I’ve had my heart broken exactly once.
I suppose it’s lucky, life so far with only one real shattering. I smashed through so many of my early relationships like a wrecking ball, taking no prisoners, wearing thoughtlessly little shame. I marched diligently after those moments of butterfly flutter, a quickening pulse, that glorious sensation of falling, falling, falling in deep. I broke hearts and promises without blinking. I broke quickly and broke easily away.
When I was 19 years old a boy got out of a car, and my entire life pivoted sharply- the first steps in a dance that would leave me somewhere completely other than where I’d been headed.
I’ve heard it said that you waste nothing…
As I write these words, I’m sitting in a midnight labor and delivery ward, watching my beautiful sister wrestle and war with her own breaking, watching her body shift in ways she doesn’t believe in, watching the world’s most painful magic. There is nothing and everything beautiful about labor, and it is beautiful to witness – this pain with such purpose, the rending that brings completion, these moments of such terrible growth.
She looks at me and asks honestly “Will it get worse?”
Yes. Yes completely. But it will also end.
I’ve had my heart broken just the once, but it stayed broken for years, half a decade of patching and long walks and gentle repair and hard lessons. I used my heartbreak as catalyst to shatter my life, my faith, my direction – each of them ground into powder and painstakingly rebuilt. It was easy, in those years, to slip into the feeling that so much time had been wasted -that so much time was wasting away. Placing the bricks, doing the time, mending the wound – it’s such a tedious process, so dark and perilous, so lonely and long and endless.
There are tears in her eyes as she breathes through the opening, places the bricks, does the time.
You have made so many promises, wild and wonderful you, each of them beautiful and humbling and raw. But the one that echoes, the one that I carry on days when grace feels wholly given but heaven seems distant – my God wastes nothing. You are king and keeper of the broken places, collecting shattered heart- pieces and molding them, breathing them into a life that floors me every day for all its beauty and its joy and the fullness of you.
For the moment, there is silence, and there is pain. But you are in the silence. You are in the pain, and you are planning magic. You are planning birthdays. You are bringing life.
Her tears are the tools you will use to build the gift of love hard-labored, of joy long-journeyed, of tiny wondrous toes and fingers and perfect little him.
We offer you our broken pieces and you know them, you count them. You use them for your purpose. You sculpt glory.
I’ve heard it said that you waste nothing.
How beautiful she is. How very great you are.
Photo by the incomparable Shannon Hannon Photography.