Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Brokenness II

The wind blows in gently. The birds playfully sing outside the open window. And my heart swells with love for God's green Earth. 

We have had our windows opened wide since the first inkling of Spring. I love the sweet smell of blooming trees. I love the cool breeze that wanders in, so welcome. I love the feeling of bringing the outside in. Maybe that's why I have upwards of twenty indoor plants living among us. 

The air is growing warmer though, and soon our windows will be shut tight for the duration of Summer. The summer months were always my favorite as a child. Now they are the months I try to endure as I wait impatiently for Fall and cooler weather and open windows.

I have been struggling fiercely for the past couple of weeks. Doubt, fear, anxiety, and a reckless mind have plagued my waking hours. Deep, unsettling questions have left me exhausted and fighting for rest. 

What are we to do with all this brokenness? 

I have read countless blogs retelling the stories of babies born too soon, so silent and still, children dying from cancer, accidents and illness. In doctor's waiting rooms, I have overheard angry words of 'why?' and silent screams of sadness and frustration.

I have read the words of mothers who have brokenness etched into their hearts. Words that will break your heart wide open. My heart feels the heaviness of their brokenness today. It is my brokenness too.

What are we supposed to do with all this brokenness?
I can't sweep it under a rug. If brokenness was a shameful book, I couldn't hide it behind the other books and pretend that it's not there. It's too big and loud. Some days, it screams at me. I won't lie to myself or to the broken woman crying in the hospital... it is real. And it sucks.

What are we supposed to do with all this brokenness?

About three years ago, I heard a sermon about joy. In the introduction, our pastor asked if we were joyful people. I remember laughing bitterly to myself and scoffing, "No. No, I am not a joyful person. How could I be with all the death, the sickness, the brokenness around me?" I'm so thankful that grace pulled me out of my own thoughts and into the sermon that day. I answered his question very differently at the end of his sermon.

His point was not to condemn us into happiness. Contrary to popular belief, joy is not a feeling.

One of the major points in his sermon was that joyful people are people who understand that there is bigger picture; and an Artist who paints with colors we've never seen before, with brushstrokes so perfectly and carefully applied that if we could see it, we would weep with joy.

The bigger picture of a God who loves us. A God who weeps with us and who cares so much that He is coming again to set everything right... to make it the way it should be, the way it was made to be.

To a quote a good friend, "I guess all I'm trying to say is that you are not alone.  It's scary (and HARD) as crap, but you are not alone.  And the one who if He had not died for us never would have died is there for us too."

There is a bigger picture, a bigger story. There is an ending more grand than we could ever dream. And it does not end with brokenness. 

For now, the brokenness is here and it will not be ignored. We must keep waiting, knowing that our stories... that the bigger story does not end with brokenness. And lo, there is joy.

The wind carries in the sweetness of Spring, and a red bird calls my name beckoning me to listen. He loves us.


Beth said...

Love this, Ebe. Big hugs.

Tesha said...

SO very true Ebe. I have to say it breaks my heart to read others blogs because I have tasted the pain. At the same time it brings me so much comfort to not feel so alone. Also to hear wonderful encouragements like this post! Thanks for your honesty in sharing where you are at and thank you fro the hope.

Sara said...

Ebe... I am praying for you friend... Please email me any specifics you might need prayer for... How much longer there in St. Louis? The time seems like it is going quickly. Hang in there friend... He continues to carry us! Love you!