It is Thanksgiving Eve, though I have seldom heard it described in such a way, not like
Christmas Eve or New Years Eve. But tonight it seems appropriate. It is the day before ‘the day’ set aside for thanks and gratitude.
Yet I sit huddled on my sofa, tears just boiling under the surface waiting to spill over. Emotions are all over the place and I wonder if I will ever again feel free to experience joy without a deep sense of sadness.
If all the conditions were right,
if all of our daughers were home, and everyone was getting along.
If I felt good and wasn’t afraid my health was taking a turn for the worse.
If I my weight was under control and I felt strong and full of vitality.
If my finances were abundant and I didn’t have to wrestle to balance bill paying and gift giving.
If we could see our parents more often and more easily.
If there wasn’t so much loss in our world, so much hurt, so much anxiety for the future.
If all the conditions were right would I be happy then?
I wonder. How right would everything have to be for me to be happy?
But who am I kidding. Conditions will never ever be all right again.
My heart is broken.
My emotions are broken.
My thoughts are broken.
My spirit is broken.
My famiy is broken
My finances are broken.
My body is broken.
No matter how hard I work to get all the pieces of my life in order, and healthy and at peace, there are so many things that are out of my control.
Relationships I care about deeply are hurting and not mine to mend.
Health issues are causing suffering, yes some are from seasons of neglect, others are not. Some of them is just is the way my body is responding to life.
And then there are those circumstances that have broken me. Dreams dashed. Daughter’s death.
These are not new things. I have dealt with these issues and their aftermath many times. You would think after 10 years of grieving I would be ‘over this’. I even wrote a book about what I have learned in the middle of the mess of it all. These aren’t new circumstances and I am not just beginning the journey of dealing with them. I have been at this a while now.
But it doesn’t change the fact that I am, in this moment, in tears for it all again.
It is Thanksgiving, one of my favorite of holidays because of family and gratitude. Yet I am consumed with all that I have lost.- again.
I am angry that I am broken- still.
I despair that once more- christmas will be broken and there is nothing I can do to change that fact.
Tears flow! I let them pour out. My body constricts with the agony of the moment.
Then hush! Tears subside. My body quiets. Even in the sadness of the moment, in the middle of it all I hear a whisper- a God whisper,
“My child, Will you seek me in your broken Christmas? Will you give me your ache and enter the season with eyes wide open and heart willing to hear what I am about to show you?”
I’ve been in a place like this before. A place I can’t imagine being anything but what it is now. I have stood in awe, seeing God show up and showing me—more!
More of him!
More of Life!
More of Hope!
More of Love!
Ok Lord! I’m not at a place where I feel life and hope very well right now. But in this moment, I will trust that You, God are who You say you are!
I will be honest about what I am experiencing.
I will remember who he has shown himself to be in the past- my own story yes, but also through out time and scripture.
I will watch for him yet again in the advent of his coming.
I know I am not alone in this journey of feeling more broken than whole. Of wanting life to be easier and more, yet consumed by the losses, some recent, some long ago.
It is often hard to do broken in community- and yet, it is nigh to impossible to get through it alone.
Oh broken friend, will you join me in daring to watch for God to show up in this advent season?
Will you leave a comment below that just says, “I’m Watching!” I’ll know that you are in the journey with me. We can pray for each other as we allow our brokeness to find its place in the season.
Here’s to us living a broken thanksgiving- a broken advent and yes, a broken Hallelujah!
P.S. LISTEN IN to Mandisa’s song called Broken Hallelujah! https://youtu.be/cH16B5449Iw