Can God use a broken story?

By Kersley Fitzgerald

The Series

Salvation and our Personal Story
Salvation and our Broken Story
Salvation and Personal Responsibility

In a recent post, I talked about our personal story, and mirrors and wolves and evil queen-witch-mothers. Oddly enough, all of that can be directly related to what our ministry ( does.

At GotQuestions, we regularly get questions from people who were not allowed to choose the significant part of their story, a story that has left them desperately broken, and now they're afraid there is no room for them in God's meta-narrative. Aspergers, autism, bi-polar, attachment disorder, ADHD, addiction-prone, over-active libido, OCD, PTSD...the list goes on. The fact is, every single one of us is affected by a story we did not choose. Maybe it broke us physically. Maybe it broke us mentally/emotionally/brain-chemically.

Maybe we were born with it (Psalm 51:5).

The kicker about these unwanted plot lines is that in some way, shape, or form, the brokenness encourages us to live in a manner that is not endorsed by the Bible — it works against God's meta-narrative for our lives. Addictive personalities drink; people with attachment problems don't love; autism spectrum makes it hard to put others first. So, how does God expect us to follow Him when He's stacked the deck? And isn't the fact He cursed us proof that He doesn't love us/doesn't choose us/doesn't care?

Character? Or Caricature?

First off, God no more did this to us than Wolf made Virginia's mother abandon her. And, like Wolf, God loves us without the expectation that we will tear out those pages of our lives. He does not expect us to be other than who we are.

The trick is, do we really know who we are?

All we see is the scene in front of us, the chapters that came before, and the broken character caught in it all. But God is the author of the meta-narrative. He knows how, like Virginia, we can absorb our past and allow it to inform us without defining us.

That's what's so hard about these sin-inducing character flaws — we let them define us and then we become caricatures, stock-extras, filler.

Wounded Heroes

In simpler terms, it comes to this. We can allow un-chosen events in our lives and un-chosen characteristics to define us. Or we can choose to believe that the God Who knows our every breath has a plan to use our story in a greater way. It means not indulging in resentment or coping mechanisms, and instead, accepting that we don't have to be perfect for God to accept us (Romans 5:8).

Because character flaws and tragic stories aren't salvation issues (Ephesians 2:8-9). Wolf loved Virginia when she was an abandoned, emotionally cold waitress, and God loves us in whatever state we're in. Virginia accepted Wolf's love at her lowest point — when she finally realized how broken she was. It wasn't until after that moment that she made the hard choices to be the hero — the hero she could only be because of her wounds.

So to all those people with autism/bi-polar/addictions — anything — God does accept us as-is. He can work in us to be the person He made us to be. We probably won't look like what we or the world expected, but the best heroes rarely do.

TagsChristian-Life  | Hardships

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Published 1-24-12