How broken is too broken? How much healing is enough? Will I ever be ready for a relationship? Marriage? Kids?
Often these questions plague survivors of sexual abuse and assault. I myself had questioned if I would ever be healed enough to even begin dating someone. I had read books by survivors that ended with a short blurb after depicting the seriousness of trauma saying, “I’m now 45, have a wonderful husband and three great kids.” And all I wanted to do is scream at the book, “HOW?!”
Perfection is a lie
There were times in my life that I felt so broken that I thought that I, like Humpty Dumpty, couldn’t ever be put back together again. I didn’t see how in even the next twenty years, I would ever be at a stage of healing where I could get married and have kids. I was terrified of men. I was afraid of being hurt. I was daily bombarded with flashbacks of my past. I loathed myself. I had given up hope on ever being the main character in a romantic story.
In hindsight (oh the beauty of it), I see that my pessimistic outlook came from having an unreasonable expectation that somehow I needed to be completely healed, healthy and basically perfect in order to get married. I didn’t realize this was a lie.
God knows what you need
It wasn’t that I didn’t need to seek healing, or desire to be free from the pain of my past. I needed to allow someone to love me, even in my brokenness. I often would push interested suitors away from me, inwardly screaming “I’m too broken!” My fear of them discovering just how broken I was and then rejecting me caused me to run and hide any time there was even a remote interest from a man. I never thought it would be possible for someone to look at all of me, all of my messiness and stay. But God, in His wondrous mercy, had a plan.
Without me realizing it, He wove a beautiful love story into my life. He brought in a man who first became my friend. A friend who stuck by me even in the middle of my flashbacks. I was on the journey of healing when he entered my life, but I was nowhere near to the level of healing I had assumed I would need to be at. But that’s just it. I never got to that place before I got married.
Yes, I had had significant breakthroughs in my healing, but I was still broken. What I didn’t know was that my now-husband could love me fully, even in my broken state, and would become one of the most powerful sources of healing in my life. God knew exactly what He was doing when he put this man at the local food pantry the day I decided to volunteer for the first time.
Three things to understand
What I want to say to you, my friend who is still asking these questions, who is still wondering if you will ever be unbroken enough to be loved, is:
1) You are already loved.
God loves you just as you are. He knows you fully. Inside and out. He adores you, scars and all. You don’t need another man to tell you what the Creator of the Universe has been saying since the beginning of time.
2) You don’t need to hide.
The man God has for you will be able to see all of you and love you for who you are. You just need to be brave enough to trust in His plans for your life. To trust that when the right man comes into your life, you can begin the slow process of letting down your walls and allow love to move in.
3) Life is unpredictable.
You may feel as though you’ve been waiting for this guy forever, and it seems like he’s never going to show up. I don’t know what God has in store for you, but I know He desires good things for you, and I know that you can’t even begin to imagine what they are and when they will come about. But hold on my friend, they are coming.
Love, hope and peace to you.