“You have something you want to tell us.”
My flight leader addressed the cadet officers in my flight at Cadet Officer School, a 10-day leadership training activity sponsored by Civil Air Patrol (CAP). Everyone at the camp had at least received the Mitchell Award in Civil Air Patrol, attaining the rank of Cadet Second Lieutenant, which some in CAP consider to be equivalent to receiving the Eagle Scout. Still, my flight leader knew there was more to our lives than that single achievement.
“You have something you want to tell us,” he explained, “I want you to share it with the flight now.”
One by one, each person opened up. One boy share that he came from a broken home. Another one related that his father had died, and now CAP was the main positive thing keeping him going in life. Ironically, a guy who made lots of jokes explained the stress of hearing his mom and dad fight all the time, and that he uses humor to cope. The others shared similar stories, relating their brokenness, struggles, and fears.
Every person is broken. Every single one. Sometimes we glorify or idolize people who seem to have it all together, but, in reality, we all still have things we have to deal with. Some people are just better at dealing with, or hiding, their brokenness.
From the edited photos and selective details shared on social media to the lifestyles presented on “reality” TV, we are fed a constant narrative of the “perfect” life that everyone, except us, has. Kids complain that they don’t get to do things that “everyone else” gets to do. Actually, we all do that in one way or another. It seems fate has cursed us with insurmountable obstacles and hardships, but others get it easy. We feel that everyone else got an easy ride to the top while we got stuck having to run up the down escalator.
However, in reality, nobody is perfect. A real shocker, I know. But, too often we forget.
Joe Biden ascended up the political chain until he became the Vice President of the United States! However, along his political journey, his wife and infant child were killed in a car accident, While a senator, his son suffered a major crash. In 2015, Joseph Biden III died during his father’s term as vice-president. Jeff Myers is a renowned apologist, author, and the president of Summit Ministries. But, 4 years ago, he went through a painful divorce.
Speaking of Summit Ministries, while attending one of their camps last summer, our small group leader had us each share our testimony--our whole testimony, up through the present. Of course, I am not going to violate their confidences, but I will say that every single one of us shared some sort of major hardship, struggle, or family situation that we were still dealing with.
I, for one, may look like some amazing person who is good at everything. I have received dozens of awards in public speaking and debate, I am a Cadet Captain in CAP (top 5% nationwide), I am a pretty good student, I have memorized hundreds of bible verses and been on champion bible quizzing teams, and my life is filled with other activities such as filmmaking, photography, church ministries, reading books, and, of course, blogging.
But, make no mistake, my life is far from perfect. I have my share of brokenness. At the age of 8, I watched helplessly as my sister went through an eating disorder. My dad was diagnosed with cancer and passed away in 2015. Today, my mom, my brother, and myself all have to work nearly or completely full-time to pay the bills, while still trying to keep our lives balanced between other obligations (and sleep). And there are many other things that I cannot share for various reasons.
Please don’t misunderstand me: I am not trying to complain or seem whiny. In fact, many of the things I have gone through a very common today. And, that’s the point: brokenness is everywhere.
Even Jesus, the only perfect man to ever live, while suffering on the cross, cried out, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46).
The elusive illusion of perfection that we are fed through the media and even our own observation is a destructive lie that blinds us to reality of the curse of sin. The fact is, we are all broken.
But that does not mean we have to mope as though we have no hope! (1 Thessalonians 4:13). One day, all brokenness will end. Every sorrow will be over. Every imperfection will be resolved. Every tear will be dried. Every single one (Revelation 21:4).
But until then, we have to let God use our brokenness to build and refine us, instead of letting it destroy us and hold us back.
That is what I will be writing about next time.
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About Nathaniel Hendry
I blog on common social issues from a reasoned, conservative Christian perspective in easy to understand writing. I am committed to academic excellence in writing and supported by solid reasoning and research.
About A Worthy Word
The Worthy Word isn't mine, but God's. I just try to explain the truly Worthy Word and encourage you from it.