These mornings and sweet afternoons have been lavished with pages and pages of books, most recently, the Broken Way, by Ann Voskamp. The list of things to be done grows and piles upon me like leaves being raked into a seemingly never ending pile called simply, ‘overwhelmed,’ and pushed aside for a more together version of myself, one that may never come. Which then results in me quenching my longing for story, for grace with more pages and more words, on the lookout for such.
The other morning, my dearest friend Sacha noticed a theme within my bookshelf: of brokenness and grace. One of which I know oh so well, and the other of which I thirst so deeply to drink from the stream, no, the overflowing bank, everlasting that never ends.
And in this sulking, the breathe seems to slow down in passing in and out of my lungs, my heart too busy to push the blood in the same way it used to, and my body crying out to be held, for hugs and for help. And in this weariest of times, when recovery and fighting this eating disorder, if it even is, appears like a cloud, distant and far, and uncertain of whether it will be light and fluffy, filled with storms and rains, or a gathering of both that is made by the sun’s warmth that comes after the tears.
This was one of those tough days, when my reasons for recovery just don’t seem to pull me through. Failure seemed to be my predestination for the day, and the world seemed bleak and grim. And in this was just when God intervened, in the littlest, yet most special ways I could ask for or imagine.
He helped me in the prayer of a friend standing on the bridge, who looked past my reflexive and weary answers to others. How are you? had been asked to me too many times that day, with a response that was simply, I’m here, and that is more than I could hope for. And he stopped for me, and listened to me, prayed and interceded for me. And it was like the rain began to pour from the cloud; the floodgates seemed to open and the sky became darkened; it becomes worse before it gets better; but it was a glimmer.
And then the puddled feeling grew of worry and fear. The brokenness took a great hold over me as it often seems to; and the thoughts circulated to give up. My shoulders pressed and hunched downwards, just like the negative direction of my thoughts. And then He did it again, He embraced me in the tenderness of unexpected reminders that I was loved and that sisters around the country were thinking of me and missed me and wanting me. That I was wanted. He embraced me in the hugs and the truths and the encouragement to simply take it one bite at a time, that I was loved no matter my smile or lack thereof, and that it would be okay.
This was one of the toughest days because of the lost joy and smile that usually comes so enthusiastically and naturally to me. And to have back that joy, I would do so much, maybe even make the choice to fully recover, to pour and be broken down just like the rain clouds with the hope that the sun will shine again. And there may be storms again and again this side of heaven, but the Son will come again and joy will be everlasting; and that is called hope. Hope is what keeps us going through absolutely anything; hope for something, for the joy of my smile to return. And for the hope that God is bringing me through.
I mentioned the book I have been reading, the Broken Way, and this quotation tugged at me for a little while and lingers even still:
“‘The seed breaks to give us the wheat. The soil breaks to give us the crop, the sky breaks to give us the rain, the wheat breaks to give us the bread. And the bread breaks to give us the feast. There was once even an alabaster jar that broke to give Him all the glory…’ ‘Never be afraid of being a broken thing.'” [italicization by me for emphasis](Voskamp 25)
And this is crazy to me, that maybe in this brokenness, just as the author, Ann talks about in the breaking of the bread in Communion is how we really most see Jesus. She writes about how it was in the breaking of the bread that it became an abundance for the masses and to feed the crowd. And maybe, just maybe, she is right; maybe, just maybe, “the miracle happens in the breaking.” (Voskamp 30).