Saturday, March 10

Broken

There's a song I heard once that I really didn't like. It was something like "God Loves Broken Things." I didn't like the tune, the word choices, or the way the guy sang.

But the song has stuck with me, even though I can't remember the tune or any of the words, and I still remember the feeling I had when I looked inside and realized that I was broken... and that was okay.

Broken can mean a lot of things. It's the feeling of abject despair when total and absolute depression sets in - the real kind they make medication for, but doesn't always respond, no matter what I try. It's the realization that all the work I've done over years can't open the doors I need to move forward, or yet another full batch of relationships gone wrong. Dreams shattered, life in oblivion, and an apathy towards reality that pulls me from society and pushes all but those closest to me away.

I used to feel like I had no right to be powerless, no right to be depressed, no right to be broken or despondent. The sheer reality that I was, made life even worse - a cycle that pulled me deeper and deeper, until I finally let go.

Being broken has some interesting physical correlations. When I run a gazillion miles, eventually my body runs out of energy completely. At least, in the moment, it feels that way. It's sudden, and, in an instant the simple act of walking or running or biking or whatever is like pushing through mud or molasses. From all outside respects, it looks like there's really no hope unless I go eat something with a whole lot of sugar. I'm broken. But, inside, opaque to my perspective, a miracle is happening. When my body runs out of energy in the form of glucose and glycogen, my muscles switch fuels. Glucose is replace with ketone, and proteins are broken down into emergency glucose for indispensable nervous functions. Even my brain switches. And, as soon as the adaptation is over, life moves on.

I feel like the Lord is often trying to teach me something when I hit the wall spiritually and emotionally. When I feel like I've been run over by a Mack truck, or like the world is going to cave in on me... because at those times, I'm forced to look at my life and refocus on the Lord. Sometimes the rope that I'm holding on to, hoping that it will pull me up, is friendship. Sometimes it's my own will. Sometimes it's just stubbornness.

But in most cases, the rope I was holding on to wasn't a rope that would ever pull me up. It would only pull me down... and when I learned to accept reality, to be okay with being broken, that gave the Lord a chance to help me see where I needed to change.

Right now I'm broken. Physically, emotionally, socially, professionally... I feel like everything is shattering around me in every facet I can dream. Every facet but one. I know God loves me, that I'm giving my best, and that, no matter what happens, He will be with me.

And maybe that's why I'm broken - so that I can learn to better rely on the Lord instead of everything else in my life. To help me see that, when nothing else can, He has the power to bring me from the depths and do more than just fix me. From the broken pieces of my life, He creates something better than before... if I'm willing to let Him. And then I move on, until it's time to be broken once again.

10 comments:

David L said...

Totally understood. I have my own parts of my life that are "broken" - at the same time - from a practical perspective- Heavenly Father has made those seemingly broken aspects of my life work in the way they need to in order to do what needs to be done. Working them together with the whole of perfection His Son's Atonement- his sacrifice and love- to make me whole. I know that is true of all our lives and that by remembering that truth- we'll end up in the right place. I bear witness of that in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Stephers said...

I can't tell you how many times I have told myself that I don't have the right to be sad, since I live a privileged life by world wide standards. I hold it all inside because I am ashamed that I am weak. But I do feel like hard things chip off rough edges and shape me into the best me I can be. It's hard to go through it, but it's always better in the end.

John Teal said...

Great book of mormon missionaries always teach the fall , before the atonement. That's because until we feel humble or "broken" we never reach for the Lords hand.

Andrew A said...

This is a beautiful blog post, in my opinion. It takes a lot of courage to admit that things aren't perfect and honestly admit that things are 'broken' in my life. I admire your courage and your vulnerability.

I've found that when I acknowledge my own brokenness, my pride tends to dissipate and I find I can get closer to my Heavenly Father and the other people around me. I can relate to other people better because I'm operating on the same plane as them.

Thanks for sharing!

Rachie C Jar said...

I feel exactly the same way. I feel like I'm always putting my life together, and it smashes, and then I have to put it back together again, reconfiguring the pieces in a new way, hoping that this time I got it right. You have to let go of that illusion that someday you'll get it right, that someday everything will fall into place and it will be perfect. It never will be (not in this life anyway) but there's a sort of beauty in the imperfection - a freedom, and a willighness to make the most of everything you have - in that is a happiness, which coupled with a dependance upon the Lord can make life easier, even better than imagined. Franz Kafka wrote, "“You can hold back from suffering of the world, you have permission to do so,
and it is in accordance with your nature, but perhaps this very holding back is the one suffering you could have avoided.”

Anonymous said...

I feel for you. That said, I admire you and the strength you have. See, I am in a bit of a different boat than you. I am a woman who has been married over 10 years. We are married in the Temple. 1 year into my marriage, I found out that my husband was creeping gay porn sites. I was pregnant with my first child and took his word that he was just "curious" about the gay lifestyle. Life has not changed, he has just gotten smarter about how to hide it. It is a daily struggle for him. The worst part is his dishonesty. It's one of those things that you know that someone is flat out lying to you but there is nothing that you can do about it.

So what do you do? I have been depressed off and on for 9 years. I don't trust him but I am supposed to. How can I trust him with my inner most feelings when I don't trust him sexually or that he would be willing to protect me.

I support you. I support your desire to be GOOD and make choices which will not only bring you happiness but ones that will bring your Heavenly Father happiness as well. I love how much you love your Heavenly Father and respect him and the challenges he gives to you. I really struggle with that at times. Why was I given these challenges which are really not mine but do effect me. I realize the health effects that can happen to me should my husband chose to not honor his Temple and Marriage covenants. It is scary to me. This is where I have to have faith. Faith that the Lord will protect me for being faithful.

I once heard a quote and it went something like this "you were given this life because you are strong enough to live it" I cannot remember who said it. Some days I doubt it but on the really dark days, I will say it a million times over in my mind.

I thank you for being honest. I am sorry to write this anonymously but I have to. I hope it does not make me any less honest, I just have to do what I can to protect my family. This is not very well known. You are amazing. I will pray for you to find a joy that you never knew you could have.

Kilee Luthi said...

Thank you. I love reading your blog. It gives me strength. This is a beautiful post. It puts to words things that are hard to explain, and it helped me see more purpose in my struggles. So, again, thanks.

Wendilynn said...

Your blog is such a source of strength. Thank you. While my challenges are different, the lessons we need to learn are the same. And reading your perceptions and challenges help me face mine in a better way.

Anonymous said...

I grew up Mormon... and an addict. Without being able to change for 14 years, God saved my broken self. The night he saved me, I received instantaneous deliverance. He'll heal you too... He doesn't want us to remain broken. It's no way to live.

This song helped me through the 2 years I searched for him. He'll heal you too. Just listen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jK7KfKOTj_s

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this. So many people try to talk about depression and sort of fail, particularly when they haven't felt this awful. They tell me that I'm choosing to make my life complicated, or that happiness is a choice. You actually made me feel a bit better--not happier, but understood, and a little hopeful because of God's love.