Friday, May 24, 2013

Not Broken

I have a few devotions that I subscribe to and get emailed every so often.  I never seem to get to reading half of them but this one caught my eye and my heart.  I think this was mainly because I’ve seeing so much brokenness around me lately and have been somewhat forced to face the brokenness in my own life and how hard it can be to rise above it.  I thought I would share it with you and share my own reflections.
Psalm 34:17-22
17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
    he delivers them from all their troubles.
18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
    and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
19 The righteous person may have many troubles,
    but the Lord delivers him from them all;
20 he protects all his bones,
    not one of them will be broken.
21 Evil will slay the wicked;
    the foes of the righteous will be condemned.
22 The Lord will rescue his servants;
    no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.
As someone who has logged a lot of time in the coastal waters of Florida, I’ve always enjoyed seeing bottlenose dolphins up close in the wild. That’s one reason I was particularly drawn to the movie Dolphin Tale.
Based on a true story, the film is about a fatherless and disheartened boy named Sawyer who finds great joy and meaning in the rehabilitation of an injured bottlenose dolphin named Winter. Sawyer looks up to his older cousin Kyle—a championship swimmer. But Kyle withdraws from his young cousin after he returns from the military with a damaged right leg.
In a moment of frustration and self-pity, Kyle yells out to one of his doctors that he can’t swim anymore because he’s “broken.” His doctor, who refuses to let Kyle wallow in the waters of self-pity, responds by picking up a drinking glass and dropping it on the ground, shattering it into hundreds of pieces. The doctor then turns to Kyle and says, “Now that’s broken.”
Life in a fallen world will injure us—sometimes very deeply (Psalm 34:17-18). When something painful happens, Jesus doesn’t want us to deny or minimize our hurt.

John 11:33-35
33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked.
“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.
35 Jesus wept.

 Nor does He want us to sink in the waters of despair. He knows we’re hurt, but not “broken.” Not in the complete sense of the word.
The wounds of life don’t have to break our spirit (Psalm 34:20). We can resist the lie that we won’t ever experience meaning or joy again. In time, God can put the wounds of life to work for His kingdom purposes (Psalm 34:22). Allow Him to use your pain to sensitize your heart to what is most important in life. Let Him make you more sensitive to the needs of those who’ve experienced similar heartaches.
— Jeff Olson

I love this line… We can resist the lie that we won’t ever experience meaning or joy again.’  What a lie that is…and oh how easy it is to believe it.  I remember going through this very emotion right after we lost Cole.  It lifted for a while after we learned that Cameron’s life was not threatened and that he would likely not have many major issues from the effects of the TTTS and fetal anemia.  Those feelings were something that threatened me off and on for the next 11 weeks, until delivery day.  And then they hit me in the face…no, slammed me into a wall and stomped on top of my body.  I felt so broken, so confused.  I would find joy in the things Cameron had overcome but I would just want everything to be different so much.  The months after the boys were born were filled with this type of interruption of thought.  Often when I would feel joy then I would then feel guilty that I wasn’t grieving for the son I had lost.  

I have since moved into the next part of this section of this devotion.  In time, God has put the wounds of my life to work for His kingdom purposes.  I have allowed Him to use my pain to sensitize my heart to what is most important in life.  I have learned to explore the emotions that come out with trials and grief and been open about them to others.  Through this journey I have learned so much about grief and loss, trials and crisis.  I have really learned that life is much too precious to get caught up on what we can’t do, what we can’t fix, what we don’t want.  When all you do is focus on that then you miss what is happening around you.  The other thing that God has done in me as he sensitized my heart is to the little things that ARE important…to notice the wonderful gifts that he has given us, no matter how small. I celebrate every little thing Cameron does at times because I realize that there is so much joy in it, so much hope in that little boy.  I treasure stupid moments like waiting in line ups with my kids, driving in the car somewhere with them, reading them a simple story or even doing chores with them (ok, I am stretching it here… I HATE doing chores with my kids, guess I’d better pray on this one LOL) because I learned the hard way how hard it is to spend time away from them, to miss out on things like their very first sleepover.  And I also learned the hard way how difficult it is to spend a lifetime without them as I will with Cole.  It’s not worth focusing on what you can’t do, what you wish was different, what is broken.

And through the wounds in my life He has made me more sensitive to the needs of those who’ve experienced similar heartaches.  I guess it is obvious to most that I spend a lot of time online supporting other TTTS families.  I am the founder of two pretty amazing groups that offers support and have been very involved in a number of others.  Initially the area I felt I could give the most support in, the area I was most sensitive to, was the area of grief… especially in the loss of one twin group.  But as time goes on God has put it on my heart to open up those personal wounds, to relive the whole TTTS experience, complete with loss, with families who have or almost assuredly will have, two survivors.  And even more recently, He seems to have pushed me to be a part of twin groups…groups of healthy twins, groups with moms who are pregnant and have no issues at all and carry to term….all the things I wanted to experience.  I resisted this for so long but now am finding it so healing to be there, to find a way to reach out in awareness, in prevention type modes while exposing my wounds and my fears. 
But this isn’t the only area God has been making me more sensitive too, not the only place God is using me to help others.  My marriage has struggled for years and grief rocked it to the core too.  It’s taken a long time and it’s by no means not struggling still but we have come to a place where we know that it is so much more worth fighting for it then fighting each other.  That we want to work together, heal together, grow together.   About two years ago it seemed very broken, very much not worth fighting for anymore.  Now I am able to share that brokenness with others and show how God has used so many things in my life, including losing my son, to become a stronger person but moreover a person of faith. 
The author of the devotion asked us to take a look at Psalm 55:22 to see what  we should do when the hard things of the world threaten to overwhelm us…

Psalm 55:22
New International Version (NIV)
22 Cast your cares on the Lord
    and he will sustain you;
he will never let
    the righteous be shaken.
How have the wounds of life tried to break your spirit? How might God be using what happened to make you a more considerate and compassionate person?

I am not broken, I am not lost.  I have been put back together by the Love of a Father that I know I am so lucky to have, that I believe at times I am not worthy to have.  I have been found by Him and loved for all my wounds, all my brokenness.

No comments:

Post a Comment