When brokenness becomes a calling

What lies deep below the enormity of the ocean waters is often unknown and unseen by so many of our human eyes.
And although many of us have played in the shallow of its waters and even dipped our toes in its delight there’s fewer of us who’ve trained to go into the depth of its discoveries. 

And much like what lies deep below the surface of the ocean walls so it is within the walls of a human soul.
We may know a selected people’s likes and dislikes and even a few interesting facts about their lives but the things that get stashed deep within one’s soul are often hidden  there in fear and shame. 

This past week as I’ve been reading with a heavy heart a Pastor who recently took his life….a loss far bigger than many of us can fully imagine.

But what I am finding in this story is something so beautiful.
For in the midst of the overwhelmingly hard thing this community is living through they’re encircling this when so much still remains unraveled, unknown and hidden in the dark and they’re choosing to speak a courageous message…telling all they know in hope to save lives.
Oh may we meet them here in this sacred space…

I am reminded of friends and even relatives who’ve ended their lives far too early…Dads…Moms…Husbands…Wives…Brothers…Sisters…Cousins….Nephews….Nieces….Uncles….Aunts…Sons…Daughters…Pastors…Spiritual leaders…Co-workers…Neighbors…and even as Friends…

You see, in every ending of life there is a rippling loss for so many…

We really have no idea how many people we’re really connected to when we feel like we’re all alone…when we feel trapped in the darkness of our brokenness. 

But friends we brush shoulders every day with hidden pain that’s lining the walls of others souls; never realizing the brokenness being carried around. 
We often see only glimpses of this pain seeping out.
We ignore unspoken indicators brushing them off as exaggerations of brokenness. 

But if we’re real and would reach a little deeper into our soul we would find places of unhealed brokenness too….because being human comes with volatile casualties.
And I truly believe every human experiences a variety of these traumas.   

I know because I’ve lived them…

And although I’ve found so much healing, I’ve dipped back and forth this past year. 

The loneliness…the weight of too many losses at once…the pain that comes from living in a broken world…and in the aching of it all there were moments I thought of disappearing and not letting my story out.
I thought it was too much to share. 

BUT…
A piece of me wanted you to know…even though it can be scary and so hard to put ourselves out there and to be this version of real as I read this man’s story this week I found a similar strand woven through every human life…
a remnant…a desire to be wanted…needed and noted as valuable..a yearning within a broken soul to find wholeness….

The words that I’ve kept locked away have pleaded for years to be written. 
Yet I know what its like when a person spills their stuff out on paper…it’s all too easy to assume they’re a little too ’emotional’  ‘needy’ or ‘broken’…

I know what its like because I’ve been there.
Because there’s times we rise from these difficulties with resilience and others when they become woven into our identity and self worth.
Where rather than healing and leaving a scar they remain an open wound bleeding into our existence. 

You see…
I know how it is to feel pain running through your veins and wonder if it will ever stop throbbing.

I know how it is to have continual criticism intended to wound, plans devised to taint your integrity and what its like to be the target of someone’s misdirected anger. 

I know how it is to feel like there’s no one who understands the pain you’re suffering through.

I know how it is to be told to just ‘get over’ it and move on.

I know how it is to be told you are over-reacting from the trauma you’ve endured. 

I know what it is like to go through multiple losses that somehow connect with devastating losses of long ago. 

I know how it is to wonder if anyone will know that you’re missing…

I know how it is to not want your story so we bury it far away from the life we are striving for.

But I’ve also been on the other side….

Attending funerals with far too many families…comforting children whose parents gave into the darkness that was haunting them too much of the time.
I’ve walked through the ugly days that followed to know if I don’t speak out and give others the courage to split their hearts wide open,
they’ll remain hidden in their pain…

And friends being hidden is where our lives are at greatest risk…we’re vulnerable for attack.
I understand I fought it for years…trying to remain <UNKNOWN>.

Isolation is where the enemy does his best work. 

I’ve not wanted to tell these things…
Because if we’re being honest they give us the appearance of weakness, instability and being far too raw. 

I’ve not wanted to tell of how I’ve had feelings like I didn’t measure up as a mom…a wife…a daughter…a friend and forget how much less I can feel as a minister’s wife…

I’ve not wanted to tell of how watching my boys grow up has caused me to wrestle through all of my stuff…

I’ve not wanted to tell how many times its landed me on my knees begging God for healing and relief…

I’ve not wanted to tell what it was like to live through years afraid of men, holding them hostage because of a handful who stole something sacred from me…

I’ve not wanted to tell of how for so many years I felt like an object rather than the incredible design of my Creator.

I’ve not wanted to tell the depth of any of these things and definitely not out in the vastness of this open space.

Because just the mention of them all makes me feel uncomfortable and a bit twisted up inside…and even the mere releasing of these words raises up a whole lot of fears. 

Because it really feels far too risky to form them into words.

But God has been calling me to write them down…
He’s been revealing how these events either can be counted as losses>>>
or be collected as a gift…

And what if the very wounds I’ve been trying all these years to heal are the very battle wounds he wants me to write?
What if they were given as a gift,
rather than a burden?

For he knew these days full of pain would come…
and maybe these messages that get written on our souls are a piece of his art…
calling for our broken world…
calling to create a space to speak about such hard & holy things…
calling to one another to be vulnerable…to peer inside the dark spaces that we all possess…
A bold calling for us to be the generation that changes this thing from endings to beginnings.
A calling for us to get in front of this thing to bring healing rather than picking up the pieces of shattered brokenness.

Because friends there’s too many people wandering through their own kind of hard needing us to take a step inside it with them…

This gift of community we’ve been entrusted with is so that no ONE walks through this life alone…
And friends we can create the space for this to happen.

Because although we don’t get to choose exactly how life plays out we do get to choose how to live this one life we’ve been given.

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