I always wondered what I would feel in that fragile place of goodbyes. At one time I was certain that I wouldn’t cry, I thought my heart would just sting and never stop. I’m happy to be wrong about that.
Growing up I was an over-achiever at covering up my broken girl status. You weren’t supposed to talk about things like divorce or about words that left marks on your heart. But I found a place where I could talk to someone who could mend the broken places inside of me. There I spilled out salty, one-worded prayers like “help” with my face pressed to the altar so hard that I would have fabric prints on my face afterwards. Later I would add five more words to my one-worded prayers “Help me let go of yesterday.” I knew if God could help me let go and keep my heart soft, then maybe I could change the world someday.
In the tender catch and release, I learned broken girls can mend beautifully by catching the messy things of life and releasing it quickly, and often, to the one who loves lavishly. I had this overwhelming sense that I was worth something more than the labels written with invisible ink across the map of my heart.
Just another girl bound to be another sad statistic; lost in the cracks of searching for someone to whisper her life was worth so much more than a legacy of brokenness and torn relationships.
I thought if I was good enough and prayed hard enough, I could help save my dad. Or maybe just try to fix him. Gosh, I tried.
Memories sweep over me gently, almost cautiously, now that my daddy is gone. But, I still know after all these years whom I belong to and where the wrecked girls go to mend. Everyone keeps asking if I’m okay and if I have regrets. My badge of honor is this:
I have done all the hard work to be free, exchanging beauty for dirty ashes.
I forgave. I allowed myself to feel the weight of being thoroughly ticked off. I asked for forgiveness because I needed it too. I let God be my surgeon skillfully removing the things and thoughts that are destructive.
One by one, memory by memory, I let go to embrace a life unlabeled. I’m not a broken girl anymore, but I’m smart enough to know brokenness is sometimes the very best place to dwell. God is ever so near, just like he says in his word. The goal is not that I would remain unbroken; I don’t think it’s possible in this crazy world we live in. The goal is for me to be brave enough to be continually broken in all the right moments, and all the wrong ones, because God is near and my heart was fashioned to be needy of him. My story is unlabeled.
Much love to you,
I wrote this for the fab Suzie Eller for her one word #livefree series!