The following words are raw. They are real. They are me.
Today while sitting at my desk, I happened to look up at my bulletin board full of kid art, cards, letters, notes and other treasure troves of memories and love. A card written by my Mother caught my attention, so I unpinned it and began to read.
The ink has faded as it is nearly eight years old. I think back to September 2014 and how different my life was at that time. I was going through a devastating loss and to say my world was turned upside down would be the understatement of the century.
I hesitate to provide personal details but let’s just say nearly everything I held dear to me was changed, altered, stripped away, and left in shambles on the floor of my life’s previously comfortable, happy, content existence.
I was at the lowest point of my life. I remember crying in my closet so that my 3 year-old son would not hear and that I would not wake the baby from the 15-25 minute nap I worked nearly an hour and a half for. I cried out to God. I really didn’t know what to say and I especially didn’t know what to pray. I was angry at Him for allowing my life to be turned upside down and blamed Him for feeling confused, heartbroken, alone, and misunderstood.
Yet, I prayed.
Not so much prayed as blubbered, shouted, sometimes cursed and just said the name Jesus over and over again, longing for a sense of relief from the internal pain.
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”Romans 8:26 (NIV)
There is a verse in the Bible that refers to the Spirit interceding when we simply have no words. I had never actually encountered the intervention of the Spirit in this way. At the absolute weakest point of my life when I felt unwanted, unloved, and abandoned, there arrived a sense of peace in my soul that defied every plausible explanation.
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7 (NIV)
I tell people to this day that I experienced the spirit, presence, peace, and love of the Lord during that time. I have not experienced it that strongly since. But I know I will again. That is just the way life works. However, going into the storm does not seem as scary now. Because I know, I experienced, I lived, the most tornadic, heart-rendering, destructive storm of my life.
I was not alone. My faith grew so much during that time. I never thought I would say this, but I am actually thankful for the pain I suffered.
I look at this note of encouragement where my Mother lovingly writes, I hope you find your happy again…..we pray for you every day, and I can feel the sting of fresh tears spring to my eyes.
Tears because I have found happiness.
Tears because I rose up out of those horrible ashes.
Tears because I know now that life is not about your dreams coming true and everything going the way you planned and being white-fence picture perfect.
Life is about accepting challenges and learning to find happiness in the midst of the heartache that surrounds us every day. I think back to that girl I was nearly eight years ago. She seems like a stranger.
I hurt for her. I hurt for what I know she went through and the intense pain she faced that she does not like to talk about. I also know that she was never alone at that time and never will be alone. She can face anything; because she already has! She is an overcomer and I am proud of her. No, she did not do it alone.
Her broken spirit was strengthened, honed, chiseled, and sculpted into what she is now. That girl is thankful for the good, the bad, the hurt, the pain, the happiness, and even the countless tears. She is thankful for it all; because otherwise she would not be who she is today.
The broken are often the most beautiful, their tears mapping out a journey of pain. With healing allowing them to tell their story. The empathy they feel for others because they have been there.
Brokenness is beautiful. Please do not hide it! Share it with others and witness the immeasurable amount of love that comes back to you.