Beauty in Brokenness

I had a difficult day on Friday, I had been hoping to access further support from a counsellor I had a great relationship with previously but that turned out not to be possible. My working week ended with me attempting to stop crying at my desk feeling crushed and defeated. But after work as I sat in the sunshine waiting for a friend the words started to flow, words of honesty and determination, realism alongside hope

I realised that this is my life and somehow I have to find the beauty in it, buried beneath the brokenness. To see where the light breaks through the cracks in my heart. I think there’s some pain you have to live with, an ache that tells you where the wound is. That reminds you that you have to handle yourself with care.

There’s a fragility in the spring flowers, that spend most of the year buried and preparing, only to burst forth for a few short weeks. Some seasons may seem fleeting but they’ll come again. Happiness can be something that flitters away the more you try to focus on it. Instead of trying to ‘be happy’ sometimes we have to simply be. To sit with both the heavy and the light, looking for the light that casts the shadows. Accepting the imperfections in ourselves as well as others.

Life isn’t black or white, it can never be wholly good or wholly bad. Each day will be a mixture of the two. Some situations will even be too complicated to classify. There can be sparks of joy even on the darkest days. And does that make it worth it? Can you hold on for those sparks? Can we let ourselves experience them alongside the darkness, allowing them to spur us on? Can we make that enough?

There are 10,080 minutes in a week. And it’s true that last week some of those minutes contained tears, disappointment, frustration, pain and despair. But there was also time spent laughing with friends, moments where I solved some problem at work, an afternoon spent cuddling my friends’ newborn, the simple warmth of the sun on my skin. I can’t deny that depression, anxiety and anorexia are a part of my reality, unwelcome houseguests in my brain. But there’s far more to my life than these diagnoses. They don’t get to be the leading actors in my story.

There’s much that I don’t understand and maybe never will. There are big questions I don’t think I’ll get the answers to. There’s some uncertainty that you have to learn to carry. There’s much that we simply cannot wrap our heads around. It’s the act of asking those questions that makes us human, part of a journey we are all on.

And you can bring light to another’s life even if you lack it yourself. We can’t see who we are to others, unable to step back and see the tapestry being woven, our threads intertwined with countless others. We will never be able to grasp the unique and precious things we bring to this world. No matter what it feels like, we are meant to be here. Meant to do our best with the time given to us. To walk through the valleys and mountains until we’re called home.

I am not where I want to be, I’m not sure I will ever be. But maybe there can be purpose in the journey, in the travelling onwards, embracing the good and allowing God to redeem the bad. I am here. Still breathing, each breath a reminder of the storms I’ve weathered, of the simple defiant act of enduring. Even on the weariest of days I believe there will always be strength enough for this: to keep showing up for each new day. To continue looking for those sparks of joy. In time our roots will delve through the dry arid dirt and find water once more.

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.’

Isaiah 61:1-3

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