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The Breaking

I shared this as a post recently, and wanted to capture it on the blog.  But this graphic spoke to me this week.

I’ve been real and honest on this page, but I’m about to get really real.  You know, the ugly and uncomfortable kinda real.
PSA: This is NOT to make anyone feel guilty.
I imagine this is what my divorced friends have felt like. I have often heard them say that relationships you had as a couple often fell off as they chose one side or the other. 🙋‍♀️ I’m guilty of doing this too, and I am not proud of that. Perhaps it is not a conscious choice of one side (maybe it is), or maybe it’s just a natural gravitation towards the person you had more in common with.
I believe this to be true – because I have experienced it – with the loss of a spouse. There are some people you were friends with as couples, who just don’t come around that often anymore.
You know what, it’s ok.
The breaking of the past 9 months has been excruciating, but the growth on the other side has been magnificent. This isn’t to say that losing Joe was magnificent, don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t wish this experience on anyone … but, if I believe anything, it’s that God uses our breaks and our pain to draw us closer to Him. To draw out those deep desires in our hearts. To shock us into awareness of the things that are most important to us, and to also shed light on the things we need to work on to grow as humans, and in our faith.
I’ve also heard that the breaks we experience are where we can begin to the light in.  The glorious light of Jesus that can fill even the smallest of cracks, He begins to fill with His healing and love.
The ‘breaking’.
I heard recently that we become hardened when we don’t allow our brokenness to become reset in the hands of the healer.
Oof if this isn’t the truth! The kids and I talk regularly that life is a whole bunch of circumstances, and it’s our choice in how we let them define us.
There is permission in the word of God to do it differently. To allow ourselves grace in the midst of sin and struggle. To forgive. To love. To heal.
If you’re in a period of breaking, I encourage you to lean in. Lean in to the word of God. Lean in to his love.
Lean in to his grace.
Just lean in.
Lean in when it feels great. Lean in more when it hurts. Lean in when it feels like you’re going to break wide open again, then dig. Dig deeper and listen to what God is trying to reveal to you.
☝️ This is much easier said than done.
I might also add, lean in to the ones who stick and encourage you. Lean in to those relationships who challenge your faith and remind you who God is, and where he fits into your life. (hint: its first) Lean in to new relationships that knock on your door, and the opportunities that follow.
This breaking, has the opportunity to level up your life, if you let it.
Side note: I’ve had a few of you ask what you can do for someone who has lost a spouse. Let me share some things that were so helpful for me.
Showing up the morning after and quite literally sleeping in the bed with me to make sure I was ok, then making sure I ate, hydrated, etc. in the days to follow. A hour spent in a coffee shop just chatting about life. A text. An, I love you. All the hugs. All the meals. Showing up for the kids in their moments of grief and in celebration. Sending notes of encouragement, or something that reminds you of us. Fun memories shared about Joe. A birthday lunch. Joining us at church on Christmas Eve and holding space for us to grieve yet another holiday. Building a covered patio. Being a phone call away when you flood your house. Reminders that movement is important mentally and physically. Changing a flat tire (more than once). Providing a safe space for the kids during a chaotic school day. Joining us at a softball game. Taking Katie out for a special birthday outing. Sitting with Andrew at church and praying over him. Encouraging us to walk forward. Providing grace when we just can’t. Praying with and for us. Reminding us that there is life on the other side of grief.