Friday, February 10, 2012

"Just because you're hurt doesn't mean you're broken."

A month ago I took a couple of the children I babysit to see the new movie “Dolphin Tale.” You can watch the official movie trailer here. Dolphin Tale was inspired by the true story of Winter, a dolphin who lost her tail and two of her vertebrae as a result of being caught in a crab trap at the young age of three months. Her survival itself was a miracle, yet many experts were convinced that she would die, unable to swim without a tail. Winter now resides in Clearwater Marine Aquarium with a fully functioning prosthetic tail, very alive and well and changing the lives of many people throughout the world. You can read about Winter’s story here.
In the movie, a young fatherless boy named Sawyer becomes lonely and sad when his only friend, his older cousin, goes off to war. Upon rescuing and befriending an injured dolphin named Winter, however, he makes new friends—a young girl his age, Hazel, and her father, the owner of the aquarium where Winter is taken to heal. Sawyer’s heart begins to open up to life again, as Winter teaches him how to play and laugh. Sawyer falls in love with helping Winter and with marine biology in general, and he finds meaning and joy in life as he watches Winter receive her prosthetic tail and learn to swim again. One particular line in this movie, however, appeared to sum up the entire story in one simple sentence—“Just because you’re hurt doesn’t mean you’re broken.”
In class this semester, we have just finished reading Sandra Wilson’s book entitled “Hurt People Hurt People,” as many of the previous posts have mentioned. One of Wilson’s primary messages throughout the book is that there is always hope—no matter how badly you’ve hurt others, no matter how badly others have hurt you, there is always hope for healing and change. Wilson discusses in great depth how our childhood—childhood thinking, childhood solutions, childhood wounds—is often the genesis of our adult problems and pains. However, suffering is not the main point of her book; what we do with our suffering, she states, is what matters. We can allow our suffering to make us hopeless or we can use it to make us hopeful.
The story of Winter and Sawyer speaks to countless adults and children today who have disabilities, who have also lost limbs, who suffer from spinal cord injuries, or who have just been hurt in any way; they are examples that prove change is possible and hope for a better life after tragedy really does exist, as Wilson also testifies to us in “Hurt People Hurt People.” Sometimes when we are hurt—physically or otherwise—we are convinced that it is the end, that our happiness is over, that we will never feel wholeness or joy again. We think we are permanently broken, but we are not. In the Lord we can have hope, as Psalm 147:3 simply states, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”
When we feel that we are beyond hope and that our souls or bodies are torn beyond repair, may we all think of Winter and Sawyer and be reminded that although we are hurt, we are not broken; in Christ we are made whole. In Christ alone can we hope, and in Christ alone can we have the courage to dream again. 


  1. This is a sweet reminder. I have recently been referring to myself as a broken woman, because my heart has felt so torn and shattered. A friend who does not like stating it that way interrupted me replying that I should not be seen as broken, but just as having some cracks that need to be filled. I am sure that could be debatable, but I thought your explanation was helpful. I like the title, "just because you're hurt doesn't mean you're broken. Thank you for these thoughts!

  2. First I wanted to thank you for your post; while I was reading it God placed some conviction on my heart. I was heartbroken a year ago by someone I trusted a great deal and thought would never hurt me but he did. After that I began to lose hope in the promises of God. I thought and sometimes still do that I will never heal from that hurt and will never be the same. After reading your post and hearing the words “just because you’re hurt doesn’t mean you’re broken” reminded me maybe that is the point of heartbreak. I may not ever be the same but I know that doesn’t mean I can’t heal. I can view that heartbreak is a chance to learn and become someone better for it. Your use of Psalm 147:3 also laid on my heart a renew hope for God’s promises. The promise that God can heal me and that my hope comes from His promises, and not from worldly promises.

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  3. I thought your post was wonderful. It kept bringing to mind Isaiah 40:27-31. Even the strong will grow weary, and God gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. It also says that those who trust in Him will find new strength. God doesn't mind us being weak. I think it's when we realize we're weak and need help that's when God can use us the most because we're relying solely on His strength and provision rather than our own. This gives hope to those who are hurting and reinforces that with God all things are possible. It doesn't matter how bad off you are, God can still use you to accomplish amazing things.

  4. That quote offers so much hope for healing. Just because you were hurt at one point in your life, or several points, doesn't mean that you are completely useless and broken. Great analogy with the dolphin and use of Scripture! I agree with you on the person's response predicting how they cope with past hurt. This was a great reminder for me as well. Thank you for posting this!

  5. This was one of the most inspirational posts I've read! I really liked the way you presented Winter's story as a model for those of us who have gone through hardships and hurt. I particularly liked that Wilson doesn't focus her book on our suffering but rather believes that what we do with our suffering is of utmost importance. The profundity that God is willing and able to "heal the brokenhearted and bind up their wounds" is mind blowing and immensely encouraging if you think about it. Thank you for reminding us all that the hurts we feel are not what define us as people and that they don't mean we are completely broken or worthless. I can't wait to watch this movie now even though I know it will make me cry!


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