Out of Brokenness, Beauty

In my Spirituality Synthesis class, I have been working on a project presentation meant to integrate my spiritual journey of life as well as the journey to my master’s degree.  Sifting through old journals and stirring up memories, I have come to face pieces of me scattered and strewn beneath the surface of day-to-day life.  While I am well aware of my own history (and I often retell the story to various groups and individuals), I am continually surprised when I reflect back at my life.  Hidden among the thorniness and brokenness of my childhood are incredible experiences guided by inner strength and spiritual wisdom.

As a spiritual director, I also have the great privilege of listening to people tell their own stories of faith, doubt, and brokenness–always an experience of holiness and grace, and sometimes sadness, joy, hope, peace, pain, and so on.  Today in class a woman shared her synthesis, a beautiful expression of healing out of brokenness.  It resonated with me, driving me to dig further into my own journey.

Brokenness and loneliness are recurring themes in my life, and yet there is so much good, so much beauty.  Loneliness sets in when I realize a deep desire of mine is to know and be known, to love and be loved.  I have experienced relational love in community, and my heart hungers for more.  I hunger to share what grows within me, and I have reached a point in my life where I am opening up, revealing more and more of what used to be confined to the pages of my journals.  Yet past wounds run deep, and even though years of living in community has built up trust, I have so many doubts.  Why is trusting so hard?  Why is loving myself so hard?

The beauty comes through my writing, my photography, and my ability to share my story–and those who have shared their story with me.  It has been a difficult journey, but it is out of this brokenness that I soar.  And what an amazing flight it has been.   I am grateful for the many blessings in my life and opportunities to travel, meet all sorts of people, and use my gifts.  It is also out of the deep wounds that I have strength that shines for others.

All of this surfaces now for many reasons, and I doubt the flood of emotions and memories is likely to change as my graduation date nears.  I’m being tossed in a sea of change and transition.  I face the waves with courage and excitement, fear and doubt, curiosity and careful attention…and I’ll continue to uncover where I’ve been, who I am and who I am becoming…

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A Song on My Heart Today

Much Afraid

(by Jars of Clay)

Empty again
Sunken down so far
So scared to fall
I might not get up again

So I lay at your feet
All my brokenness
I carry all of my burdens to you

Chorus:

All of these things
I’ve held up in vain
No reason nor rhyme
Just the scars that remain
Of all of these things
I’m so much afraid
Scared out of my mind
By the demons I’ve made
Sweet Jesus, you never ever let me go
Oh, sweet Jesus, never ever let me go

So happy to love
Yet so far to go
You lead me on to where I’ve never been before

[Chorus]