A Reflection On Bold, Beautiful, and Broken

By Kyra Malamood

As I sat before the Blessed Sacrament during Holy Hour, unexpected tears began to stream down my face. “Where are these coming from?” I thought, “I’m in a good place right now!” I cautiously questioned: “Lord, could I still be hurt by that heartbreak? Lord, is this anger I feel right now? Toward who? Toward what? ” The sadness I felt was real. At a loss for words, I sat utterly confused. Yet, He had my attention. I cried out within my heart, “O Lord, have I deceived myself again?” My ego wanted to say ‘No, you are perfectly fine, stop worrying,’ but my tears spoke a soft and gentle yes. I sat there in silence. “What does this mean? Will I ever understand your ways, Lord?” All I knew was that my heart had been pierced by divine Love, and yet again, my miss independent pride was shattered.

The truth found in my tears that night is that I am broken. Whether our tears are from a heartbreak, sickness, a job loss, exhaustion or aggravation, it does not matter. I am broken. You are broken. We are broken and we need a Savior. I don’t know about you but this is hard for me to truly accept. I know it intellectually, but I forget it in my daily life. Recently, I felt myself blossoming into that bold and beautiful woman God created me to be, the one I’ve been seeking all my life. “I praise you, for I am wondrously made. Wonderful are your works!” (Ps. 139:14).

Oh, I do praise you Lord! I made it through the fire and here I am, more beautiful than before. But what about those tears I cried? What about those heartaches or the longings or the memories that won’t go away? What about the days I feel anything but wonderful? What about those people that hurt me? Humility check: If I had made it through the fire, if I had passed all life’s tests, I’d be a Saint in heaven right now, rather than writing about my trials and tribulations of the spiritual life. The reality is I am still human, and I am still broken. Our life is full of fires, some flames and others bonfires, but they exist because each of us are broken, living in an imperfect world.

Don’t get me wrong. Yes, we are bold and beautiful in our Father’s eyes no matter what. Yes, we are wondrously made! “Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire,” says Saint Catherine of Siena, and ladies, we are doing just that! However, we need to face our pride in order to set the world on fire. The desire to protect our egos stands in the way of shining our light. We wish to hide. We prefer the radiant, blemish free image of ourselves. This pride is the real culprit that holds us back from the path to holiness. Sisters, we are broken and we don’t like to admit that. If it were easy, everyone would do it, but our faith teaches us it is worth the discomfort.

How much better do we feel when we surrender, when we repent, when we let those tears out, when we see ourselves for who we are, in all our glory and our lowliness? Whether we accept it or not, the reality is that we will continue to live with pride. We will act like hypocrites. We will fall into temptation. We will get jealous. We will try to cling to control. We will lose our tempers. We will look for love in the wrong places. We will act selfishly. We will judge others. We will believe we can conquer our shortcomings on our own. Why should we expect perfection of ourselves? We are broken by nature. Okay, so what are we to do?

Praise speaks louder.
— Carolyn Shields

Let us rejoice! Rejoice at our brokenness and imperfections. We rejoice not because we are broken, but because our brokenness leads us to the One who loves us with a perfect, everlasting love. This is the truth for us all. Jesus became broken to meet you and me in our brokenness, and He alone can show us the way to wholeness. Sisters, this is the Good News of the Gospel. The world may tell us otherwise, but the precious moments of grace, like tears before the Blessed Sacrament, remind us to turn to Him. Our brokenness gives us an opportunity. With every sorrow, frustration, pain, heartbreak, jealousy, injustice, worry and fear our beloved Lord is there. Not only is Jesus there to meet us right where we are, but He is also opening a door, and that door leads to His infinite mercy. Let us leave our pride at the door and follow Him.

Ask yourself, “Where am I hiding? What am I afraid to see in myself or show to others? What am I holding onto?” It’s time to let go and let God. Let us be bolder together by calling upon the Holy Spirit to bring forth our shadows and enlighten the darkness of our hearts. Let us be more beautiful by surrendering to the Father that loves us, and accepting ourselves as we are: broken. Do not be afraid, for we are broken together and we are not left alone. Saint Paul reminds us as he did the Philippians, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice! Your kindness should be known to all. The Lord is near. Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:4-7). Let us praise the Lord always, for we are bold, beautiful and broken, and we have reason to trust in the God who loves us.