Blessed to be Broken

God's not finished with me yet!

Grief

Today was a good day. I went to a funny movie, I spent time with family and friends and then out of nowhere the floodgates opened. Driving and tears don’t mix well. But, when grief comes knocking, I’ve learned it’s easier to let it out than bottle it up.

A friend once told me that grieving is sometimes more than what we actually think we’re being emotional over. I had to give that some serious thought and I’ve come to the conclusion; she’s right.

Today for example I grieved the times my brother and I didn’t get to have. But, my initial wave of grief was over how much I miss him.

Grief gives us permission to feel all the things. There’s no shame in grieving or how long it takes you to grieve.

I think the worst injustice we can ever do is tell someone to “get over it”. How deeply someone is affected by whatever grieves them is their business. The uncomfortably we have with others in pain is what drives us to push others to healing.

It’s not to say it’s a bad thing. Good intentions, right? We don’t like to see someone in pain. Yet, everyday people are dealing with some type of pain.

Although it may not feel like it, grieving is what helps us move forward. It releases the anguish from our souls so we can move forward in hope that this too will pass.

As a little girl and a big chunk of my adult life, I cried in private. I didn’t want people to see me cry. I hated crying in public. I related crying to weakness. I was told crying would make my face be unpretty. I guess in way, you could say crying was my enemy.

I remember the first time I felt like crying during worship time at church. I was like, what in the world is happening here? Nope, not happening. So, I stuffed it back down. I’d look all around, take a sip of water, search through my purse, and do whatever I could to stop those tears.

Then I looked over at a dear friend and she was openly crying in church. I felt bad for her. I thought, you know people can see you right? I never asked her about it.

A couple of weeks later during worship the same thing. It was as if the tears were coming up from a place deep inside me. I couldn’t stop it this time. But, you can bet I tried my best to hide it.

But, God saw those tears. He knew my heart and as the tears fell, a reshaping of my heart started to transform my thinking.

Romans 12:2 was the very first Bible verse I felt led to memorize:

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” ~ NIV

I still don’t like to cry in public, but I no longer stop what God wants to do through my tears. Crying allows the pent up frustration, hurt, anger, shame, and guilt out.

I often wondered why after I came face to face with my Savior why I cried all the time? Stuffed down tears will find a way out. Grief can look like working out too much. Eating too much or too little. Grief can look like anger. Grieving is complicated, yet so very necessary to our well being. Whatever it is you lost, it’s ok to grieve. Don’t let anyone tell you any different.

Your shoes. Your story. No body else has license to tell you to quit crying or they’ll give you something to cry about. Just means, that once upon a time, someone told them to quit crying too.

I guess all I really have to say is, it’s ok to cry. It’s an emotion that God gave us and even Jesus wept. How awesome is it, that the Savior of the world wasn’t ashamed to cry?

Friend, there’s freedom in your tears. And there’s not a thing you can hide from Jesus. So you may as well let those tears flow, because one way or another, they’re coming out!

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Falling Apart

You can do the hard things, but you don’t have to do it reliant on your strength. Wait, what? Lemme ‘splain Lucy. The other day, my son asked if I wanted a hug. I did, but I hesitated for a few seconds. I felt if I went in for the hug, I would lose whatever it was that was holding me altogether. I was tired. More tired than I realized.

The current battle in this moment was too much and a hug from my son might just be the end of me. I felt a choke hold of emotions rising up in my chest and throat, threatening to steal my composure. Do you know what I mean?

I surrendered and went in for the hug. Yep, I cried. I said I was tired of always being the “strong one.” My beautiful grown son gave me permission to stop being strong. For the next few moments I just breathed through my tears. Why is it so hard to be vulnerable? Why is it so hard to drop the facade and just say, I’m tired? 

I don’t know that I needed permission not to be strong, but I felt a surge of relief wash over me as I let it go. 

If you know me, you know I’m not a fan of putting puzzles together. I don’t even like riddles. Gasp! I know, right? I want the easy. I want the answer. I. Just. Want. To. Know! 

If you put a riddle on your social media post, I will google the heck out of it before I answer, and feel no shame! However, I will not read the end of a book I’m reading until I get there. It’s complicated, I know. 

Unfortunately for those like me who just want the answers, waiting is beyond annoying. But you don’t get where you’re going until you take a step, and then another, and sor forth, and so on. It’s like the exasperating puzzle. You put it together one piece at a time. 

There’s the key. It’s in coming together of the broken apart pieces that make the puzzle whole. When we try to ignore those broken pieces, we set the healing aside. We stuff those pieces down and let them flounder around in our beings as they look for an escape. 

Make no doubt, those pieces will find their way out, one way or another. 

Look around. You’ll see them if you dare to look close enough. It’s the person reaching for the bottle, hoping to drink it away. It’s in the addict, hoping to numb it away. It’s in the abuse, hoping to rage it away. 

Hurt needs an escape. It needs to be tended to. It needs a vulnerable place to land. A place where shame, guilt, and self-condemnation don’t reside. A place that says, it’s ok to cry. It’s ok, to fall apart. 

It’s so very important who you share your hurts with. In the wrong hands those hurts become weapons to take you down even further. To be used against you in moments you never see coming. 

Humans can be so very cruel and yet so very caring. It’s critical you know the difference. 

The day my son asked me if I wanted a hug, I didn’t know I needed one. But, my Jesus knew. 

He knew my human strength was waning. He knew exactly what I needed in the weakness I had yet to see.  

For the answer to be a hug is huge. I didn’t grow up in a hugging family. It’s not what we did. We only hugged when necessary. They always felt foreign. But, that’s not what a true hug is. It’s the total opposite. 

Hugs are a very simple yet powerful gift from our Heavenly Father. It takes 2 people to make a hug happen. It’s a participatory act of opening up your arms and both giving and receiving one another. A true hug envelopes your entire being and gives you space to just be. 

Friend, it’s ok to not have it all together. It’s ok to come undone and cry things out. After all, you never know what you might find after the tears have cried themselves out. And maybe, just maybe, whatever needs to fall apart, will be the very thing you need for things come together. 

It’s gonna be a GREAT day and you get to be here for it! How awesome is that? 

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