Let the bones which You have broken rejoice. (Ps 51:8)
Last summer, my Father broke me. On purpose. I didn’t see it coming and I didn’t think I deserved it. I didn’t understand it and I definitely didn’t handle it well. For a while I considered it the cruelest thing I had ever endured, as the wound was delivered to a place in which I was already terribly vulnerable.
Often when Nick gets home from work, we’ll connect in the kitchen while I pull together some form of dinner. The kids clamor to tell their stories but we are pretty firm that they wait until he and I have had a chance to download whatever is stirring inside of us.
In the months following Last Summer, many many of those times, he would hold me together as I worked through all the emotions that were working through me. He has spent countless hours listening patiently to me as I worked through anger, hurt, confusion, frustration and even–on several occasions–when I considered walking away from it all. I have to honestly confess that he is the reason I did not quit. He simply wouldn’t let me.
It’s not that I’m a quitter. It’s that I was just hurting so much inside. More than I ever had. I didn’t know I was strong enough to hold up under it. But Nick did.
But I knew, the whole time, that this whole thing was of the Father. I knew it was Him. I knew I was learning more about who He really is, and how He really loves. Who I really am and what that looks like. And my hope that He could bring it full circle–into something beautiful and worthwhile–was the only thing I had to hold on to. I didn’t see how it could ever be anything but painful, but as the days wore on, His was the only outcome I could wait for. His completion of it in me was the only finish line I had enough faith for.
Oh, I begged for it to end. To be shorter. To make sense. But at some point, I just stopped wishing for it all to be over, and surrendered to the belief that Love would be faithful to me. I leaned into His covenant with me. I learned to live with the gaping black hole in my heart–knowing that the Father knew it was there, and would be faithful to heal it when it was time.
Frankly, I kind of learned to live around it.
Today, midway through the afternoon, I felt it heal.
I felt it. In the place where there was a black hole, a total void of love, an absolute emptiness… suddenly I felt it flood full. I stopped what I was doing and froze, startled and at full attention for several minutes as it tangibly, physically resurrected inside of me.
When Nick got home, it was the first thing that poured out of my mouth. That I had felt my heart heal. I had felt it! As I shared the details, he celebrated, pouring a glass of water. Not seeing the look on my face.
When he looked up, I told him what I had said to the Father, the moment I felt it. I told him what I whispered: “Oh, NO.”
I was afraid. I had learned how to live around the void, that ugly hole. I had learned how to speak around the lump in my throat, the twinge that was constantly with me. I had developed accommodations that allowed me to be in relationship without feeling it inside. I had embraced a certain level of constant sadness. It’s not that I developed walls–it’s that the hole made me numb–and with numbness came insulation.
But now–I am full-on feeling again.
The house has grown quiet and I’ve been sitting here with my Father, asking Him the questions I wish would arm me to better maneuver through love without risking another Last Summer. Trying to ask the how questions, the give-me-the-rules-and-specifics questions that would erect for me the safety zones I longed for.
He’s not interested in seeing me retreat into immaturity. Hows and rules are so Last Summer.
In His genius, I’ve be reborn in the days, weeks and months since Last Summer. I literally only endured it, not realizing that He wasn’t destroying–He was remodeling. Tenderly selecting, polishing, rubbing and caressing me in His unbroken faithfulness–may the bones which you have broken rejoice! He showed me my beauty and value by treating even my dismantled parts with such compassion. When he put me back together, He assembled me among the very fibers of Himself.
And so, I no longer need hows and rules. All that I need, He already gave me in abundance in Himself. The confidence, faith and joy that are rising from the ashes are beautiful new features in my upgrade. And the vulnerable spot that He broke? Immeasurably stronger.
There’s still a lump in my throat. I’m still a little trepidatious. It’s still unnatural to feel this much and to choose not to hide it.
I could still really royally screw this up all over again.
But I feel His breeze on my face…