In the gripping novel Sister, a character by the name of Beatrice writes to her younger sister, Tess, about uncovering the roots of her own pervasive insecurity. The final abandonment came, she says, when her mother packed her off to boarding school. That was when her younger brother’s death and her father’s desertion coalesced into the overarching message that she was unwanted and alone. But now, as an adult, she has discovered a surprising truth. Rather than rejecting her, her mother had been trying to protect her by sending her away. Yet her essential problem remains: she is still broken, even if that brokenness is based on a misunderstanding.
“The problem was,” she says, “knowing the reason I was insecure didn’t help me to undo the damage that had been done. Something in me had been broken, and I now knew it was well intentioned—a duster knocking the ornament onto the tiled floor rather than its being smashed deliberately—but broken just the same.”1
Like Beatrice, we may suffer from unintentional wounds inflicted during childhood. While greater self-understanding can be helpful to the healing process, understanding alone cannot put us back together because broken is still broken. But unlike characters in a novel, we have access to a Healer who is able to transform us, using the hurt we have suffered for a purpose yet to be revealed.
Today as you seek the Lord, who is our healer, ask him for a deeper understanding of the roots of your brokenness. Then pray that he will touch you with his healing and redeeming power.
- Rosamund Lupter, Sister: A Novel (New York: Broadway Books, 2010), 117.