How Do I Define Brokenness? Preface: In Hope for Healing lesson 5, as a participant, I was asked to examine the difference between a prideful spirit and a broken spirit. At first, I thought maybe I had come up with the "wrong" answer because the other women in my group saw brokenness as a bad thing and a place to be ashamed of. I see brokenness as a catalyst for total transformation. Looking back on my journey through failure, disaster, and gut-wrenching pain, I came up with this definition of brokenness. How Do I Define Brokenness? Brokenness is the place where I realize we are all the least of these. In this place of being molded like clay, I accept that I am not defined by a career, position, title, abilities, or productivity. It's a place where I recognize at any moment I may become homeless, a refugee, disabled, or an outcast. This is a place where I release the need to try to make everything happen the way I think it should happen. On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand. All other ground is sinking sand. The place where I crucify the image of how I thought everything was 'supposed to turn out', and where I recognize that the most influential story in my life is going to come from my deepest pain. Because it is that pain that is the path to those dreams I have held so dear. It is in the pain that I will find the greatest story ever told. In brokenness, I find that all of the things I have despised about myself, my journey, and my life are the very things that will allow me to connect to others in a way I could never have without them. As surfer Bethany Hamilton said after losing her arm to a shark, "I can reach so many more people with one arm than I ever could with two." Brokenness is a place of total transformation. When I have gone through the process of being broken, I have been willing to question every belief I have held so dearly and to utter the words, "I can be wrong. It's okay not to have all of the answers." It is a place where I have recognized that including others with different beliefs does not threaten my beliefs. It is a place where I allow my old system of beliefs and faith to be challenged down to the very core and even burnt to ashes. A new faith is then born from the ashes - a faith not dependent on systems or elders or images or "the way things have always been." To me, brokenness does not despise the journey but recognizes its beauty. It means I am willing to make the toughest decisions I have ever faced, even if it means sacrificing comfort and relationships. Brokenness means I would rather step into the Red Sea and drown than stay in the place of toxic bondage where everyone pretends to be okay.