I am broken.
These are the words plaguing my thoughts as I lie awake, but exhausted in the darkness of the early morning, contemplating the upcoming birth of my third child. Every scenario this fear could apply to is running through my head.
Will my body even go into labor on it’s own? Will this end in a repeat emergency C-section? Will I be able to handle three children when I feel so inadequate as a mother to two? Will the dreaded PPD or PPA haunt me again?
The specific fears are recent, but the belief is not new to me. The thought that I am broken has resided in the recesses of my soul for as long as I can remember.
This morning though, the words don’t fuel fear and uncertainty, they provide a blanket of peace and hope.
I am broken. While once a negative self-belief that threatened to destroy my life, these three words now provide the gentle foundation of humility and understanding of my divine worth that support every other aspect of my testimony.
There is a Japanese art form known as “kintsukuroi”, which translates as “golden repair”. Simply put, artists take broken pottery and repair it with gold, silver, or platinum. The brokenness of an object, with its subsequent repair, is therefore something to be acknowledged, even celebrated, as part of it’s history, instead of being viewed as worthless or less than.
When my perspective changed to view my own brokenness from this angle, I found I could no longer fear the many cracks and scars that littered my past. On a deeply personal level, I began to see that my life was not simply a pile of shards, getting smashed anew with each mistake, each heartbreak, each trial.
Instead, not a single piece has ever been or will ever be lost, as my Savior, through His infinite Atonement, puts me back together each time. It isn’t gold He fills my emptiness with, it’s His own blood. From the Garden of Gethsemane and the Cross on Calvary, He shed His blood for me. He did it willingly, knowing my brokenness far deeper than even I can comprehend. And so my scars, my cracks, my sins and pains, are filled and repaired time and time again by His sustaining life, a gift far more precious than gold, silver, or platinum.
My brokenness takes many shapes. As a youth, I found it in self-harm, an eating disorder, the divorce of my parents, and an abusive relationship with my mother. As a young adult, I found it in depression, severe anxiety, and betrayal at the hands of those I loved most. Still now, I find it in comparison, judgement, parenting, fear of the future, and the constant failure of my best laid plans. No matter what form it takes, I know my brokenness is never too much for the Savior. I know I am never beyond repair.
I am broken. We all are. By allowing His blood to fill the cracks, I can embrace my story – mistakes, pains, and all – and use it to share the message of His goodness instead of allowing shame to swallow me up. I am who I am because of my brokenness, not in spite of it. How grateful I am to be broken.