Broken and blessed
I am broken.
The storm is blowing fierce. The waves are gathering high and crashing low. I have been fearful and afraid. The waves are tossing me about and are dashing me on the stones.
I am broken. But I am okay.
I have been broken before. Miscarriages, illnesses, broken dreams, an affair, life changes, all of them have tossed me about and dashed me on the stones. They have all broken me. But I have always been able to get back up. My faith has been strong. God was my partner. I always believed I would be whole again.
Now I am broken again. I’m not sure if I will ever be whole. But I am okay. More than okay.
I knew I struggled with depression. But I also knew that I could combat it. I was the girl who could conquer any challenge. I decided I wasn’t going to be depressed anymore. And for a while, it worked. I prayed and sang and studied. And I’m glad I did.
But I also worked. Really hard. I was the girl who always said yes. Who had big dreams and got up at 5am to make them reality. I wanted to be the one who everyone could count on and was important and useful. I loved God with all my heart and was passionate about ministry. I was also the girl who was known for her loud laugh and would sometimes make small children cry when telling exciting stories.
I was okay with the dichotomy that was me. Depression and passion. One made up for the other.
Until I stopped sleeping. Until it all got to be so much that I had doctors visits and tests and talks.
There is a name for my brokenness. It’s Bi-Polar II. I didn’t even know there were two kinds. But my kind means that although I’m broken, I still get to keep a grip on reality when the waves lift me high. Unless you count the fact that I think I can do anything and everything. I still haven’t gotten a grip on the reality that that’s not true.
So here I am, broken. Broken and okay. Still a dichotomy.
I have spent months going to a Christian counsellor every week. I have to check in with my doctor. It’s now a regular and necessary thing for certain people to ask me if I’m having suicidal thoughts.
I am broken. Broken, bruised, but still I believe - I am blessed because of it.
I have been dashed upon the rocks. Over and over again. Every time the wave lifts me high, I wonder if this time I will be okay. Until it crashes and I crash with it. And I’m crying over the laundry again. And I don’t know if it will ever end.
I wonder who to tell. I write on the internet for Baptist women. Will I be laughed right out of the ministry? Who would ever want to listen to me again? Who would ever invite someone so broken to speak to their ladies? So I struggle with who to tell and when.
I have a small group around me that knows. Two friends at work that always check up on me. A friend who texts me jokes to keep me laughing at myself. Siblings that love me unconditionally. Parents too. A pastor who’s making sure I don’t do too much. But do I widen that circle? When I’ve heard God whispering to me that it’s time to start talking about it, I’ve fought Him. It’s hard enough to be so broken. Why do I have to make it public too?
Speaking of God, it’s been hard with Him lately. We’re talking a lot. A lot. But it’s not all what you might expect from someone who writes Bible studies. I’m hurt. And I’m angry. And I’ve had this massive inability to pray normally for a while now. I can’t just pray through a list. I’m fighting to keep my faith and that requires a lot right now. A lot of honesty with God. Of asking why He’s asking so much of me. Why I have to have another storm so quickly on the heels of the last one. Why I have to walk this path.
Why I have to be so broken.
And He’s welcomed every question. Every conversation. Every hard, wrong, and ugly emotion. And He’s teaching me about grief and pain and presence.
So lately, I’ve just been asking Him to sit with me. Almost every day I just stop and rest for a moment and ask Him for a hug. That’s it. No answers, no questions. Just a hug. And He has wrapped me in His arms every time. No judgement. No sermons. I literally just rest in His presence as He wraps His arms around me. And this has brought me the knowledge of something…
I am broken. The storm is raging. The waves lift me high. Then they bring me low. And they dash me up against the stones.
Or so I thought.
I am broken. But I have not been dashed on the stones. I have been pressed on the Rock. Over and over again, those waves have brought me back to Jesus. They have pounded me to His side in the way that only the waves can.
I have been broken. But I have been broken on the Rock. And because of that, I am blessed.
So for now, I’m just going to lay here. With His arms around me. And if I can’t pray right, or if my faith is tired, or if I stay broken forever, it’s okay.
Because I was always broken anyway.
But I’m laying on the Rock.