The place of the wound is the place of the healing. The place of the break is the place of the greatest strength. That’s why Jesus himself, even in his resurrected body, reappears with the wounds still in his hands, in his side, in his feet.
—Richard Rohr, Breathing Under Water: Spirituality and the Twelve Steps
I’ve always liked this quote by Richard Rohr. This message gave me great hope a number of years ago as I went through my own sort of soul reset. As I walked the difficult journey of healing from a wounding, I felt broken to my core. And though I believed in a God who desired my healing, I wondered whether I would make it through the brokenness to a healed and whole self. This was one of the hardest struggles of my life. It called into question all that I had trusted and believed in, including my relationship with God. At one point, I realized that I didn’t know anything about God, except that there was a God.
There were times when hope, comfort, and trust were missing, and all I could feel was the despair of a never-ending brokenness. Sometimes all I could do was let others trust and believe and hope on my behalf. I could hang on to that fact—that though I didn’t know if I could get through the darkness, friends and helpers were there with me, encouraging me when God seemed to be absent.
I came to believe that God desires healing and wholeness for each of us and for all creation. But God cannot prevent the brokenness that happens on the earth, in our bodies, hearts, minds, and relationships. This brokenness, these fractures and disappointments, are part of the imperfect story of creation.
Years later, I can see how my woundedness helped to form the person I have become. My brokenness is part of the unique fabric of my life—a part of the collection of experiences that make up who I am. My wounds have helped to shape in positive ways the woman I have become. My brokenness was transformed into the gifts of compassion, creativity, kindness, and strength.
All of us are broken. And in each experience of brokenness, each wound, each setback, each breakdown, God the Comforter sits beside us, holding us in gentle arms, sending us strength, weeping with us, knitting together the pieces of a broken heart.
Take comfort and strength in knowing that whatever brokenness we have experienced, Christ has been there and is there to help us reset our soul. Thanks be to God.
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Beth A. Richardson serves as the director of prayer and Upper Room worship life.
Soul Reset: Breakdown, Breakthrough, and the Journey to Wholeness by Junius B. Dotson is available now from Upper Room Books. Learn more at SoulReset.org and experience practical, biblical guidance for wholistic healing through Jesus.
"Thank you for the creative teams [of The Upper Room] who are working together to share the power of prayer around the world. You have collaborated with everyone working from our homes to share the gifts of hope, love, grace, and peace." (Written in response to The Upper Room COVID-19 response efforts). View Jaqui's video contribution to the initiative, helping us create space and time for God in these anxious times.