I have a confession.
I don’t like coming here anymore. Something just doesn’t feel right. Believe me, it’s not you—it’s me.
No, wait. Actually…it’s her.
Look at her sitting there. Her head bent down, confident and determined to hold tight onto something—some kind of steel to bring her strength and power. She is serious. She is intense. She is deep.
She is broken.
She is me.
Out of all the smiling, happy, pictures my photographer friend took of me that day—it was this one that drew me in. I chose her to be the cover girl over the words of this blog. She fit the part of a messy, vulnerable, broken hallelujah.
Can I tell you the truth?
I’m tired of living broken.
Sixteen months ago this broken cover girl not only became the banner over my blog—but over my life.
It was March 2012, I launched this website here, my dad had a mini stroke, and my father-in-law passed away. In April, my mother married—for the third time, I on the other hand (and unbeknownst to my husband) wanted out of my marriage. In May, my dad was diagnosed with Stage 4 metastatic cancer. In June, only six weeks later, he died—the day after Father’s Day. From that point on I not only grieved the loss of my dad, but also the reality my husband was not my dad—nor would he ever be.
In July I turned 40, I began therapy…and so did my boys. In August, I became a full-time homeschool teacher to my sons. In September, my older son’s volatile behavior proved he needed more than just play therapy—he began anger management group for kids, as well as family group counseling, and my husband also sought personal counseling.
That’s kind of a lot all squished up in only seven months…and yeah, there’s a lot there that never made it into a blog post.
Do I even bother mentioning the financial stresses, the possibility of bankruptcy and foreclosure we brought into 2012 as well as the “unseen” bondage around my mind and heart?
A broken hallelujah indeed….
What a mess.
Sadly, it was a familiar mess. But the mess took on a new shape when my dad died. That event alone not only exacerbated the mess, but also catapulted me into deeper pools of healing—
As it turns out grief is not just about missing someone, it’s about discovering who you are without them. My most recent journey is about discovering who I am without my dad. It’s a big journey that involves acknowledging the strong bonds I had with him, but never had with my husband. As a dear friend once said to me, my dad’s death is the ultimate leaving and cleaving. It is a painful journey—as all transformation stories are—but surprisingly one that led, not just me, but my husband and boys to encounter Hope.
And when you’ve encountered Hope…well, you don’t live life broken. You live life healed.
I. live. life. healed.
And so the only thing left to do is say good-bye. No—not to you. To her. I think she’s been waiting –waiting for me to release her—not just from her brokenness, but from the burden she’s held tight to for too long.
It’s time to be free.
It’s time to live whole.
It’s time to sing—A Healed Hallelujah.
Say hello to the new cover girl.
Look at her standing there. Her chin lifted up, confident and delighted to keep her gaze onto someone—some kind of Holy to fill her with love and grace. She is radiant. She is compassion. She is free.
She is healed.
She is me.
p.s. Funny to think these contrasting photos (broken & healed) were taken on the same day. A dear friend says it’s not a coincidence. She believes God wants me to know He has always seen me healed…even when I only saw myself broken. I have a feeling she might be right.
Here or somewhere…be real. Share your journey.