So this is how it feels to break.
To feel like I’m crushing under one thousand weights
but to feel my bitterness turn to grace;
to feel completely poured out,
yet filled with faith.
As the potter molds his clay
He can add more, He can take away
He can shape us, break us,
completely remake us—
sometimes we just need to break.
I wrote this about one year ago. The feeling is so vividly ingrained in my mind, from one day in particular. I remember gazing out at the ocean view from the 24th floor balcony, trying to talk myself into being okay. The ocean was so still, but when I looked closely, I could see that the waves were crashing onto the shore with a seemingly stronger force than usual. It was about to rain, maybe storm. I felt like the ocean: peaceful at a glance, with a storm growing inside of me. My heart had been thundering all day, all week. It felt like it was trying to escape my chest even as I was lying still, beating faster and louder and it wouldn’t stop and I couldn’t stop thinking and worrying about everything and nothing at the same time.
I had been suddenly hit by long-forgotten sights and sounds, a dose of nostalgia strong enough to dig up even the darkest, most hidden memories. As much as I was trying to deny it, the timing had all worked out so impeccably that I simply had no reserve; I had no margin to push anything down any further. The walls were cracking.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness.”
2 Corinthians 12:9.
Long story short, my walls continued to crack. Let’s be honest… they shattered. My entire identity, my entire understanding of the life I was living came crumbling down around me. I was broken. I still am. We all are.
But there is a happy ending, I promise. It’s still being played out, and there are occasional setbacks, but I promise, the ending is going to be a happy one. I can feel myself being rebuilt. I can feel the foundations growing stronger than they ever were. I can see how my pain can be used to help others heal. I will not be shaken.
The Lord uses our weakness to increase our capacity for joy. For understanding. For empathy. For passion; for a desire to follow His calling.
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed.
Perplexed, but not in despair.
Persecuted, but not abandoned.
Struck down, but not destroyed.
…therefore, we do not lose heart. (2 Corinthians 4).