tbh; a little honesty for your Friday

Yesterday was Thanksgiving.

I woke up defeated and in the worst mood. I shoved that under the rug and tried to put on the “happy, thankful face” that we all attempt at Thanksgiving. It wasn’t until I snapped at my little sister for wearing an outfit that looked very similar to me that I realized something was really off. But what was it?

In the spring of this year, I experienced my first real broken heart. That phrase may make you feel uneasy, but this post isn’t necessarily going to be easy. You see, in the early days of Spring, just before “April showers bring May flowers” was actually relevant, when I still had to wear light sweaters over flowy, floral tops, I made a drive down I-35 that changed my life, probably forever. I honestly can’t remember details of the conversation, what I was wearing, or what the weather was like…but I can remember the exact parking spot where my car sat, the physical sound of broken dreams and my broken heart, and I can replay the reel of phrases that came spewing out of my mouth, trying everything in my power to change the situation, to change me as a person, and to avoid the heart break.

The ending of the story, I feel, is sometimes still trying to be written. There’s never a good way to end something that your heart is tied to. It seems to always be a little bit painful and little bit disappointing. For me, I’ve been grappling with the sting of rejection and utter disappointment that has accompanied my broken heart. To this day, I still find shards of my heart scattered all over the place.

Sometimes they’re found in my car as I drive down the highway, stuck in my head, talking to Jesus. Other times they’re found standing on the sidelines at a volleyball game, knowing that after the game, I may not have anyone to go hug or walk me to my car. Or sometimes those shards look a lot less graceful and a lot more hateful when they are found in curse words and anger that leaks into the day to day. Then there are days like today, where the familiarity of home and family brings those shards to the surface, making me fully aware that my little heart is still trying to make up a coping method to seal off the broken places from the world.

Sometimes it’s not the ending of that relationship that is tied to my broken heart, sometimes it’s my sweet grandmother, who has Dementia/Alzheimer’s. I walk into her house, sticky notes scattered here and there to remind her which way is up and down. My heart breaks.

Other times it’s sitting at work, enrolling a client in my program, when they pull out their facebook feed and it’s plastered with home videos of Al Qaeda beating and dragging different people in Afghanistan. My heart breaks.

I don’t know what your broken heart looks like, but I know that you’ve got one. We all do. Insecurity may steal your joy, or maybe it’s the failing grades at school, or the struggles you’ve discovered in your marriage or your ministry that you never expected. I don’t even know the degree to which your little heart is broken…it may be a little bit cracked or shattered all over the floor, with all of its’ insides laid bare. But something I do know is that Jesus LOVES that broken heart. Our broken hearts.

The question I’ve been asking Jesus a lot lately is, “How am I supposed to function like this, broken and scattered all over the place?” I’m still trying to figure out the full answer to that question, but I am learning that Jesus is holding my hand as I figure it out. Part of that “holding my hand” is that Jesus is really comfortable with just sitting with us where we are. He’s after our hearts, making us whole, making us well. Sometimes that process feels too slow, like months and months down the road I’m still waking up some mornings, feeling the weight of my shattered heart still beating within my chest. Thanks to the grace of some of my friends, I’ve been able to tangibly feel the love of Jesus in the midst of this healing time.

Some of my friends used to sit and give me every reason why things didn’t work, why they shouldn’t work, and how to move on quickly. Those times have since passed and now my sweet friends sit next to me, sometimes not saying anything, eyes full of tears, saying “I hurt for you, Cait and I love you so much.” In the months since my little heart shattered, I’ve learned how sit comfortably in the silence of pain and disappointment with Jesus, how to grieve and how to hurt WITH God, not instead of God. Sometimes we don’t need a quick fix, we need a deep healing of our hearts that only Jesus can give. That’s what I realized yesterday, on thanksgiving, I am really thankful for the ability to be healed by God and to be heard by God. It’s sweet.

So I guess I wrap this post up, abruptly, only because there’s not really a bow on the process yet…no happy ending, only the hope of Jesus that wraps me up tenderly and loves me well.

So to you, wherever you are at: There’s hope at the end of the tunnel. I pray, what my counselor prays over me every week, that you would be filled with the perfect love that casts out all fear, the peace that surpasses all understanding, self-love, self-confidence, self-esteem, self-acceptance and the joy of the Lord that is your strength.

To my bestie pals: thank you. Thank you for extending patience and grace and kindness and love, for fighting for me and extending consistent time to me, even in my flaky-ness. You guys are the real heroes. Big thanks J

And to my broken heart—you’re doing great! You’re strong, you’re capable, you’re doin’ the thing! I’m really proud of you and so is the Father.

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f a l l i n g : a p a r t

H A P P Y : T W E N T Y : F I F T E E N

How sweet the new year is. I always love this time of year because it’s cold and fresh.
Fresh slates.
Fresh vision.
Fresh spirits.
However, this year has started off slightly different than every other year. I think part of the difference is because I’m in a completely different place in life than I have ever been before. I’m a grown up (or so I feel); my life consists of my job, budgeting, being fully invested in church, grocery shopping, sleeping, and repeat. So far 2015 has not been my friend and if you’re reading this, I’m warning you, if you like things to be filtered and sugar coated STOP READING, NOW.

You see, my life has slowly begun crumbling underneath me. God, in two weeks, quickly brought me to the end of myself. If you have never been to the end of yourself, it’s a very hard and humbling place to be. But, it’s also sweet and intimate. I am absolutely incapable of doing anything by myself. I’ve had many prophetic words spoken over me that speak of me “laying on an operation table, helpless, but being changed in deep places” and “being a baby getting my diaper changed, being delighted in by my Father.” It would be a lie if I wrote this long thing of how this hard place in my life is up, because it’s not. I still struggle to get out of bed in the morning and to even make me food to eat. However, I woke up a few days ago with a tiny seed of hope in my heart, that hope sprung from a place of looking back over the last 4 years of my life and being deeply thankful for the altar of remembrance I have built while walking with God. {{in Biblical times, people would build altars of remembrance in places that God did especially powerful things, so when future generations passed by, they would remember what God had done there.}}

Back to my hope seed: it’s still sitting in the dark. Fully covered by soil. No roots even breaking the outer shell. That seed is my life. Dark. Lonely. Messy. But that hope seed is being watered with the Living Water. Oh, the presence of God. Places that I feel like I am utterly drowning, I firmly believe are places that are just being watered in order for a FRESH, NEW hope to abound in my life. Isaiah 43:19 says: “Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands.”

That verse gives me hope. Hope never equals easy, but it does equal the promise that God will come through for me. Something new is coming for me. Even though I clearly don’t see it now and I actually struggle to even survive a day, I rest in the truth that God has always come through for me in the past and he will clearly come through for me in the present and ten years down the road, HE WILL COME THROUGH FOR ME.

So today I sit. I sit with eyes filled with tears, a heart full of ache, but a spirit with a hope seed–a spirit groaning and longing for a fresh touch from God; and He will come like the rain. In this season, IT WILL RAIN. But until the rain comes, I cling to the hope that never disappoints, and I rest in the arms of my Daddy.

Secure.
Weak.
Broken.
Hopeful.