I once lived a life as an observer of pain, not a recipient of such. Until recently I could conceptually grasp brokenness, but did not understand the depth of the experience, the piercings of the season, or the hopelessness in the darkest of nights. It took going through a divorce, unmedicated, to be able to speak to the pain and see the slivers of other’s lives that lie strewn around. It has always come fairly naturally to me to encourage and listen and empathize, to speak into and be leaned on, but until one has been prostrate with their face on the floor, hoping and hoping not for another breath, is one able to speak to the life that comes with rebirth. The laughter returning to the deepest part of one’s belly. To speak to the hope that life can come back stronger. To reveal one’s own life mural, their mosaic. To be living proof that one can….overcome.
If one opens their eyes for a mere fraction of a second, brokenness and disfunction, bleak realities and addictions, gasping lungs and bleeding hearts will reveal themselves. Choices gone bad, injustices committed, tragedies, trust not cherished, and the innocent betrayed by their protector. This reality surrounds, it drowns, and most often it can not be explained nor reasoned with. It is the platform for which life’s blinding placebos are sold. The drug of choice. The bitterness, the chemicals, the isolation, the hardened heart, the choice to stay broken. It is where the stunning believe they have no redeeming beauty, where the innocent take the blame, the sane question their clarity, where the priceless begin to see themselves as disposable, where the single parent wonders if being cherished and protected can actually be a reality. It is the wave that takes a house from its’ foundation leaving one with a bathroom sink and the occasional picture retrieved from the neighbor’s yard after the tide recedes. The ship on dry land, water not seen. And that is when the string of trajectory setting choices has to be made.
I have learned that brokenness must be, just a season, a process, the beginning of the mosaic. It is not what defines, but what is brought forth from the defining. One must see it for what it is and not medicate, not attempt to belittle through thinking and not feeling, not gloss over the pain, and most importantly, not believe the loudest of lies. Sometimes this reality is a result of one’s own choices, and just as often, the result of the choices of those who we entrusted with the freedom to pain us where we most intimately can be cut. And that ushers in the all too often most draining and difficult choices, to begin picking up the shards. To let those who love us, in, to help us, to be our eyes as ours are too often blinded by the tears of pain and anger, of despair and denial. To let The Carpenter rebuild our days.
I have learned that in all uncertainty, there is one truth. There is hope. But hope has to be accepted and most importantly, chosen. It is a paradigm one chooses to view life through. One chooses to step out in faith with. The truth one accepts, as the Healer mends. It often is revealed in our service, and not in our sulking. It is the acceptance of what is, and was, and now will no longer be. It is the embracing of the fact that our reality may be shattered, and we may be hurting, but that we are resilient. Grace and mercy will whole again, but it must be daily chosen, daily accepted. It will take the largest of grit, the most vulnerable of hearts when the walls could so easily be laid, brick by brick around our heart. Strength will begin to reveal itself in its’ willingness to be weak, its’ disregard for the lies, and its’ daily choice to see beauty in life. We are not defined by a moment, by a season, but by what we do and become having gone through the moment, the season. And that reality, that mosaic, is what will reveal our true character, what will reverse our cycles, and what will give those around us the breath when they are laying on the floor gasping. I have learned that by what we choose, we can not only experience life, but even more importantly… give it. .