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Am I Broken beyond All Usefulness? Making Peace with Imperfection

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In the past few months I have experienced God’s healing in so many ways. I learned to take every thought captive and bring them to Christ, which greatly improved my outlook on life. I thought my bipolar ups and downs were a thing of the past. I even dared to say God had healed me of the effects of bipolar disorder. And I planned to start a new ministry in January to help people with bipolar disorder and to help others understand bipolar disorder. I felt qualified to do this because I had come so far with God’s help.

The week before Thanksgiving, I got sick and wasn’t able to take my medication for three days. I went into a manic high followed immediately by an angry-depressed rage. Because of the public nature of my crisis, I withdrew for the past several weeks to nurse my physical and emotional self.

Not only was I mortified by the way people saw me act, but I was heartbroken that my healing hadn’t been as complete or permanent as I had hoped. I felt like I was no longer qualified to lead a ministry to bring people to healing in Christ if I couldn’t demonstrate His healing in my own life.

That’s a fallacy the church teaches, I think—the idea that we have to be perfect to minister or serve God. Perhaps it comes from verses like 1 Timothy 3:2 and Titus 1:6-7, which say church leaders must be above reproach, but it seems like that thinking has ballooned into a bigger, unrealistic ideal that implies perfection and spiritual mastery.

Although I feel more broken than ever, I feel God reminding me that He loves to work through broken vessels so He gets all the credit. I am a broken vessel in so many ways it’s difficult to imagine how I can be useful, but God wants to pour His power and love out through me to others. I guess this broken vessel will leak like a sieve so maybe He does know what He’s doing after all.

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