This week, something broke inside of me. One simple sentence shattered me. I looked at the speaker of the words and broke. Not visibly. The person wouldn’t have known the full power the words had. Visibly, they impacted me. But only I knew the devastation they wreaked.
I fogged my way through Friday. No one knowing. We modern Americans are pretty good at that. Put on your face. Suit up for your work or your social event or your activities. Have benign conversations. Smile.
Saturday it took every ounce in me to feed the kids and shower. No make up. No checking off the list of things I needed to do. We visited my mom in her physical rehab facility and came home. Then, we made a last minute plan with dear friends.
The three of them, mom, son, and daughter, appeared on our doorstep for some swimming. While the kids laughed and played and danced, I unraveled.
I was so crushed by what happened, I probably could have only pieced the words together for two or three people in my life. I didn’t cry, it’s like I’d been frozen from the hurt, but I told her I couldn’t keep moving. Something had shifted and it left a canyon. She let me be shattered. They arrived like God’s wrapped present in my backyard in just the nick of time.
I forget sometimes to just let people be shattered. And sometimes, probably most of the time, I forget folks walking around with a smile may be pushing through brokenness. I remembered this during our time as the Advent Family looking shiny and pulled together when really we weren’t. But I forget again.
If you are struggling with feeling crushed today, hold on. When you are struggling with more than you can shoulder, find one person who you can share your load with. Ecclesiastes 4 says that two are better than one because if one falls down, the other is there to pick her up. My sweet friend sat with me and picked me up. It’s my turn to repay the favor when I’m given the opportunity, Each of us should be looking for opportunities to shoulder another’s sorrow.
I sat in church today and listened to a sermon from Psalms. It’s a compilation of songs of joy and songs of sorrow. So even if you feel alone right now, Psalms 37 says God is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed. You’re never really alone.
I sang the refrain to a chorus, I surrender, I surrender all. Hard words. What if I allowed God to pick up the broken parts? Ann Voskamp says it’s through our cracks and brokenness where God’s light is given room to shine. “Our brokenness can be a container for God’s glory.” There’s beauty in the brokenness.
It doesn’t feel beautiful. But it will be. Hold on.
God makes everything beautiful in its time. Eccles. 3