damaged

I have been wounded, dragged through the dirt, trampled on, beat down, and left for dead. I have been punished for other people’s sin; I have bled as result of someone else’s pride. I have been spit on, split open, and I have had my heart ripped out of its cage. If words could wound physically, I would be beaten beyond recognition. My own mother would not be able to identify me.

I am damaged.

Beyond measure, I am damaged.

I am easy prey. There is nowhere to run because there is no way I can. There is no way to fight back because my arms have been sapped of their strength. There is no way to call for help because I have been silenced and made invisible by the words of others.

This is what I have believed of myself for over two decades. This is how I still see myself. Broken, an easy target.

Damaged.

But along came this Man who rebuked me for assuming this identity.

“Stop calling yourself ‘damaged’ when I have made you whole.”

Whole? According to whom?

According to Him.

What was once fractured, He is mending. What was once empty, He is filling. What was once shattered, He is making beautiful.

Amongst my healing, I still believed myself to be damaged. I accepted it as my identity. Simultaneously as I accepted “Christian.”

But these two identities cannot be reconciled together. There is no compromise. There can be no give and take.

There is only one or the other.

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” —2 Corinthians 5:17

I have been made new, reconciled to Him that I may be free from my former identity. I wore “Damaged” as a name badge for over twenty years. This word covers a multitude of implications, several dozens of other victimized identities. If this was the identity I claimed, no wonder I could not fight back, no wonder I was easy prey. This undefined is what I allowed to define me. How could I know who I was if I could not see past what that one word carried with it?

But no longer.

He has called me whole, and I have no right to disagree. He has called me righteous, and I must forsake my pride and accept it. He has called me new, and it is His loyalty to His glory that will make me so.

I cast aside this old identity that gave me nothing but took everything. I relinquish this burden that crushed me and grew heavier with each passing day. I refuse this label that denied me strength and dignity but gave me shame and brokenness.

I am not damaged. No longer.

He has made it so I cannot ever be called “damaged” again. In Him, I have new life, new identity. I cannot be both whole and damaged.

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” —Philippians 1:6

I give up all the rage and emptiness I once had in order to gain all the riches that He promises.

Because of Him, I have strength to fight. Because of Him, my steps can be firm. Because of Him, I have a face. Because of Him, I have a name.

The world is no longer contending with me; it is contending with God.

“‘They will fight against you, but they will not overcome you, for I am with you to deliver you,’ declares the LORD.” —Jeremiah 1:19

My God, my God. Be my identity; let “child of God” hold power in my life. I am Yours; You are mine. I am whole because You have made me so. Fight for me and rescue me.

Define me; as my Maker, You have the only right to do so.

i am not my abuse

April is Child Abuse Awareness Month. While it hurts my heart that there is even a need for such a month, I am also glad that the issue is given light.

But let’s not reduce it to something we just do in April. There are kids all around the world and also in our very neighborhoods who need help, prayer, intervention, and by whatever means available to us, we are responsible to exercise them for the benefit of others.

“Few are guilty, but all are responsible.”
―Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Prophets

For those who have grown up with wounds and scars from abuse, please know that what happened to you is not your identity. There is so much more to the world, and if you dare to stretch your wings, you can rise above the ashes to see them.

i am not my abuse