(I am submitting this to the one word at a time blog carnival, on the word Broken)
In 2006, Broken Bridges, was released and received only negative acclaim by the critics. They hated the story. They hated Toby Keith’s acting. Interestingly, the DVD has sold millions. As often happens, the general public did not agree with the critics.
While the movie does have a soundtrack, how could it not with Toby Keith and Willie Nelson, it is the final song that is sung by Lindsey Haun that gives words to the lesson of the movie. There is “beauty” when you are broken.
For me, the concept of being broken means that moment in time when I reach the end of my emotional rope and I have nowhere to go and my mind is unable to think its way out. I am shattered.
I can remember feeling “shattered” several times in my pre-teen and teen years. I think I felt that way not because I experienced horrific events but because I felt very alone. I felt I did not have family that would love me “no matter what”. The feelings I had were very real and had some basis in fact but problems at that age seem so big and maybe that is why many choose suicide as a way out.
I am grateful (that isn’t a strong enough word) that God quietly and persistently kept whispering in my ear that I was loved and I was of value. And so I pulled into myself and became protective of that very private place, not letting anyone in that last door.
And then one night I finally acknowledged that I was tired of standing guard and I allowed the One to whom that voice belonged into that final door and my heart was healed. I felt loved and I was open to giving love.
There were two more broken days in my life around the corner. The first was the day that my divorce was final. I felt like such a failure, especially as I looked in the eyes of my three children. The second was the day that my youngest son, then twelve, was diagnosed with cancer. I remember lying down on my bed that night and felt shattered. I did not know if I could walk the journey that was being asked of me. I wanted to run away. Yes, it was selfish. I had worked for over 15 years with cancer patients and I knew what was in my son’s future. I knew I would have to be strong for him.
As the song, Broken, says, it is when I felt broken into pieces that I could come back together in a different stronger person. There’s a phenomena in medicine that when a bone breaks a “callus” forms to knit the bone together. At that point of break, the bone can actually end up stronger than it was before. I can say now that I am stronger than I was before these events. All I did was decide that I wanted to go on. Maybe. And in my weakness…total weakness…God came and did the rest. I found strength in times when logic would have said I shouldn’t have any. I had people offer encouragement and help at the very moment I needed it. I picked up books or read the stories of others that inspired me. And then there was the moment when the pieces were coming back together, when reaching out to others and taking my eyes off myself was a giant leap forward and I was on the road that led to today.
I’ve been broken and today I am a new creation. I have opportunities to hold out my hand and help another broken soul. Being broken does not mean you can not be repaired. Reach out and find out that you can be stronger than you ever were.