#YourStory: Walinda Alleman

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Flying With a Broken Wing

by Walinda Alleman

I’m excited to open wide the blog’s doors to fellow COMPEL Training and critique group member Walinda Alleman. She’s a gem who hails from another continent, but lives right at home now in the United States. When I think of Walinda, “sweet” comes to mind. She’s sweet, kind, and understanding, which I think you’ll see from her words below. 

I’ve often wondered what my life would be like if I had never been molested as a child. Or if I had been embraced, after the fact, comforted and reassured that it wasn’t my fault? I wonder if my life would be any different if I hadn’t been left with questions, confusion, fear and loneliness. Would I have ever tried to commit suicide if my innocence had not been taken in such a violent manner?

My mother shared that sometime after the event a family friend wondered aloud as to what had happened to that “bubbly girl”, referring to the change they observed in me. I would never use the word “bubbly” to describe me. Reserved, cautious, guarded, anxious, insecure — maybe, but not bubbly.

I also wonder what I would be like if I had never been raped, ridiculed, bullied and rejected as a teen? What if I had been believed and accepted instead of being locked up in a mental institution in response to the hysterical tears of anguish that I shed?

As a result of being violated, I find intimacy to be threatening.

I find relationships difficult.

I fear being wounded.

 

Conflict is something I am not comfortable navigating.

Maintaining eye contact is painful.

Being known is scary.

If someone were to look into my eyes or if they were to get to know me I wonder if they would see where I had been, what had been done to me and the filth that stained me?

I often think to myself that life shouldn’t be this hard. I shouldn’t have to work so hard at relationships. Relationships are hard enough as a result of the fall, right? I feel as though I come into them with an added handicap. As if the weight of my own sin isn’t enough, add to that the burden of carrying illegitimate shame and guilt (i.e. shame and guilt that belongs to the perpetrator of violence and not the victim). My relational style is affected by my sin and illegitimate shame and guilt that is a result of someone else’s sin against me.

Over the years I have come to accept what happened to me and have received counseling and been in support groups to help me process the trauma. But there are days when I feel a sense of defeat when I see myself reacting from a place of wounding. There are days when I can’t see past my brokenness and I feel discouraged.

On one such day a friend of mine sent me a picture of a butterfly with a broken wing. She said she saw it and thought of me. The subject of the email she sent with the picture was, “Flying With a Broken Wing”. I loved it. That butterfly was God’s message of affirmation to me. I am broken in so many ways and yet I’m still flying. I have purpose just like that butterfly did. In that moment I was able to see the many ways in which God was using me and my brokenness to witness and minister to the many people He has placed in my life and on my path.

The enemy wants us to believe that we are useless in our brokenness.

But God’s word says that His grace is sufficient for us, and His power is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).

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The enemy intends to harm us but God uses our experiences for good (Genesis 50:20).

The enemy seeks to destroy us (John 10:10) but God works all things for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).

So fly high dear friend, you have purpose. God is reframing your story with the Gospel and He is using you in other people’s lives!

God is reframing your story with the Gospel ~ @WalindaPAlleman Click To Tweet

~ Connect with Walinda

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Walinda P. Alleman is originally from Malawi, Africa and currently lives in North Carolina with her husband, 2 boys and their dog. She owns a social media management business called Simply Social and blogs regularly on her blog, Glorious Weakness. Walinda is passionate about using her writing to highlight glimpses of God’s grace, the beauty in the ashes, the dignity within depravity and God’s glory in weakness. You can learn more more by visiting her blog at www.gloriousweakness.org

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Linking with other Jesus writers here: #raralinkup, #testimonyTuesday, #thoughtprovokingThursday, & #heartencouragement Thursday.
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20 Comments

  1. “The enemy wants us to believe that we are useless in our brokenness.” Walinda, what a post …to be able to open up and share about the most vulnerable, painful parts. I hate what causes brokenness but am forever grateful for God who makes us who He wants us to be in that brokenness…and shows us his limitless love. <3 Nice to meet you today at Kristi's. 🙂

    1. Lisa, it is wonderful to meet you too! Thank you for your words of encouragement! I agree, I too hate what causes brokenness but I am forever grateful to a God that can use my brokenness. And yes, His limitless love. Where would we be without it? Thank you for your comment!

  2. Wow. As the woman who took that picture and sent that e-mail, I am flabbergasted by how God used a moment with a broken-winged butterfly. I had no idea it would encourage you so much, dear friend. And I sit here with tears in my eyes as I read the words,

    “I am broken in so many ways and yet I’m still flying. I have purpose just like that butterfly did. In that moment I was able to see the many ways in which God was using me and my brokenness to witness and minister to the many people He has placed in my life and on my path.
    The enemy wants us to believe that we are useless in our brokenness.”

    I have been experiencing a dark, almost debilitating season of brokenness. I have felt ineffective in many basic duties, let alone the ministries the Lord has given me. Your words reminded me that this is exactly what the enemy wishes me to believe, better still, you remind me what God’s word says about all of this. I *am* being used, though weak and broken. Grateful to God for this precious gift, and all the Broken Winged Butterflies out there serving Him.

    1. Only you would see that butterfly and think of me. I’m grateful you are in my life. You know too that I am intimately acquainted with ‘dark, almost debilitating seasons of brokenness’. God is using you and I can see it! I see it in your posts and I see it in your words to me. It’s in your service every where yo go no matter how ineffectual the enemy might have you think you are. His grace is sufficient for you and His power is made perfect in your brokenness. Love you, friend!

  3. Thank you, Kristi, for sharing your space for this beautiful story.

    Walinda, I am so moved by your story. What an amazing message of grace and redemption. I loved this: “I am broken in so many ways and yet I’m still flying.” Sharing this today because so many people need this message.

  4. Walinda thank you for sharing your story, it’s such a beautiful and sad story. But it’s also a story of Hope, Courage and Triumphant. We are all broken but by God’s Grace we rise above the brokenness and are made whole. I have always known you as a strong, kind, and loving person and you are!! Don’t let the enemy make you believe otherwise!! May God continue Blessing you! Lots of Love Lonje

    1. Hi Lonje,
      It’s so good to hear from you and I’m so encouraged by your words. Thank you! By God’s grace, indeed, we can rise above our brokenness.. Love that and love you!

  5. Walinda, I too have the same “broken wing”.

    God is amazing in how he redeems us from such betrayal and hurt! I am grateful for who I am today because of Him!

    Thanks for sharing your struggle and victory as it gives us all hope!

    1. Oh Laura,
      Thank you for sharing that. Makes me sad. But you are right, God is amazing in how He redeems us. Love you sweet sister and so grateful that God crossed our paths!

  6. Beautiful! Or –as Glennon would say– Brutiful! It made me think of Ann Voskamps new book about brokeness. I haven’t read it yet but it is waiting for me on my coffee table. It also made me think of how, in Japan, precious broken cups or bowls are filled with Gold to glue and hold them back together and they are a beautiful mixture of delicacy and strength!

    1. “A beautiful mixture of delicacy and strength”. I think that describes so many of us in so many ways.

      I have heard of Ann Voskamps book but haven’t read it yet. I’ll have to add that one to my reading list 🙂 .

      Thank you for taking the time to comment.

  7. Thank you Kristi for hosting Walinda!

    Walinda, I know too well much of the brokenness you describe and many of the ‘I wonder if…”s. I’m sorry for the pain you have lived with as a result of things you had no choice in, and grateful for how the Lord is with you and reframing your story. Your weakness finds sufficiency and power in Him! Keep glorifying Him, sister! We are blessed by butterflies like you : )

  8. Kristi, thank you so much for hosting Walinda.

    Walinda, what a powerful message you have in you! So blessed by it. I love that we can be broken and still have a purpose. So grateful for God’s redeeming power! God bless you.

  9. What a beautiful picture of how God uses our brokenness … Flying with a broken wing myself. I have asked similar questions of how would life be different without the brokenness. But I’m seeing how God uses those cracks in us to shine through us. Thank you for sharing your heart, Walinda.
    And thank you, Kristi, for sharing her words.