I Am Whole, Already
I have this soap dish, which was my mom’s. It has a painting in the center of it, showing a woman stepping out of a bath. This soap dish must be over 70 years old, and it moved everywhere we moved. When I was younger, I remember it was always there, unpacked and ready to make whatever bathroom it occupied its new home. For me, this cracked soap dish has been a symbol of normalcy and familiarity. When my mom transitioned 20 years ago, it was one of the things I made sure I kept that was hers. And it has been with me in every place I have lived ever since. It has always been the “seal” in my new home, grounding me in that same feeling of normalcy and familiarity.
Over the years, this dish has been broken and glued back together so many times. I mean, as long as I have known the dish, it has a little girl I remember looking at the cracks while I soaked in my mother’s bathtub, wondering what happened to it — when was the first time it broke, who broke it, and who glued it back together? After all the wear and tear, first from my mom and then from me, it looks like a really bad but oddly beautiful jigsaw puzzle. And you can still see the image of the painted woman getting out of the bathtub, right in the heart of the dish. Cracked and pieced together, the dish is still whole can hold been broken and chipped.
As a whatever is placed in it. For a long time I felt like the human version of this dish: cracked, fragmented, and glued back together … but unable to hold what God has placed inside of me. A few months ago, I was reflecting on my life, and I had this thought: If my life were a parable that Jesus used to teach others, how would it read? There was a woman who appeared to have everything and seemed okay on the outside, but she was hurting. All her bruises were on the inside. She loved God, but she didn’t understand God’s love for her. She thought His love held all these conditions, but it was her who held the conditions against herself. Her heart had yet to be transformed so that it could hold the vision God held for her. He was waiting for her to receive, trust, and believe the greatness that lay dormant in the center of her heart. She tiptoed through her life, feeling “less than” and invisible, a fraction of who she was created to be. She felt punished for even having the basic needs of being nurtured, heard, acknowledged, cared for, and understood.
She thought she would have to go without, because this was the way God wanted her life to be. One day she cried out, “This is enough. I don’t want to live feeling like I am broken. This can’t be all there is to my life.” In her moment of surrender, God sent her the help she needed by showing her how to forgive, love, and free herself from the way she defined the pieces — the way she saw herself from the remains left by her past experiences. The pieces were preventing her from living from the reality of her wholeness.
The pieces were informing her of who she was instead of her wholeness showing her the beauty that came together to make her, her.
Wholeness isn’t for some and not for others; we are all whole, and we just have to have the courage to realize and reawaken this truth in our souls.
By me living by my pieces, the shards of hurt and pain, I was living a distorted representation of who God created me to be. Sure, I had to see these fragments — and through them, I learned the first step: to observe the pieces within causing the distortion so I could become aware of how they were affecting my life. I had to see the patterns, the negative thoughts, the way I camouflaged myself in my life because I thought the only way for me to be happy, to receive love, was to become like others or become what others needed me to be. I had to see all of this, all the pieces, so I could clean them up. Only seeing the broken pieces without seeing what they had been chipped away from gave me an unbalanced view of myself. I had to let the Creator see me, love me, care for me, as I trusted Him to walk with me and guide me. I wanted to see who I have always been. Like the soap dish, I wanted to be put back together, and part of that was embracing the parts I defined as broken.
Regardless of the wear and tear, we are still whole. I thank You, God, for the road You have chosen for me to walk so I could realize I am already whole. Thank You for showing me that being who I am is enough, broken pieces and all. At my core is how You created me to live. And my core has always been to be in alignment with You. I am living in this fullness, comfortable in the authority You have placed inside of me. The greatness You have shown, which I am connected to, leaves me in awe. It takes my breath away to know that it is in me and mine to claim. I have had to pick up and look at the fragments I thought were shameful, that were hindering me, and in doing so, You brought me back to the reality and remembrance of my completeness. You have transformed and renewed me, and it is a beautiful thing.
This is how I grew today. May it inspire you — and your growth — in some way.
May it strengthen you today.
Words by Marquita Moore