Running toward me from the security of her warm bed, those little feet pitter-pattering with a scurried beat of pleading, she begged me to let him in. Her precious heart, broken and frantic. Her need great.
Torn between two worlds, I wanted to gift the request her sweet heart so desperately desired. One hard yes from me would have opened the door. A young family arguably united and for that evening, a little girl happy.
One expensive and very costly, yes.
Instead, with great consideration and a quick glance in the rearview mirror, my decision held firm. Rooted in the truth I had fought so desperately to gain, I wrapped her in my arms and comforted her broken heart.
For too many years that followed that sad late-night plea, I bore the burden of the pain my decision left in the heart of my little girl. That evening, bridled between two different alternatives, both holding the potential result of pain, was the beginning of one hard decision that followed another.
Decisions that leave a deep-seated mark on your heart. Decisions that have no bearing of certainty. Wreaking havoc on your guilt-ridden mind, if given a long leash of freedom.
Within this space and through the years that follow, for many of us, there’s a coldness that settles in. Lending to a hardened heart that adjusts to a world we’ve grown accustomed to – single motherhood.
For many of us, we don’t wish to stay here. We long for comfort. A soft place to land our calloused hearts. A home that will allow us a rest from the tough decisions we face and the hurt we attempt to bare on our own.
Braving the Broken Heart, An Invitation
To brave something is to confront it. To brave a broken heart is to challenge and go right up to the face of your fears. To see your pain for what it is. To feel your disappointment, guilt, regrets, and shame. But not to stay there. It is to meet it and oppose it. Dare to encounter it, for the sole purpose of defying it.
Braving the broken heart is not done overnight, nor by following a step by step formula. There is no cookie-cutter remedy to resolve heartache and deep-rooted wounds, which is why I often wrestle with the concept of handing over 5 “easy” steps to resolving your greatest needs. Truth be told, it can be downright insulting when we are fighting to do what may have been simple at one time, like facing our day or breathing for that matter.
In order for me to invite you to brave your broken heart…
I must first sit with yours. I must lean in and share with you mine as we accept each other for what we have experienced. You can read more of my story here – Time, Healing the Heart of the Single Parent Home – and how I serve your heart in it.
How else could I do that, had I not felt your wounds for myself? Maybe not the same exact wounds, but certainly I have felt deep loss and considerable regrets. Having reached my own place of brokenness to stretch out my hand to yours.
As a result of the labor of braving my brokenness, I learned and walked in the truth of Romans 5:3-5.
“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love”.
In what other way are we to know a God of comfort and our hearts filled with his love, if we never experience loss, pain, or grave disappointments? It is in our suffering that we need to be comforted. That we long to have the presence of his love.
As I make every effort to meet you where you are, whether it be savoring your hurts and clinging to your disappointments or perhaps stretching yourself to believe there is more to your story than succumbing to its pressure, I offer you my hope and faith that we can walk it out together.
Not leaving you behind, but inviting you to a place he has called us. Your place at the table, a place of freedom.
Here is what I have come to learn about braving a broken heart:
- Grief is mandatory. To walk out your hurts and confront them, you must first feel them.
- Heartache and suffering are inevitable and let’s just say, a tad bit inconvenient.
- To feel grave discomfort is to appeal to a need of comfort
- Sanctification is a process, hard-earned with each passing class.
- Being brave get’s easier and easier, as I practice confronting my brokeness.
- God called us to a Promise Land. I never want to stop looking or resting in mine.
- My will certainly has not always been His will. Searching my heart for honesty and hidden agendas is truth-telling of my character and often uncomfortable and humbling.
- Sure there is low hanging fruit to be obtained on this journey, but the real fruit, the Fruit of the Spirit, is developed at a high price.
- Trust and believe. He wrote my story and will be faithful to finish it, even if it doesn’t look like I think it should.
Last, but almost more important than all…
10. My girl’s brokenness is better served when her mama has worked on braving her own.
Now, it’s your turn…
As you have read my words, experienced a few of my own choices that have bore weight, what is it you dare to brave?
Maybe it is similar to me.
The pain of leaving an abusive relationship, the loss of what may or may not ever have supposed to have been, the hurt you may have caused your child(ren), a decision you never wanted to make.
Or perhaps you need to brave the loss of a life that went as you never would have imagined. A hard, unexpected left turn to a journey you wouldn’t wish on anyone.
I want to invite you to be bold and courageous as you seek to find your own promised land. A place where you can find rest and comfort as you make your way through this journey of life.
As you venture out to brave your brokenness, I offer you the hope I found in a God that is faithful to deliver. A God who offers redemption and seeks to restore. I do not offer you the hope of a life free of trials, and convenience, but rather peace, rest and comfort that you would somehow gain wisdom and insight in your struggle.
Because it is here that we can become conquers of our own prisons. It is here we can experience the freedom we crave.
A lot of my inspiration for this writing came from a dear author, Michele Cushatt in her latest book, Relentless: The Unshakeable Presence of a God Who Never Leaves. I highly recommend it if you are wrestling with your faith and the why’s of this crazy world.
One last thing before I go, if what I have shared with you here has encouraged you to step out and be brave, would you consider sharing this with a friend or loved one? If you could use additional support as you move through your hard story, I would love to give that to you. You can find ways to work with me here.
You can also find support in our private Facebook group, The Savvy Christian Single Mom.
’till next time,