I wasn’t sure that I would be able to write about this at all, but it spilled out in Chapter One. Somehow his ending was the very beginning of my story.
As I stood by my daddy’s side I wanted to reach out to him just once more. In many ways I always had, the reaching out and pulling back, trying to figure out ways to fit as flesh and blood instead of strangers. We were trying to figure out where to place the other with the familiarity that lingered between us throughout wordless months and visits that never happened.
Sometimes I loved him better and knew that he felt it, and at other times I warred trying to make it look like love. But, it just looked like indifference because loving others well is painfully hard and risky.
I had been so afraid of that moment knowing that it was close and yet still crazy enough to think I had more time to say a proper goodbye and “I’ll love you always.”
I wondered what I would say or if I would try to say “I’m sorry” and “I forgive you.” But, I had already forgiven every single thread of hurt and misunderstanding. I felt no anger or words that mimicked “how could you” or “how could I have not known you were that frail and broken? If only I would have…”
Tried to fix it?
We all tried.
I’m not Jesus, I’m just Jennifer.
In a small room too minuscule to hold such a sad parting, all I felt was grace and grief tangled together like they belonged to one another. Just like we belonged together and still do.
I tried to wipe tears that refused to stop and said only two words, “Bye, Daddy.”
That was it, and that was enough because he knew I loved him and I knew he loved me.
I can’t tell you how to fix a broken relationship, but I can tell you to try. Whatever that looks like…you already know. Just try.
I can’t tell you how to be strong enough to break chains of addiction without becoming frustrated because I’ve seen the ugly side of it that takes people away from you years before they take their final breath.
What I can tell you is this, do all the hard work to free your heart from any anger or bitterness. Forget success in forms of money or position, find success in making forgiveness your currency and spend every bit of it. The beautiful thing about God’s grace and forgiveness is that it’s an endless supply. There is no expiration date on what you are brave enough to give away.
You were made for depth, so go deep enough to where it hurts because the aching always precedes the mending. It’s possible; I’m proof of that.
I’ve never felt more accomplished or proud as I did when I realized that all of my Broken Girl years were spent in such a way that I could learn that the Word of God always, always works.
When I read in Galatians 5: 1, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
I had to read it and study it enough to know that returning to a place of “why me” would forever be my chains of captivity.
Wouldn’t that be such a shame when Jesus makes wholeness and freedom in him such a sweet, tangible reality?
I had to search out the deep and hidden things in my heart as I followed the One who framed me for a work that required the gift of brokenness. Living life slightly broken built the very best things inside of me.
Going soul-deep in my faith saved me in so many ways and gave greater perspective on pain and how to find God in the middle of it all. I live in such a place of joy and peace that lasts even during difficult times and I want that for you too.
Much love to you,
You taught me how to be fearful and fearless at the same time. You always said I had my head up my a**…you weren’t wrong. Sometimes I still do. I still spill things, forget things, and laugh about it thinking of you. There was never any love lost between us, nor will there ever be. My wild love of adventure I get from you, I promise to never, ever lose that. You made me feel like I could do anything and be anything, so I will.
I’ll love you always,