“Broken things are precious. We eat broken bread because we share in the depth of our Lord and His broken life. Broken flowers give perfume. Broken incense is used in adoration. A broken ship saved Paul and many other passengers on their way to Rome. Sometimes the only way the good Lord can get into some hearts is to break them.” -Venerable Fulton Sheen
This is one of my favorite quotes because it speaks so much of the reality of our lives. It’s a season of celebrating. Celebrating relationships with bridal showers, bachelorette parties and weddings. Celebrating accomplishments such as graduating. Celebrating summer plans and adventures. Celebrating mothers! It’s a season of celebrating and a season of newness of life.
However, it has been one of the hardest seasons for me each year, particularly last year and this year. As I mentioned in a post yesterday if my life had gone as I had planned I would be a nurse and would have graduated a year ago, but somehow I still have one semester left of school. A lot of things in my life are not what I pictured them to be when I was 10, 12, 16, 18, etc. Actually, none of my life looks like I thought it would. But that’s okay.
As you can imagine, some days it’s really hard that I’m not where I thought I would be. I often feel like I’ve failed in some capacity. And that has been the case especially the last couple of weeks. I am beyond excited for all my friends whose lives are moving forward, but when I’m alone and lost in my own thoughts it’s really hard that I’m still where I’m at, nothing is new, nothing has changed.
Today I was in quite the funk with it, as has unfortunately been the trend the last couple of weekends. And to top it off, I had Mother’s day dinner with my parents. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my mom. She has taught me a lot, and I wouldn’t be who I am if it wasn’t for her. However, I hate commercialized holidays and obligatory gift giving. It makes me angsty. I would rather a gift be something meaningful, like you were walking around the store and saw a coffee mug and just had to get said coffee mug for this friend of yours. Instead I got my mom flowers and chocolates and a funny card and went to dinner with her and my dad, called it a day.
While I was driving home for dinner I decided to go for a walk. I didn’t want to go home yet. I was afraid I would put myself back in my funk that I was in and I didn’t particularly want to go back to that so I went to Park of Roses. I was hoping to walk around and see some pretty flowers and just enjoy the outside world. Well, there was a prom being hosted so the changed the path I was planning to take and I’m really grateful for that, which brings me to the point of this post.
I was walking along the trail at the park and looked out at the field I was walking next to and realized just how broken and battered it looked. Then I was reminded of the quote I started this post with “sometimes the only way the good Lord can get into some hearts is to break them”.
Nursing school has been no easy journey. It started off in fall of 2011. In spring of 2013 I took the semester off because I had a migraine for 6 mos and well, frankly I needed to figure out how to take care of myself. And it “broke my heart” to take that semester off, knowing full well I would be pushed back an entire year for graduation. Okay, fine, I could deal with that. Then fall semester of 2014 I failed a class. That time my heart was utterly broken. I questioned becoming a nurse. Maybe I would do something else. Maybe I should change directions. That lasted about a month, then I started my clinical at the James where I fell absolutely in love with nursing and thrived more than I’ve ever thrived before. However, because I’d failed a nursing class fall semester I was gonna be put back yet another semester, which why we’re sitting where we are today.
Being reminded that the Lord has to break some hearts to get into them was exactly what I needed today. You see, if the Lord hadn’t broken my heart, I would not have the faith I do today. I would not have the trust I do today. I’m way too stubborn and independent. I would much rather do things on my own accord, but because I had a time of 6 mos of a chronic migraine I learned to rely on the Lord. All I could do in those 6 mos was sleep and pray, occasionally I would eat (if I wasn’t nauseous from pain). And sometimes I would interact with other humans, but mainly I would just pray.
When I failed a class, by the skin of my teeth, I sat in the chapel for hours and sobbed. I didn’t know what else to do. And over the course of Christmas break that year I went to daily mass a lot. That brokenness caused me to turn to the Lord more, to come to know Him more, to lean into Him MORE.
So if you’re feeling broken, like a failure, like a screw-up, remember, the Lord allows our hearts to be broken so He can come in and be our Savior. It is through broken hearts that we can learn who we are as children of God, who Jesus wants to be for us, and who He wants us to be for Him. We can come to know just how much He thirsts for us, when we realize our brokenness is only an opportunity for us to draw closer to Him.
May we have grace to enter more fully into the merciful love of Jesus and remember the Father himself loves each of us (Jn 16:27).