We all have a story, a time in our life that breaks our core and crumbles the foundation beneath us. A time so unbelievably difficult that we know we may never soar again, let alone breathe. I write this for a friend who is in the midst of such a time; a friend who has given up and no longer knows her way, a beautiful woman who cannot see her worth. I write this for anyone with broken wings.
At this moment, I am reaching for your hand and I want you to know that every ounce of my being believes that you are made for so much more than this. Regardless of what has brought you to this place of brokenness, I know you are meant to be strong again. I understand it is hard to believe when you are in the midst of it all. I realize at this moment you may feel you are alone in your journey and that nobody really understands what you are going through. I know life feels overwhelming and it's hard to know where to even begin. I know this because I have been there.
But, I also know that as broken as your spirit may feel, you are so much stronger than you believe and in the depths of your being, your soul is rooting for you. So, if you will dare to allow yourself to ride on the tips of my wings for just a moment, I offer you this promise; You WILL fly again.
I say that I have been there, and it is true. Like you, there have been multiple trials in my own life that have left me devastated; the death of my parents being the first defining moment that abruptly changed my world. It is through the seasons of trials that I have come to learn my strength and my fragility. I have always been a true believer that you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and seek the positive and the lesson in everything. I believe that ultimately, the thoughts we create and allow our mind to speak greatly determines our happiness or our despair. And, for the most part these beliefs and my faith have always allowed me to find my way again. But there are also events or a series of events in life that can break us to a point where our strength is no longer tangible. My divorce was one of these seasons for me.
What I will share next is something so personal and so very vulnerable that I hesitate to do so - but I will…because it is part of my life story. During this time when the earth moved from under me and the man I loved took pleasure in trying to bury me in the rubble, I could no longer see my way out. I was exhausted and defeated. I felt forsaken by my friends and alone in my journey. Despair blanketed my vision and my life like a black storm that would not lift; I could only see the dark - it was impossible for me to see or even create a story with a happy ending. I was fighting for my life and losing at every turn. And, as hard as it is to admit today, there were quite a few times in that season that I thought my children would be better off and the craziness would end if I could just dare to cross that yellow line and drive into the 18 Wheeler coming at me.
It was in that time of complete brokenness and lack of personal strength that I found the quiet. It was the quiet of submission and listening. I didn’t recognize it at first and I know it wasn’t a deliberate decision. It was more that I no longer had the strength for fight or flight. I was a bird with broken wings.
It’s funny how when you look back on your life the picture is so much larger and complete than when you are in the middle of it. You suddenly see for the first time, events and moments that have always been there. And, you come to understand how they are all a link in the chain of your life that reaches from beginning to end. I can look back now and see the irony of a time many years before my brokenness when a bird flew into a large picture window of our home. He fell 20 feet to the ground and lay unconscious on the grass. My daughter picked him up and put him in a shoe box so that he would be safe and he would not try to fly with his broken wing. She nurtured him back to health by keeping him quiet. She only checked on him to give him water and food and she wouldn’t allow others to peak at him because she knew it would stress him. She was only 10 years old but she instinctively knew what he needed to become strong again.
In the stillness of my brokenness, I instinctively did the same. I removed myself from the noise and distraction of the world; I refused to engage in anything that could injure me further - especially my own thinking - and I submitted myself to a power so much greater than my own - my God, who would care for me. I would awake every morning feeling just as exhausted as I was when I went to bed and I would say out loud, "Jesus, please take my hand and guide me through this day. Be my compass and my strength." And at night, as I fell into bed, I would picture myself caressed by the wings of angels and I would say, "Thank you, Jesus, for your strength and for today". Throughout the day I would share my thoughts silently and out loud with God as if he were my best friend walking along side me – which He is and He does. I immersed myself in prayer, books, music, and nurturing thoughts. I treated myself as I would treat a hurting friend. I chose to forgive.
And in that life pause, piece by piece I grew stronger. I started to see the pieces God was putting back together. I started to love myself in a way I never did before. I started to love and cherish life in a way I had not done since I was a child of innocence. I learned that God will never leave you empty. He will replace what you have lost with something better for you. If he asks you to put something down, he has something greater in His plan. God’s denials are His redirection. All I needed to do was to be still enough to listen and submit myself to His direction and His timing.
I, and your soul are rooting for you! You have so much to offer the world and a purpose that can be fulfilled only by you. Sit in the quiet and allow a strength so much greater than us to guide you in the journey. Be gentle with yourself. Love yourself. Forgive. Believe.
Trust your struggle, my friend. I promise, You WILL fly again.