"This is my broken heart
this is my bleeding start
this is the way I've come to know you."
Photo by Mathias-Erhart, Creative Commons
I keep somehow thinking if I can just survive this year I will become invincible. Invincible by Christmas. That would make a great movie title. If only only I was a screenwriter. I'm just me though. I know what I will be instead by Christmas.
More broken than today. More more broken. It's a refrain which keeps playing sorely in my soul, clashing against simple Autumn joys of pumpkins and peace, resonating with weeping and insomnia and screaming at the heavens in helplessness. I long for normal, whatever that is. I think I glimpse it on friends' Facebook postings, hear it laughing outside our windows as strangers pass by crunching barely fallen leaves. I envy, I long, I ache. I feel my brokeness sharp against my insides, unrelenting.
One of our daughters struggles with emotional, mental, developmental problems. I search for a nicer word than problem, but what would that be? Problem is kind when considering the havoc those words above wreak on my beautiful and brilliant girl's heart, mind, soul. Life. She fights bravely to live in normal, trying to understand herself and those around her. But she lands in broken too. Her broken doesn't look like mine...where mine is sharp, hers is chiseling and scraping away at her confidence and the hope inside of her. Hers is utterly terrifying to behold when it engulfs her.
I study normal. Its elusiveness is intriguing. I reason though, if I can figure it out, plan and coddle it, and perhaps wrestle it to the ground then we can call it our own. Our family can have normal too.
What a lie that is. Honest truth is our family has broken and I better start studying that one, searching out any beauty that might be had in it. I observe.
Normal has structure balance preparation. It is solid for the most part, solid ground which has been carefully planned, cultivated and re-enforced. Broken is the anti-thesis of all that. It is unruly, wild, unprepared, sudden. Frightening.
It is open. Laid bare. It literally means having been fractured or damaged and no longer in one piece or in working order. Yes, all of that is us, our family, our lives.
There are things which pop up in the middle of broken which are breath-taking. Rather, life-giving. Clear sight of things most important. Lavishly poured-out grace and fiercely protective love. Deep and abiding thankfulness that WE STILL ARE, A FAMILY TOGETHER. Ambulances and hospital stays can still our hearts, rob our joy and sleep and separate us physically...but they can not make us an ARE NOT. We are ours, each other holding and hoping and enduring together, even when apart.
Last night, as I was staring blindly at my computer screen, numb and exhausted from it all, my husband walked in the room, right up to me. He took my face in his hands, leaned close, spoke quietly staring straight into my eyes.
"You do such a great job loving and taking care of our girls. I love you."
Grace. When despair and fears press suffocating and I feel I have done absolutely everything wrong, normal has fled and I beret myself for not being able to capture it and hold it for my family, and exhaustion and confusion are as constant as the sun's rising, when broken is sharp reality...
there's grace and love.
Those are God's most precious gifts to us. He brings them to those who are broken, in the brokenness. The clarity of the important we develop in brokenness allows us to feel and cherish grace and love in ways we never can in peaceful times, in happiness...
Truth- I still long for normal. Who doesn't? But.
If broken is to be mine for now, or even for longer than now, then I will be thankful. Not for it, but for its non-elusive gifts. If normal does happen to come along at some point in time, I pray I do not hold it too tightly, fearing its possible flying away...or that normal lulls me into thinking and feeling it is best. Because I have found that grace and love shine brilliant in brokenness. It is enough.