Broken (and Blessed)

A Season of great Blessing and Brokenness

“Our deepest blessing is born of our brokenness…” -Ann Voskamp

(*Note: the youtube videos are wonderful but if you do not watch them, it’s okay. I share important lyrics in writing.)

“I’m Not Alright” – Sanctus Real

I’m not alright, I’m broken inside

Broken inside

And all I go through, it leads me to you

It leads me to you

Burn away the pride

Bring me to my weakness

‘Til everything I hide behind is gone

And when I’m open wide with nothing left to cling to

Only you are there to lead me on

‘Cause honestly, I’m not that strong

And I’ll move

Closer to you

That’s why I need you

“I am not unbreakable…”

(from the new Gilmore Girls ~ which is a show I enjoy but wouldn’t exactly recommend)

Oh, I am not unbreakable,

I am breaking right now

I’m experiencing a season in my life that is profoundly broken and blessed….I have asked my husband, “how can things be SO good and SO bad all at the same time?”

There has been joy and sorrow. There has been birth and death. There has been living and dying (all at the same time). There has been good and bad. There has been new and old. There has been rejoicing and grief. There has been fear and there has been peace. There has been so little and so much. There has been dreams come true and there have been dreams lost. ALL AT THE SAME TIME. Side by side.

During the Christmas Holidays, we were given so many gifts that spoke to our heart and our needs. I asked my husband, “how do we have so much and so little all at the same time?”

This recent Christmas was the first Christmas (that I can remember) that I didn’t have presents for my children. However, we were incredibly blessed by love and gifts from family. I felt incredibly broken and blessed. So much and so little at the same time.

The week after Christmas I got my dream {free} chicken coop. The same week my husband got an opportunity to rent a small space in a larger shop. We couldn’t believe these Big dreams came true. The right place, the right price, the right time. (or so we thought) Then my father in-law became very ill and all of life seemed upside down. Gifts from God looked ill-timed. Really God?

We didn’t know how long this “upside down”  life would go on. It still feels “upside down.” My sweet father in-law went to Heaven end of January. Sorrow and Joy all at the same time. I used to think life was more black and white. The past couple months have thrown a lot of color into the mix! There was never a whole day of sorrow or a whole day full of joy…

Even dreams that came true. They didn’t quite come true the way we envisioned. Even dreams coming true brought some disappointment and sorrow mixed with incredible JOY.

Several babies of friends were born this month as my father in-law languished…

As he languished he still was living. And loving. and believing. and doubting.

Even the babies that were born into such love and joy. There was still pain.

How (in the world) can there be so much good and so much bad….ALL at the same time?

How can my heart be so good and then I realize the ugliness buried deep within? (all at the same time)

How can I trust God and take a step of faith toward His plan? ~ but at the very same time, make excuses and continue down the other path (just to be sure) Trust and Doubt both dwelling within me.

So glad our God is full of grace. I hope this Season has taught me to have more compassion toward others. It’s not just my life that is conflicting.

(as this writing was brewing I read a few quotes from Ann Voskamp from her new book, The Broken Way) I know these quotes fueled this writing to be born so I if you want to read more about this topic, look her new book up. Her Instagram is @annvoskamp. These quotes stopped me in my tracks:

*wholeness and brokenness are not opposites

*you don’t have to be afraid of broken things, because Christ is redeeming everything

It is a broken life with blessing. Broken is blessed. It is a mystery to me how I came to the end of myself. I didn’t really see it coming until a few days before the funeral.

Completely Broken…

I did not have the strength to go to my own father in-laws funeral. All the preceding week I did feel anxious about the upcoming weekend but my complete breakdown was a bit of a surprise.

All the negative feelings that could possibly come to mind, in fact, did and left me weak and unable to pull myself together. Memories from the past, broken relationships, the family’s grief and anxiety, etc. I felt myself staring down a tunnel of darkness. I recalled nightmares, paranoia and even a “face of fear.” I could not imagine feeling this overwhelming sadness in a large group of people.

I found myself undone. Telling my husband about it all left me wondering how mental illness creeps in until it becomes truth. It also made me feel incredibly blessed to have a husband who is patient and listens late at night to my “crazy” thoughts and endless tears.  I can’t remember the last time I was “undone.” (it has been a while but I have had Seasons of darkness and mental illness)

I found myself with paranoia about certain people, feelings, past experiences, spiritual questions.

The “Prince of Peace” song (by Hillsong) I’ve listened to over and over again.

“Be Still My Heart and Know that You are God.”

Prince of Peace

“You’ve Never Failed and You won’t stop now.”

“My Soul will rest in your embrace.”

“I am Yours and You are mine.”

Prince of Peace

I don’t understand why this brokenness has happened to me. But God allows it. He allows it in everyone’s life. At the same time I was facing my breakdown, I clearly saw brokenness in everyone around me. I knew I wasn’t alone. I knew I might find some comfort in being with others who are broken. But I couldn’t find the strength. God barely whispered to me to trust Him in my weakness.

Isn’t is said that our greatest strength is also our greatest weakness? I saw this clearly in my own family members and I saw it clearly in myself. I am sensitive and empathetic. These qualities can be helpful but can also bring me down. I want perfection and “black and white.” These qualities help me feel like I have control. But I know that perfection is a myth and this life is not in “black and white.” There is so much color.

Imperfection and brokenness are my least favorite. God is showing me that imperfection and brokenness is how life is on this earth. And He created it that way. ?  I run from imperfection and brokenness. Sometimes, I lose the strength to run and God says, “it’s okay. I’m here in the brokenness. In fact, there is beauty in this mess.”

I’m looking for the beauty. It is what gets me up (barely) in the morning. I’m keeping track of my lovely thoughts and texting them to myself. I’m believing that God is with me. He is with the broken-hearted.

How do we navigate this imperfect and broken life? God whispers to me to look for beauty in the brokenness.

This season has reminded me that joy and sorrow, death and life, fear and peace, so little and so much can, seemingly, happen all at once.

This season is reminding me that we are all broken and trying to make sense of it. This season has prompted me to look for beauty in the darkness. It is not what I want to do ~ but I must. There is blessing and beauty in brokenness.

camellia

(this pink Camellia is living and dying. It is a little ugly and beautiful.)

11 thoughts on “Broken (and Blessed)

  1. Samantha

    I love this! I needed to hear this today.The fraise “be Still And know I am God”kept popping into my brain storm of thoughts today. Thank you for sharing your heart, love you to the moon and back <3

  2. Gitti Shilley

    Oh, my dear Melanie,
    I am praying for you. Indeed there is is beauty in brokenness and darkness. Daddy’s darkness led to the brightest light he has ever known. I love you Sis! You are beautiful! In a very Real Way. Keep fighting and searching and praying. I know my God will come through for you. Love, Gitti

  3. Margaret Heredia

    Sweet Mel, you are a gift from God for your family and friends. When we look at Jesus’ life we see the ups and downs during His life here on earth. We saw disappointments and we saw His love and gentleness and understanding for those around him. To know the “strengths” of Jesus we must also see some of the “sadness” he experienced. Just remember that He is our “strength” no matter what is happening in our path of life. Also, remember that satan will try to cause us to linger in the “sad” part of our life but we must “linger” in the greatness of God and His love otherwise the longer we “linger” in the negative the harder it will be to concentrate on the positive. We love you, Donny and the kids so much and our prayers are with you. Thanks for your prayers for us and your support. Love and prayers.

Leave a Comment!