Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Mystery of Healing Brokenness

Sometimes things pile up on themselves. Several events, too monumental to process quickly or orderly...each needing months or years to be heal or restored, but happening nearly simultaneously, result in a sense of being weighed down and almost paralyzed. The response of my psyche is a mixture of intense reactive self preservation and manic movement toward renewal and a deep deep weariness that makes everything seem to be moving in slow motion through a fog. I suspect it is instinctive and normal and not to be ridiculed but instead accepted and learned from.

I have a sense of being washed out. My broken foot that will take months to heal; a cavernous, emptied space in my psyche left by my brother's death after 18 months of brain surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, gamma knife procedures, and countless MRIs; and then a flood of emotion coursing through my heart as three very close to me find themselves in a place of brokenness have all worn away my defenses and left me vulnerable and fragile.

Normally my dreams serve as a wake up call, revealing what I may not have been able to see and thus giving me direction and a focus that help me find my way. But, the dreams I have had lately are more confirmations of what has been all too obvious. First came several dreams in which my brother was still alive, yet still dying.  I would wake feeling the grief afresh of losing him and having lost him. Then, I dreamed I had a washed out place on a tooth and was told I needed a "specialist" to fix it. And just the other night I dreamed the walls of my bedroom had been damaged by a torrential downpour. The drywall was saturated and would all need to be replaced and half the floor had been splintered beyond repair and would need to be replaced as well..

Fortunately, and for this I am grateful, I have been inspired, energized, and moved to seek the "Specialist". I seek solace in my God who first sought after me. I know that healing will come as I spend time within His counseling chamber. I listen, I pour out my soul's content. I confess. I plead. I claim, declare, and pronounce what I hear to be true. I practice believing and so put to the side for a time the doubts and discouragements. I look at the object lessons I am given.

I have been seeing and contemplating the lesson my broken foot has to teach me regarding the process of healing brokenness. When I first broke my foot, I didn't understand how bad it was. I was led to believe by the emergicare physician that it was not such a big deal. But, when I saw the specialist, the truth began to be revealed. Even looking at the Xray and being told it was a bad break and would need to be immobilized didn't convinced me entirely. At the time, I thought of it only as a blessing in disguise that would allow me a month to spend with my brother. Returning for another Xray after my brother's funeral opened my eyes and my understanding: The break was more like a crushing blow causing a huge gap that would need to be filled in with new bone. Growing new bone is a miracle that can not be rushed. You have to submit to the process.

My foot was put in a cast. No movement, no weight bearing for 6 weeks. Then came a walking boot, but walking would be limited by the pain still present. Then there was the issue of the pain and stiffness that was caused by the immobilization. That hard cast that was put there to protect the bone and give it a chance to begin healing caused muscle atrophy, slowed blood flow, and shortened, weakened, and hardened connective tissue. There is always a ripple affect of brokenness. Brokenness is never simple and often things seem to get worse before they begin to get better. After 8 weeks, there seemed to be little to no healing visible by the Xray. But the doctor believes there is a strong matrix of callous forming and on that framework calcium will be deposited and bone formed to fill in the space. There is a hope of new growth/new bone/new union...a new foundation on which to stand.

As I have answered His kind invitation and spent time with God, my Specialist, the doctor of my soul, I have been reminded of His ways, His creating out of nothing, rebuilding what has been crushed, restoring what has been washed away, renewing what has ruined. I know the reality that it is His heart's desire and His will that the brokenness we now endure be filled in with His very Self. In understanding him, even if only in part, there is hope. For He is our Hope. And hope will allow me to believe. And believing will make sense of what cannot be seen. In the end He will fill in the gap. His end is nothing short of reconciliation in which the two broken ends are joined in Him.

I believe. Please help my unbelief.


  1. Thank you for this: "I practice believing".. What a great image these words convey.. this place I find myself where I know things intellectually which my heart has trouble affirming right now. But, "practicing believing" is active.. and it leaves me in a posture where God can begin to heal.

  2. Ann,
    Your words are so poignant, so raw, drawing us, the reader, into your mind a little. I would give anything to be able to express myself in writing as you do. What a gift you have. I hope using your gift leads to healing your brokenness. I just returned from Italy with my brother and two sister-in-laws. It was a wonderful time to reflect on the history of our church and how man's belief and faith in God has pushed us to build unbelieveably beautiful cathedrals in His honor. But as I read how so many have been destroyed during war, by fire and floods, etc., I wondered how one could continue to rebuild them with even greater beauty than before. Often the original builders never saw the finished cathedral. Faith can lead us to do amazing things, whether it's rebuilding cathedrals or rebuilding our brokenness. All good things come from Our Father; let us continue to believe that He will heal our brokenness. Grace, Cheryl M.