Tag Archives: vulnerability

When Broken Things Heal

Last year, on this very day, I was at our daughter’s home, awaiting the birth of our grandson, when I paused to take a picture of a beautiful sunset. I took one tiny step off their back porch and fell in an ever so slight hole with one foot and broke my ankle on the other foot.

It was about the worst possible time for such a thing to happen. I was there to assist. I was there to be on two feet doing things. I was going to be a whirlwind of helpfulness taking care of people I love.

When I called my daughter from the ER sobbing that it was indeed broken, she said, “Mom, this will be funny some day.” It is still, to me, one of the least funny things that ever happened. When my family tries to bring up my week-long stint with a walker before I received my walking boot, I make them stop because I can’t take remembering that horror.

The doctor told me it would take A YEAR to feel normal again. It still doesn’t. As I write, after walking 3 miles this morning, it is aching. I find it fascinating that it is still bruised in two places. How can it be still bruised?

But every day, I am grateful that broken things can heal.

Breaking my ankle taught me things that I seem to keep having to re-learn:

  1. I am breakable, vulnerable and human. To this day, my husband shows me curbs and holes. I keep saying “Just because I fell doesn’t mean I will fall again.” But, it actually does. I, like you, am capable of falling. I am breakable.
  2. Healing comes on a slow timetable. I have to keep being reminded by pain and aches that I am not yet healed. Healing is slow. One must be patient…more patient than you ever dreamed you’d have to be.
  3. Broken things don’t heal just as they were. My ankle is forever changed. So are people who lose loved ones, receive a diagnosis, endure a broken relationship or a devastating job loss. The good news is, you can heal. The harder news is that your brokenness will still be there even after you heal.
  4. God specializes in brokenness. So many times we believe our God is all about only a pristine perfection….turns out, not so much. Rather, God is perfect at healing real life brokenness. It’s not a clean and sterile kind of healing either. It is a messy, achy, wiser, kind of mending that God does.

Colossians 1:20-21b, The Message: …all of the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe-people and things, animals and atoms-get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies….You yourselves are a case study of what God does.

Imagine this truth: what is broken in you, on you and around you, can be a real life case study in how God can heal.

I have an achy, bruised, forever-changed, mostly healed right ankle and soul. I am so grateful.

  

Mom Love

Mothers Day is Sunday and it will bring expressions of love, gratitude and sentiment–good, bad, cheesy and pitiful. The reason is that mothering is such a mixed bag of everything. Love, for sure, but also fear and worry, anger and angst.  Nobody mothers perfectly. For one thing it is hard, and daily. And, the feelings attached to mothering are so strong and pervasive that they go on for years, even beyond the lifetime of the mother and the child.

Recently, my husband and I were on the road, returning from an out of town funeral and storms were all over west and north Texas.  Even though we are pretty much grown ups now, both sets of our parents were checking on us to see if we were safely home.  Moms always want to know the chicks are safe and sound.

We have two grown children and one who is almost grown. I still have that feeling I had when I was pregnant with my first one, that overwhelming feeling how vulnerable I felt loving this little one so much, even before I ever met her. My heart was now walking around outside my body. I also clearly remember the day I made the connection to how many times the Bible refers to God loving us like a parent and I realized maybe that’s how God loves, in that incredibly vulnerable Mom way.  God, would then, hurt when we hurt; want desperately to protect us; would suffer when we make bad choices and on and on.  Oh my. could it be that God doesn’t just love us? God loves us like a mom.

After my daughter was born and I returned to ministry after a maternity leave.  I remember sitting at my desk, just this bundle of hormones and new emotions.  Did I mention guilt?  I was preparing to lead a staff devotional the next day and was looking for Biblical inspiration.  Isaiah 49:15 dared to image God as a nursing mother saying to the people, “Can a woman forget her nursing child, or show no compassion for the child of her womb?  Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.”  Through nursing, my body was physically attached to my baby daughter.  It was impossible for me to forget her.  My body would not allow it.

God says, “So it is with me.  I love you and am connected to you like that.”  I know how I feel as a mom, connected forever to my children. It takes my breath away to think of God saying to me and to you, “My love for you is like that. It’s not just any love, it’s like mom love.”