I had the opportunity to go to Kenya with Love Africa this past May and upon returning back to the states, I was continuously asked to share my thoughts about the trip. However, I found myself in an exhausting battle of figuring out how to explain what I experienced in those two weeks. Should I explain it creatively or illuminate my sense of humor? Should I speak in Christian clichés? I quickly found that none of it was satisfactory, and it seemed that each attempt I gave ultimately ended in failure. Long story short, here’s my dilemma: How do you put into words the place, the people, and especially the God that has forever changed your life?
Eventually, I realized it is a lot easier not to focus on ME and MY TRIP, but instead focus on MY FATHER and the amazing healer that He is.
Prior to leaving for Kenya, I was already aware of my brokenness. We are all broken. Although it’s not easy to admit, deep down inside we know that we are. And although there is great pain in the cracks, there is also great beauty. For you see, it is through that very brokenness that drives us to our knees. It’s the pain that makes us realize we need a Savior. The hurt allows us to cry out and to be comforted by our Father. So I’ll say it again, loud and proud: I am very broken.
While yes, I know that I’m broken- it’s obvious to me in how I view myself and how I see myself act, both in the public eye and when it is just me and my thoughts- I still have this habit that I have to be more and more careful about. It’s the habit of pretending I have it all together. I don’t like for people to know that I’m hurting or that I’m struggling. I don’t want anyone to think my life is anything less than put together. But, behind the scenes, once the lights and the audience are gone, I always realize one thing: I am so very broken. Sadly, I like to hide that brokenness, attempting to only display “perfection” or a sense that I have my life placed together. But if there’s one thing that Kenya taught me, it is that our God is the Healer and that through our brokenness, He is most glorified.
Here in America, I think many of us (especially myself) like to hide our imperfections, shortcomings, and the cracked pieces of our lives. We hide it in our social media persona, our shoes and our clothing. We try to hide it in our social standing. But in Kenya, it is a completely different story. Instead, I saw God. I saw Him in everything; from the people, the landscape, the animals, and the interactions, He was so present there. His love abounds in that nation, so much so that I felt I was swimming in it. But why is that?
Here’s what I found: The Christians in Kenya don’t hide their brokenness. Instead, they acknowledge it. The best part is, they don’t stop there. They acknowledge the shattered pieces of their lives and declare God’s faithfulness despite it. Although poor in worldly standards, they are rich in love. They are covered in dirty clothes, yet completely clothed in joy. They are lacking running water, but filled and quenched with the Living Water.
The people of Kenya so beautifully grasp the concept that I seem to forget: in our weakness, the Lord’s strength is made perfect. Because I am weak, He is most glorified through me. It’s at my darkest points, my weakest days, that His presence will shine the brightest. He takes our brokenness and makes it whole. He heals, He restores, He redeems. There is nothing too big or too broken that our Father can’t handle. So, instead of hiding our brokenness, lets give it to our Creator that our lives might be a perfect picture of His faithfulness.
“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
2 Corinthians 12:9-11
written by: Rachel Boyd
Kenya team member- summer 2015