One of the most important life lessons in the book The Compass is that true strength, comes from brokenness. I love that word.
Even the word itself has power.
But what does it really mean?
I’ve learned that strength is defined so differently for everyone. Some were raised to believe strength is about never crying, manliness, being tough or calm or silent or still in all circumstances. Some believe it’s brawn. I believe it’s breaking, allowing yourself to be broken, and still surviving.
I also know there are many definitions that are individual for each of us.
I see a broken, homeless man on the street who t ells me he cannot survive another day and I say “baby steps,” and I think of those words in my own struggles. Sometimes those are the only steps we can take! I think of a man I know mired in depression, or another friend acting out in unhealthy ways that he regrets later, or a young woman desperately seeking marriage, who just doesn’t know if she’ll ever find the right one. I think of the strength it takes to survive any individual personal wound, and then the strength it takes to survive the big ones. My friend Mercedes was one of just 4 survivors of an airplane crash that claimed hundreds of lives. Not sure why I’m writing about this whilst sitting in an airport about to board a plane, but she is a true example of strength and being able to overcome the big things, the insurmountable life changing compass shifting moments of our lives.
“I am not sure I can survive another day,” a gang member slash friend living on the street told me recently.
“You’ve survived life this far, and you’ve lived through a lot already,” I said. “So yes, you can.”
True strength, comes from brokenness. Probably because God gives you what you need to become aware of new things, enabling you to see the world through a different lens.
Life is a series of peaks, and valleys.