I often contemplate the events and experiences that have taken place throughout my life that have broken me down and ultimately made me the person I am today. As unpleasant as it is to relive the past at times, I have found that occasionally looking back on experiences with deep contemplation and gratitude can be a way in which one can turn something broken into something beautiful.
I was recently lead through an exercise that did just this for me. A mental exercise that allowed me to take a step back in time and give my heart the rare experience to see myself as I once was, and take careful note as to how far I've come. In this exercise I was told to close my eyes and think back to a time where I was at rock bottom, and at this point in the exercise I immediately thought back to all of those long and painful nights where my endometriosis pain would relentlessly torture me for what seemed at the time to be endless nights.
I remembered pain so intense that all I could do was scream and grit my teeth hard until the sharp pain in my lower abdomen would let up ever so slightly. I recalled this level of pain going on for hours and days until I'd slip into a seizure. I remembered the firm resolve it took to be a fighter through these extreme flares of pain. I also remembered the times I prayed for my body to surrender because at times the grip that Lyme disease had on me seemed too strong and dark.
After recalling all these painful memories of my personal rock bottom, I was told to return back to myself in the present, go to that girl in the past in her state of "rock bottom," look her in the eyes, and say: "You made it... You made it through." That moment where my present self met that broken down and hurting past self was a very pivotal moment for me. I felt this sudden urge to hug that hurting girl so tight, as if I could physically hold all of her broken pieces together, knowing now that one day the pain would be significantly less, and that healing was just around the corner.
After such an eye-opening experience, I resolved to try this exercise one more time, but this time with a different situation at a different time in my life. At that particular time I had hit a brand new rock bottom, with a whole different kind of excruciating pain that took place not so much in the body, but in the heart.
I still remember that night as if it happened yesterday. I remember the crushing feeling of time stopping all at once, along with my heart. I remember hanging up the phone as it fell out of my hand, and the sharp gripping at my neck as if to stop any airflow from occurring. I remember wanting to suddenly scream and cry, but for whatever reason, I couldn't manage to get a single sound to escape my lips. I remember my entire outlook for the past year of my life being completely crushed by the weight of the situation, and my entire world being rocked upside down and shattered within seconds. Unfortunately, this was only the beginning of the long painful healing journey that I had ahead of me. There were a lot of sleepless nights ahead. A lot of tears. A lot of aching and emotional anguish that manifested itself physically. At that point, I honestly never thought that my heart could be made whole again.
When my present self met my past self this time, I desperately wanted to take her by the hand and tell her that there was healing ahead! That her heart would be made whole! That she made it! I opened my eyes this time to tears slipping down my face as I realized that I still have some deep scars from that past betrayal and heartache. Scars that I've always thought were ugly, but in hindsight maybe they aren't as ugly as I thought they were.
Throughout my life, brokenness is something that I have managed to become very well acquainted with, and something I've learned is an essential part of life. I recently had a good friend ask me, "Do you think God loves broken things?" After a moment of silence and deep contemplation within my own heart and mind I responded, "Well, He has to! Because I know He loves me..."
I've come to know since then that in order for something, or someone, to be made strong it first has to be broken down. In order for a muscle to reach its full capacity of strength, it has to first be broken down with consistent exercise. In order for a diamond to become the diamond that it is it has to undergo an extensive amount of heat and pressure. In order for a rainbow to form there must first be rain. As it is with us.
We all are a little bit broken. We are all a little bit bruised and battered. We've all undergone some weathering in this thing that we call life. I used to spend so much time agonizing over my brokenness with the false belief that being broken was a bad thing... But I've come to know that it's not.
Sometimes broken people are the most beautiful people. Brokenness opens the doors to things we never thought possible. Brokenness makes us strong, and eventually unbreakable. Brokenness allows God to work in our lives if we let Him. And what a miracle and a blessing that is.
So if you're feeling broken. If you feel like the Heaven's are silenced, and there is little to no healing in the near future, my message to you today would be that there IS HOPE AND HEALING AHEAD. There are better things coming. Even when it feels impossible, it is not. Our Lord and Savior does not leave us comfortless. Let your brokenness propel you to great things and always remember that God loves broken things.