point of deep humility that He could step in and make the crooked places straight and the rough places in my life smooth.
Now that I can share my story openly and be transparent about my brokenness, I am able to reach more people who are currently experiencing some of the same pains that I did and I can help them. They don’t have to suffer nearly as long as I did or take as many of the same detours that I did. I am able to reach more people through my openness than I ever could have while displaying a stiff upper lip.
There are some people who can’t relate to my story and that’s OK. I believe I reach who I’m supposed to. When people are ready and God leads them to me, I’ll be here. Until then, I’m praying that everyone struggling with mental health challenges, substance abuse issues, and unhealthy relationships begins to see themselves through the lens of truth and hope and know that they are only one decision away from a better life.
That better life won’t happen overnight but it is possible once they decide they want it more than they want what’s familiar. It all begins with a choice. My choice was deciding to be honest with myself and to stop hiding behind the mask of perfection. What will yours be?