Broken and Beloved

Broken and Beloved

Not that I need another show to binge watch, but This Is Us on NBC has to be one of the most touching shows on television right now. I cry every single episode. Every.single.episode. What really gets me is the way the show covers the most delicate family dynamics with a little bit of humor and a lot of grace. It captures how our childhood seeps into our adulthood, conscientiously or not. As someone who had a challenging childhood, I’m not one for blaming my past for my present actions, after all, my present actions are my choices and I control my choices. However, those choices come from my belief system which stems in part from the experiences of my childhood. And some of those experiences left me broken.

We got to talking about family dynamics during Thanksgiving. My mother-in-law, who I think is a pretty remarkable woman, was talking about her current relationships with her siblings. Some of these relationships are strained. I was surprised to learn that part of the strain comes from the impression (true or not) that her brother received preferential treatment when they were kids and that resentment came along for the ride into their adult relationships. My mother-in-law is seventy years young. This means that she and her siblings have carried these feelings around for some sixty odd years. Family ties broken.

Isn’t that crazy? But we do it. Have you ever gotten into an argument with someone and you both stop speaking to each other and years later you can’t even remember what you argued about? Relationships broken.

The other night I had this dream about one of my family members. It was so real that I was disturbed for many hours after I woke up. In the dream, my family member was being abused by their father. In real life today this person is abusive. It makes me wonder if my dream is true. In many cases abuse leads to abuse (this is also a cycle that can be stopped). However, certain members of my family, they live in an alternate reality where past hurts didn’t happen. The events fester just under the surface like an infected wound. If we don’t talk about the bad stuff that means it didn’t happen. Trust and security broken.

I was reminded by someone the other day that the holidays aren’t all holly jolly for everyone. Broken families, broken hearts and broken homes can leave people feeling lonely, regretful, isolated and sad. We missed loved ones who left us way too soon, mourn relationships that used to be different.

This time of year we must remember the magnificent hope that came to us in the form of the baby Jesus. Our heavenly Father saw that His children were broken and He wanted us to know that we are also beloved. Adored. Treasured. Cherished. While He cannot fully protect us from the harms of this world, He sent His son Jesus as a living sacrifice to secure our future, to make us whole again.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. ~ Isaiah 9:6

As a little girl, on many Christmases I wished for a family that wasn’t quite so broken. For a Mom and Dad who were married and lived under one roof. Not for a Mom and Step Dad(s) or a Dad and Step Mom(s). Not for a Mom who died of cancer when I was 11. Not for a Mom who was too busy fighting cancer, figuring out who she was/what she wanted and had some growing up to do to give me much attention. Not for a Dad who showed up sometimes and then left leaving me wondering what was wrong with me. Yet the crazy thing is that through it all I knew my Heavenly Father loved me. He loved all of my broken bits and pieces. My imperfections. I believed then and still believe that He is my protector, my leader and forgiver. My hope and my comfort. My everything.

But you, O LORD, are a shield around me; you are my glory, the one who holds my head high. ~ Psalm 3:3

If this is a difficult time of year for you, if you find yourself feeling alone, please know that you are loved beyond measure by a God who heals our brokenness, because we are and always will be His beloved.

Grace & Such strives to advance Christian growth among women. While we believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, we also recognize human interpretations are imperfect. Grace & Such encourages our readers to open their Bibles, pray for wisdom and study for themselves what the Word says. For more about who we are, please visit the About Us page.
Tara Watson
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  1. Diane Karchner on December 28, 2016 at 8:26 AM

    A timely post for sure. We all have brokenness as a part of our story, don’t we? So glad that Jesus came and gave us a way to heal all of it in our heart, even if life still feels and looks broken. Thanks, Tara, for our sweet post reminding us that we are all “loved beyond measure by a God who heals our brokenness, because we are and always will be His beloved.”

    • Tara Watson on January 2, 2017 at 11:32 AM

      While my scars are visible, Jesus healed my wounds. And I know that when I draw myself closer to him, my scars appear to fade because my focus is not on the wounds but on the healing.

  2. Susan Mcmillan on December 28, 2016 at 9:19 AM

    As I read this, I felt like you were literally speaking directly about and to me. Over the past 7 years I have had to walk a very hard and confusing journey of healing, learning to forgive and accept forgiveness. It is a broken world that we live in. I grew up in a very big family and to me that meant instant friends but as I get older, I also realize that these are relationships that need to be nurtured constantly in order to exist. What would we be if it weren’t for the love and Grace of Christ?. He brings healing, He does and can mend a 60 something year broken relationship. I pray and hope for that daily in my life.Thank you so much for writing this piece.

    • Tara Watson on January 2, 2017 at 11:37 AM

      I pray for that for you too Susan! God’s work in our hearts and lives is nothing short of a miracle.
      My heart was so hard for years, filled with hate because of past hurts. I prayed for years to be able to forgive a family member for what he had done. I didn’t stop praying. And one day, I found that my heart was at peace. The hate was gone and it was replaced with compassion. It shocked me. I started to see this person as someone who was flawed and broken but who could be redeemed by God. So I let the hatred and fear go knowing that God was in charge of his soul.

  3. Gretchen Hanna on January 2, 2017 at 5:53 PM

    Such a touching and thoughtful post, Tara. He really does redeem the harshest of broken circumstances, doesn’t He?

    • Gretchen Hanna on January 2, 2017 at 5:55 PM

      P.S. and BTW, let me just tell you how sorry I am that you lost your mom so young. Just sending a hug to the little girl in you who never received enough hugs from her mama. xoxox

      • Tara Watson on January 5, 2017 at 8:29 PM

        This was so touching, thank you Gretchen.
        I treasure being a Mom every single day and the relationships I get to have with my young adult kiddos.
        And now helping my daughter to prepare for her wedding, oh so many hugs!
        All the feels.

    • Tara Watson on January 5, 2017 at 8:27 PM

      Can’t do it without him!

  4. Diane Tarantini on January 12, 2017 at 7:33 PM

    This is a great post, Tara. How blessed you are to have known from an early age to lean on God. Wish I’d figured it out sooner but better late than never, right??

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