“At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness.
So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.” – Genesis 3:7
One of the blessings that came from the fall of man in the Garden of Eden was brokenness. How can brokenness be a blessing? As a natural outcome of eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, shame caused Adam and Eve to want to hide. When God discovered Adam and Eve’s sin, they ran from Him. Adam and Eve moved out of the light and into the darkness to conceal their sin and shame. But God sought them out to redeem their brokenness.
Adam and Eve put on fig leaves to hide their nakedness until God gave them animal skins to wear as clothing. God provided lovingly for them in the depth of their shame. But they weren’t the only ones to put on fig leaves. Since then, every person after them has also tried to cover their shame. Why? Because people hide in the wilderness instead of seeking God’s presence, thinking they are too broken. It simply is not valid.
When it comes to addiction, a person stuck in addiction will first try to hide from God. That is because of shame—it makes people judge and condemn themselves. Also, it encourages negative self-talk such as: “It happened again!”, “Sobriety will never work out!”, “It is impossible to overcome addiction.”
A person who is full of shame will often get depressed and beat themselves up for their choices. They may isolate because they feel unworthy and deserving of banishment. So, they feel like they have no other choice but to do what Adam and Eve did. As a result, a person stuck in addiction will continue to hide and cover themselves.
There is a story that explains brokenness well. There was once a young priest who was about to lift the communion cup and bless the cup. The crystal cup was beautiful. But when he lifted the cup, it slipped out of his hand and broke all over the floor. He looked up at the older priest, thinking that priest would ridicule him. Instead, the priest said, “I never knew there were so many beautiful pieces to reflect the light until the cup was broken.”
It is the light that shines through the brokenness that is so beautiful—for that light is the Lord. A person who struggles with addiction fears being broken or seen as broken. But as this story illustrates, it is in brokenness that the light of Christ can shine through, making the brokenness beautiful.
Many people resist recovery because it’s hard to give up control. However, the longer a person tries to hold onto power, the longer they will live in pain, isolated and disconnected. For help with recovery, find a licensed Christian counselor.
Brokenness may seem like a roadblock to healing and wholeness, but on the contrary, it is a door that one can enter and discover a new life. Once a person opens the door, they begin the incredible recovery journey and experience God’s blessings for them.