Thursday, September 8

The Post That Demands To Be Written

I have stared at this post many, many times.  It has remained in the dashboard, an unfinished piece of work, until now.  I am still not sure that the timing is right, but regardless, it is here.  I had a conversation this week with a dear friend who had only seen a glimpse of this pitcher, and I shared of its significance.  It is significant.

This came in a box of broken pieces.  A bunch of broken pieces.  The directions were simple.  Put it back together, and as you do, make observations about it.  I had a handful of very dear friends, friends that know just how broken I am, come over armed with a wide variety of glues and adhesives.  We had no idea what the evening would hold or what exactly we were building, but they came over and we started the process.    We dumped the pieces out, and we began.

I learned a lot about brokenness and healing in those few hours with my friends.  Broken things never go back together exactly the same way.  The edges are sharp.  The cracks are uneven.  Little, tiny, itty bitty pieces are chipped off and gone forever.  Sometimes, just when you think you've made progress, the whole thing falls apart.  It takes time for glue to dry, and it takes time for wounds to heal.  Sometimes you can't hold the pieces together by yourself.  It takes more than just you.  It takes trust.  A friend may be able to look at the same pile of pieces you look at and see something different.  A friend just may hold it together for you when you can't.  Sometimes, you have to ask yourself, "Is this working out for me?" If it isn't, you may just have to try something new.  You have to fix it piece by piece, and one area has to dry before you can move on and fix more.  It isn't easy.  Fingers get stuck together.  It takes commitment.  It's quite messy. The finished product is never the same as it started out, no matter how well you perform the task.  You can still see the scars.  The broken vessel is still a useful vessel.  We talked it all through, we laughed until we cried, and at some points, some of us just cried.  We put together a pitcher.

When we first finished, I was so frustrated.  We worked so stinking hard, and I thought it was just an ugly pitcher.  The glue didn't work as I thought it should have, so we used packaging tape for some of it.  I felt like I had failed at even this.  I put it away in my bedroom and vowed not to look at it for a long time.  But as I journaled through our observations, I realized just how beautiful this pitcher is.  Sure, the cracks are still visible. There is still packaging tape on the inside.  It still cannot hold water.  But it is useful.  And what it represents is of the very most value.

It represents healing.  The effort and the time to sort the pieces and put them in the proper places is worth every second and every tear.  My life may never look the same as it did before and it may not function as it did before, but I have a sneaky suspicion that God designed this brokenness for me for that very reason.
My brokenness poured out over the last few years.  An empty vessel of self, reaching and grabbing in panic for some sort of security.  Imagine me, with my sturdy pretend walls built up high so that no one would know the turmoil inside, actually letting these women in and baring my soul.  Admitting my sin and my selfishness and breaking down walls?  And finding out I'm not the only one who fights hard battles?  Learning to raise my hand and say "I need help" or "I need a friend" or even "I can't do this by myself."  Allowing my heart to truly love other people who might just go away.  To be vulnerable with people who may not even care about me tomorrow.  It is hard, but it is as Christ did, and it is what we are called to do.  And in doing so, I've found myself surrounded by a few dear souls who gently nudge me in the right direction, who listen to me scream as the trains go by, who glue their fingers together for me so that I can see what true community looks like and feels like once again.  It had been so long.

So the pitcher sits on my mantle, and I am constantly reminded of where I have been and where I am going.  I see it now, and I see the value in the scars.  The truth is a little more clear each and every day.  For now, when I catch myself believing lies, I write the lies down and put them in the pitcher.  You know, the ones that haunt me.  I am not worth it.  Everyone leaves.  I am not good enough to be loved.  I am not a useful engine.  They live there in my pitcher.  One day, my pitcher will be full of the truths I have come to treasure and guard closely.  One day, the truths will outweigh the lies.  One day, the pitcher will be as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside.

1 comment:

Sherry said...

Amy thanks for being so real. I have been praying for you ever since the beach trip in 2010. I could tell you were going through something. Your posts have really challenged me. I have really been struggling the last year with many of the same things.