letters unpublished: a broken heart

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I have written more than my share of posts that have gone unpublished. My blog is very therapeutic for me. When I sit at my desk, it is me - alone. No one is there watching me, no one is reading over my shoulder. No one can see me - no one to judge. After it goes out onto the W.W.W. it is no longer just mine - it belongs to those who read. Therefore censorship and caution is exercised when writing, for fear that things will be taken wrong, remarks misunderstood and frustrations blown up bigger than they really are. This is my safe place. Some things get published, a select few do not. For those of you who read my blog you might find it a surprise to know that I am actually an extremely private person. The things I share on my blog are usually the icing on the cake. It does not take a lot of courage to share pretty trinkets. It takes courage to click that button and spill ones soul for all to see. This life I live is filled with all sorts of experiences, lots of them happy, beautiful and wonderful - some of them hard, ugly and sad. I have more than once thought about ending the blog. I sometimes feel the need to go inside and close my circle and heal myself within the safety of these 4 walls. But I blog on. I feel that I have been given a medium with which, through me, God speaks to those who may find comfort in His words - even if only 1 person. So here it is. Uncensored and real. Some thoughts from my most vulnerable, soft core. Things I do not usually speak about for fear that those reading will judge, or take pity, or simply not understand and possibly condemn. But for the 1 who may need to hear what is bursting to be said - these words are for you, as well as for me.

I have found myself falling lately. Becoming something I hate. A bitter, angry person. I have begun to see life as a burden. Therefore the people in my life as such. I hear, "I need...", "I want....", "can you...?", more times a day than I can sometimes bare. I resent the sound of "mom". Once a beautiful word, turned ugly by it's repetition. I break up fights. I settle down tears. I mop up toilet bowl water that has spilled all over the bathroom floor. I vacuum up cocoa powder spread all over the kitchen by my 2 year old. I wipe a bleeding nose. I clean up eggs that have been dropped and broken. I feed, I clean, I fold, I clean, I intervene, I clean, I teach, I clean. I worry - how will I actually raise 5 kids? How will I be there for all of them when they all need me at the same time? How will I have enough left over for my husband? How will I carry on and fulfill my responsibilities in church? How at the end of it all will I have anything left for friends, let alone any hobbies I have put aside on a shelf for another day? I feel the weight of this calling as mother and it overwhelms me, sometimes to the point of discouragement. I feel like a rubber band that is being stretched too far, and is about to break. I want to shed this mortal mask. I want to be free of these material bonds that imprison my time. I want to run away from the hurt. I pull away from the heat. It is uncomfortable. It is too hot. I am drowning in crumbs.

And then I read this life in grace blog.com/ project-restoration edition-2-rebuilding-a-heart(please watch)

And through blurry eyes I try and watch the video. Then I let go - and I weep. I have not lost my house to a fire. I have not been through what Edie is going through. I cannot imagine the loss and pain. And yet I become aware that I am going through my own fire. A refiners fire. My house still stands, but my heart is ash.

When and how do we get to the point of gratitude in all things? Some of you may have the answer. Others may not relate to what I am saying at all. And some will wonder with me. This life is beautiful, this life is hard. I have personal struggles that are mine, given to me. Some lifted in times of need, and other times I am left feeling utterly alone in the raging storm. Some days I feel like super woman, and others day I feel like I am glass - if I let go I will fall and break - so I hold on tighter and tighter.

And then a quiet thought comes to my mind - maybe I am meant to break.

I have built myself up. I am trying to do everything all by myself. I am glueing pieces on here and there hoping it will all stick, at least long enough for others to view my weak presentation of something whole. When will I learn that I will never be whole without the grace of God? He steps in when I can go no farther. He loves when I cannot. He gives when I have nothing left. He will build me up again - strong and steady and whole. He is the only one who knows how I fit together. He has all the missing pieces that I try to fill with other things. I begin to let go. I fall... and it hurts. But I am never alone. He is there. He has been waiting for me. He has a plan. He is the designer and the architect. I am something beautiful in His sight and His is all that matters. So, like Edie, I try and have gratitude for the manna. For the broken eggs. For the unstoppable 2 year old. For the voices of my children as they go through there own individual fires. For the dust on my shelves and the water on my floor. I will try and give thanks, as all things denote there is a God. He is everywhere. And when I need to step back and take time to be healed by Him who will never abandon, I will, without worry or concern. He will help me let go of pride. Only He can help me to realize that what others think of me is not important while also teaching me to love them without judgement. He will gently whisper that I have nothing to prove, for I am His. If I let Him. If I will just let go. He has promised a rainbow at the end of every storm. He will wrap up my wounds so that they will heal properly. But He will leave a scar. This scar is stronger than what was there before. This mark is the mark of the makers hand, left to remind us that His power is real. He lets us thirst, so that we may learn to thirst for Him. He lets us ache, so that our hearts will ache for Him. He lets it rain, so that we may find shelter in Him.

It is not the eggs on the floor, it is not the dirt to sweep, it is not the call of "mom!" that wears. It is the cares of the world. The marathon that never ends in the attempt to keep up. Who am I racing against? What matters most? I have placed these burdens on my back, through the impossible expectations that I place upon myself and my family, and in my stubborn pride I try and carry them all, to avoid being seen as weak or vulnerable. I put on my public mask, for fear that others could not possibly like me for who I really am. And I wear it day by day, using precious energy, until I can no longer stand the strain. It is in the unrealistic vision of what I believe I should be, and in how my children should act, instead of seeing what we are and believing in what we can become.

I do not need to fear what the future might hold, or what may come to pass and wonder how I will ever find the strength to make it through 1 more crisis. Because, the truth is, I cannot by myself find the strength. I simply need to take 1 day at a time, placing my trust in Him, and taking a hold of His hand, and in His grace is my strength found.

I let go.... and layer by layer He peels away. This thick skin, built up to protect my soft heart. It is scary at first. I feel like I am a window and everyone can see right through me. I want to put up the wall again, but I won't this time. This time I will let Him work and clean out my cobwebs as people look on, and soon they will look right through me and see Him. It is only then that I can ever hope to find healing. I begin to see the world for what it really has to offer. "Mom" becomes beautiful again. I am needed. I am loved. Taking 1 day at a time, without ever knowing if I will see tomorrow. The beauty of the sun through the window. The flowers that grow in the soil. The embrace of a child. These are the things to remember. Pillows begin to lose their charm, along with all the other things that moth and dust corrupt. These things are blessings too, so long as I keep them in perspective and do not let them take His place. Give thanks in all things - the feast and the famine - for He will provide a way. And His way is sure.

Nothing is changed, but my heart. And I begin to celebrate the mess, the cries and the crumbs. And open this new soft heart to ALL life has to offer.

Please. Please. Remember this. Your hair, and your house, and your position in life does not matter. Matters of the heart is what we were sent here to collect. My back was never meant to carry such burdens, my heart was never meant to be so hardened. And it will, from time to time, again and again, need to be burned and be rebuilt by Him, creator of all things - even my heart.


  1. Hey Shelli! I just found your blog and I am in awe of your recent post. What a beautiful eloquent way with words you have. Thank you for writing it, it was what I needed to hear today! It reminded me what's really important. Thank you!

  2. Wonderful. You are an incredible writer.

  3. Thank you for not giving up on your blog. We all need to hear the words you write.

  4. Thank you for finding it within yourself to share such tender thoughts and emotions with us Shelli. Some days you need something more and your post was just that for me. It's hard to put into words sometimes and you expressed so many things I have felt. I know I will not be the only one grateful for your words, but know that your blog helped 1 person for sure! Thank you for reminding me about the priorities of our mortal existence. I totally needed that!

  5. Shelli,
    You are such an example to me.
    I'm so glad that I get to read your blog!