I’m going to be a little bit vulnerable with you today. I feel broken. I have been in denial because it isn’t logical, but I am admitting to myself, to you, and to my Savior today that it is nonetheless real and it hurts.
There are times in your life that it is logical to admit that you feel broken. Times when big changes come and it is obvious to everyone that you feel broken and that it makes sense that you would be… after you lose a loved one or family member, times when you’ve lost a job, gotten a divorce, maybe even changing jobs or moving to a new home. Then there are times in your life when the changes are not so obvious and no one sees the fracture lines in the glass walls of your life and even you have a hard time accepting they are there, because they are not so explainable or admittable.
That is the world I am living in right now. And maybe, there are a lot more souls out there that feel the same way. One of those fracture lines that I think is very common right now is that our world was turned upside down by a virus and choices outside our control, made for us, on how to deal with that virus. I have a very real need for social interaction and my ability to meet that need was stripped from me. I’m not addressing my feelings about whether I believe this was or not necessary, only that the glass wall of my life was effected by it. All of us need people, yet some of us are more shaken emotionally when we do not have this social interaction, the face to face, eye to eye, heart to heart regular healing that comes with these interactions. I am one of those. The isolation imposed on me by this time in our world, it hurts.
The next fracture line that developed is that my baby has graduated from high school. He said from day one of this school year that he did not want to walk for graduation. He gave me his arguments in defense of his feelings and I agreed to allow him this stance. So, even though graduation would not have been normal this year, it would have resulted in the same lack of ceremony and closure for me. I just don’t think I realized how much the absence of those things would effect me. I am proud of my son. He has worked hard and done well academically and in life. He was even awarded a scholarship that will help substantially with his pursuits in the field of engineering. I just don’t think we, as a society, talk very much about the stress that comes with the transition from parent of a child to parent of an adult. Yet, those changes are real and they are hard! Going from a home filled with beautiful chaos to the quiet of one’s own thoughts can be a silent strain, an eerie heartache. I have till the fall until my son’s plans change my life even more. But the ticking of that clock hurts, breaks me more than I ever considered.
I am married to a police officer. I love to say that. And I hate to say that. My husband is a good man with the best of intentions. He has a wonderful heart with pure motives to help, serve and protect. There is a stress that comes with that job that no one else except other officers and families of officers can even remotely understand or empathize with. The last month has been especially difficult as we have watched the media and social media vilify and slander the good intents of his heart and the good hearts of his brothers and sisters in blue. And we do it silently from the other side of our monitor because speaking out in defense in the midst of this climate would really help nothing and probably just cause more division. I know that what we hear is the loud minority and that there are many in the silent majority who do appreciate law enforcement and what they stand for, but the silence is deafening when your heart is hurting. It further fractures the glass walls of my heart.
In the midst of this chaos involving his profession, we have made some decisions as a family as to which department my husband will work for. There are pros and cons in every job. There are pros and cons in every department. For reasons not necessary to discuss, we have decided in the best interest of our family, some changes were needed. Changing any job is hard, but changing in law enforcement is more stressful than any job I know of. Not only are there personal interviews and evaluations, but there are background investigations, polygraphs, and psych evaluations. These are necessary because this line of work does require more accountability and does need a higher bar set for those who will fill each position. Sure, there are a few with questionable motives and character that slip through this process, but the good majority are tried, tested and found worthy. But it is a very stressful process for those who have to go through it. And the fact that this process began just before an officer was shot and killed in Ogden, made it heavier than ever for our family. I am proud of my husband. I am proud of the man he is. I am proud of him for being one of those few special souls who are willing to run into a dangerous situation to protect the life of a stranger when everyone else, including me, would be running out and away to protect their own lives. Sometimes these feelings of pride I carry, though worthy, come at a cost, they fracture me.
I have reduced my time on social media significantly, for the reasons above, as well as the fact that my heart is breaking over the obvious division in our country, community, and even amongst my friends. I was raised with a special awareness and an appreciation for differences. We are all aware of differences, so when I say a special awareness, what I mean is that my sisters and I were taught to look for those who were feeling left out and lonely. We were taught to have the courage to include them and love them in spite of our differences, and maybe even because of them, to recognize that those differences are beautiful. A quilt made from all the same fabric is not nearly as beautiful as one pieced together with a variety of colors and patterns. My heart aches that instead of celebrating our differences we seem to be in this twilight zone where we are using labels and boxes to set ourselves separate from or above one another. These labels and differences are easy to identify with outside appearances, but there are far more that we use for division… religion, politics, classes, status, culture, etc. Our inability to accept and love others regardless of differences is painful. It hurts them and it hurts us! But I don’t believe that the solution comes with embracing causes or platforms with their own agendas. I believe it comes with a lot of personal introspection and self-evaluation. It requires each person to stand in front of the mirror and ask, “What am I doing personally to make my own life better? What am I doing to make the world better? What can I do in my own sphere of influence to spread love and light?” I believe if we were each asking ourselves these questions regularly, our world would have a lot less finger pointing and a lot more love and healing. The division because of our differences is fracturing a lot more than my little heart!
As I finish typing the current causes of my brokenness, they feel a little more logical and explainable than I first thought. It has become clear for me to see why my heart has been utterly shattered. Maybe some of these things are causing pain and brokenness in your hearts too. I know that I am broken. I can see clearly what is causing those feelings of aching helplessness. I also know that I am incapable of healing myself. But I do know where healing comes from.
A… Healing comes first from Admitting that we are broken, from Accepting that we are in a space ready to seek healing. It comes from recognizing the source of that healing is our Savior, Jesus Christ. It comes from Asking for His help.
B… It comes from Believing that with help, things can get better. Not even back to the normal we once knew, but actually Better. For me, I know that this help comes from my Savior, Jesus Christ. I know that when I go to Him with my aching, my broken pieces, He can help put me Back together again. He can teach me where those pieces go and help me replace some of the no longer useful pieces with better ones. He can help me recognize the next right step to Becoming whole again and even stronger than I was before.
C… It comes from Connecting with others. It comes as we are vulnerable enough to reach out and search for Common ground. As we Communicate our own needs, we find that there are so many others that are hurting too and have needs we can help fill. Together we can process those feelings and help each other heal. We can support each other, Comfort each other, and help lift each other up.
I am at this point. I accept that I am broken and I admit that I need help to heal. I believe that our lives and our world can be better, more beautiful than it has been in the past. I am craving the connection and comfort of common ground. I want to lift others and feel lifted as we work together to heal. I know that as we partner with our Redeemer Jesus Christ, we can find this healing, for ourselves and for the world we live in. Our brokenness can become beautiful through this process of help and healing.