Throughout orientation, we’ve been discussing InnerChange’s core missions, one of which includes being driven by a passion to minister to profoundly broken people. Today I’ve been really stuck on how I was also once profoundly broken, too, and in some ways, still am.
It may not be manifested through homelessness, or drug abuse, or addiction, but it’s still there. My brokenness and shortcomings. My sin.
A few years ago, I can honestly say that I was profoundly broken, paralyzed at a mental and emotional state that prevented me from thriving in all areas of my life – relationally, academically, and spiritually. I was severely depressed and self-absorbed with my own pain, directing it inward with an attitude of self-hate.
It was awful. And I hid it pretty well, telling most people that I was just fine. But eventually this pain came leaking out, until I found myself finally making proactive decisions to find healing. I went to the doctor to get help with my anxiety, started going to counseling, began being more physically active – and, most crucially, started taking my spiritual journey seriously. Pursuing Jesus and finding community with other Christians became more than a part of my life, it became the most important part.
I don’t say all of this as a way of lifting myself up – I say this in a hopeful prayer that those that are hurting like I was would find too rest in a relationship with Jesus.
When I think about a future of being in full-time ministry, I immediately come up with all these excuses of why I’m not a good candidate. I’m introverted, I’m shy, I have a past I’m not proud of. How can I encourage and lift up others when I’m so often unkind to myself? What use can I be to God as an imperfect, in-process sinner?
But guess what? It doesn’t matter. My brokenness doesn’t have the final say in my story, the cross does. God uses us just as we are, messy and still growing, to usher in His healing and restoration. He doesn’t require perfection, just our willingness and surrender. It’s a beautiful trade-off.
I’m still so young with a lot of dreams and fears. Who knows – maybe I’ll end up as a missionary, or maybe urban ministry will be a part of my life but not my vocation. Either way, I can’t wait to keep leaning in to His plans for my life.