I’m An “Expert” On Dysfunction

Blue classical style Armchair sofa couch in vintage room

In my spare time I have been researching branding and becoming an expert in a particular field. As in, I am supposed to be an expert in a field. No pressure. So, today I would like to chat about all things dysfunctional, families especially.

I am passionately driven about ministry to women. But, I’m laser focused on the girls who worry that they will forever be that girl, the broken one. They have been labeled by the past and sometimes by themselves. I could throw out some statistics about what society says they will become.

Like, if you are a product of divorce the chances of you experiencing what split your family wide-open is at a higher risk percentage.

If you are the daughter of an alcoholic, you will most likely be one too and self-medicate with anything you can get your hands on.

If by some unfortunate event you watched your mother take abuse like she deserved it, you would become the girl who always loved, and chased, the bad boys too. So many ifs and odds…and the odds don’t look so great for us, do they? On the other side of the statistics, waving to you wildly to come over and join us, is a vast army of unlabeled women. We are free because we are dealing with our mess, not defined by it.

I’ve been very honest about where I fit and what I have experienced in life, and I do fit with you. I do. But, I am not what happened to me. I am better because of it. I do not wear, nor own, a victim label. I’ve had it pretty good, I think. When I read that God is in the business of making all things new, I knew that I could be that new thing, that we could be that new thing. 

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:19 NIV)

For years I stood in the middle watching and wondering what I would become, wondering who I was and where I fit among the sides with the bloodlines and the vast diversity of how we do life. For decades I felt like I didn’t fit. And maybe I didn’t, maybe I blended. I blended what I had experienced in my history with what I wanted my life to look like for the future.

Fears became strongholds that said I would never be like that and I would never do that. 

Fear said I will never become the thing that wounded me.  

I was focused on my wasteland instead of my new thing.

Becoming a perpetual student of the Word I started to view statistics as they should be viewed, they are an analysis, an organization of data collected by really smart men and women trying to find a solution and a roadmap of where people might end up, or who they might become, based on what they have experienced in their personal and family history. But, statistics are not the gospel truth because the gospel doesn’t change.

Months ago, I heard a man ask if someone was a product of divorce. Then he alluded to the fact that this girl would always be limited. I held my tongue and later told the person with me that I felt like he was talking about me. It’s really hard to identify with something you have never experienced, I get that, but the power of Jesus Christ is stronger than statistics, bloodlines, and everything that the fall of man hurls at us on a daily basis.

You are not less, nor do you have less of a chance for a “normal family and marriage” just because you are the product of divorce.

You find your normal.

You are not the product of divorce, but you were shaped by it. Wounded by it even.

But, you are going to be okay.

You are not the product of dysfunction although you were reassembled by it.

And just because you were abused doesn’t mean that you will be an abuser.

Everything fiery dart that the enemy tried to destroy us with is attached to a people group we are supposed to fight for. God will use our mess for His glory, not ours.

I’ve have loved and have experienced every beautiful, horrible, messy side of family. I have lived through the wake of divorce and sharing time. I have lived through watching grown adults keep a tally and record of wrongs so long that it could wallpaper the Vatican. Because of this I learned to make better choices, ones that resulted in me becoming better.

Yes, you might have some pretty messy things in your past, but don’t you know that God can use all of that more if you stop pretending you don’t have it? You cannot be defined by your past if you are too busy trying to change someone’s future. Go get ’em. I am living proof that your baggage can actually become your platform.

Love,

Jennifer