Broken Yet Whole – Angelina’s Story
In 2015 I got engaged. I was 23 years old and ready to start the next chapter of my life with the man that I loved. I was excited, expectant and filled with anticipation about our life together. 24 hours later it was over. My fiancée broke up with me and walked away from our relationship. My dreams were shattered and I was a mess. My brain was working overtime trying to make sense of what had just happened and I couldn’t stop crying. As I was trying to recalibrate the new normal, I shed so many tears in those first few days that I was sure I could put California out of a drought.
I wept in sadness over the loss of the man I loved, who was no longer by my side. I wept in grief over the loss of my best friend and I wept with frustration at my shattered dreams. I had depended on my boyfriend for so much and looking back, had almost idolized him. I had allowed him to become the center of my life, the focus of my affection and my source of strength, identity and comfort. When all of that was ripped away I felt totally lost. I was stripped of all things and the person I found comfort in so that I may focus on where to find my true and ultimate comfort; the Lord. The first night after our breakup I cried out to God in my grief and he spoke straight to my heart saying,
“My dear Angelina, it is possible to have my peace, joy, and love and experience my wholeness and restoration even without the love of your life. Beloved daughter, I want to bear your burdens, all of them. Rest in Me, receive My peace, and you will be not only renewed but refined as well.”
“I have heard your prayer and seen your tears I will heal you.”
(2 Kings 20:5)
I had never really understood the fact that I could feel so broken yet be so whole in Christ. This revelation gave me such peace.
In my brokenness, I found my wholeness in Christ.
In my brokenness, I realized my restoration, redemption, and wholeness came when I realized that all I need is Jesus. He is my true comfort. It helped me see that my pain had an expiration date and that my hurt wouldn’t last forever. From that point I disciplined myself to look forward not backward. It wasn’t easy or immediate but every day I allowed God’s word to remind me of how redemptive and restorative He is in the midst of tragedy and brokenness.
“When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs.
The autumn rains will cloth it with blessings”
“I will… transform the Valley of Trouble into a gateway of hope”
Looking back I realize that everything I had gone through in these last 10 months has taught me so much about myself. It has also given me the gift of space to see that there was so much more to be discovered about my relationship with God.
The greatest loss of my life led me to the greater love of my life.
I had to become like the lost sheep in order to learn to trust in the Shepherd’s voice and plans for me. By learning the valuable lessons God had entrusted me to learn; finding treasure in my hardship, I was able to learn how to trust Him and trust His process.
My pain was not in vain. This trial taught me resilience and pinpointed that God is in the business of doing miracles and is in the business of restoration. God does create beauty out of ashes. I know first hand that God is capable of healing the broken hearted, restoring the wounded and can redeem our deepest pain.
It is easy to long for a life without difficulty, yet I have been reminded that oaks grow strong in the wind and diamonds are made under pressure. Life is hard. Life is messy. But Jesus is real and God is not only sovereign but also good.
Great is our God over every circumstance. Great is our God over every trial. And great is our God over every doubt.
In painful times God is strengthening me, in peaceful times He is restoring me and in all times He loves me.
God is the redeemer of broken pasts and the giver of glorious futures. When I have Him, I have everything.