Broken Together

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“How I wish we could go back to simpler times

Before all our scars and all our secrets were in the light

Now on this hallowed ground, we’ve drawn the battle lines

Will we make it through the night?

It’s going to take more much more than promises this time

Only G-d can change our minds

Maybe you and I were never meant to be complete,

Could we just be broken together

If you can bring your shattered dreams and I’ll bring mine

Could healing still be spoken and save us.

The only way we’ll last forever is broken together..”

When I hear Casting Crowns sing this song, I feel as though some one pulled this song out of my soul. Between the lyrics and with my favorite stringed instruments, and the saddest of all, the cello.

My husband and I have been married over fifteen years. Sometimes it stings to look back on our wedding photos. We have this utter look of innocence in our eyes. We had no idea the storms that we would encounter through the years, and yet I know we have only just begun.

I remember sitting in the geneticist’s office after our daughter had died. We were awaiting her autopsy results. (I still get sick to my stomach thinking about it.) The doctor shared with us the results and then said, “You know most couples that lose a child, the divorce rate is about seventy percent.”

We sat there stunned, it took me a few minutes to start to cry. We had just lost our daughter, and now I may lose my best friend?

She got up and gave us a moment. As soon as the door slammed shut we grabbed each others hands and promised each other that no matter what, we would stay together.

Little did we know that the storm we thought we were in the middle of, was only just the beginning.

After our daughter passed away in our arms, I slipped into a deep depression. My husband stood by my side and allowed me to deeply grieve. We tried to get pregnant again, and two times we miscarried, and the grief ensued.

We finally got pregnant with our son, and he too was diagnosed with the same thing our daughter had. We poured into prayer and begged G-d to spare our son. The good Lord allowed for the doctor to do experimental treatments and inject saline into my belly every three days. It was dangerous to both me and my son, but we chose to trust G-d.

My husband took care of me while I was on thirty-two weeks of bed rest. We welcomed our son Elijah Praise alive and he was whisked off the NICU. That night they asked us if we wanted to prolong his life by doing dialysis, or allow him to die peacefully in our arms. The doctor had stated if it was his child he would never take the proactive measures that we were about to embark upon.

I laid in my bed, post op, and sobbed. Do we keep him for us? Or let him go for him? We wanted him so much. I knew his every movement. We had to let Aurora go and we had always wondered if we had tried harder. . .

We prayed and went forward. We lived and breathed for that sweet boy. G-d smiled on us and allowed us as much continuous time with him as possible. We prayed together. We rejoiced together. We wept together.

Our son Elijah was our Hezekiah baby. We got more time that we were supposed to have.

The doctor would prepare us that he was going to die with each hurdle. But G-d…

Pretty soon the skeptic doctor saw the love we had for him and the hand of G-d that was upon him. He brought in other doctors and proudly would say, “You have got to check this kid out! He is a miracle!”

My husband and I had placed bible verses all over his room, as we pretty much lived in the hospital. It was hard and taxing on our bodies, but it seemed to draw us closer together, to G-d and to each other.

But then…. Eli passed away unexpectedly after six and a half months.

As I heard my husband weep over our son, “No buddy, don’t go! Please don’t go..” Our hearts seemed to shatter as one, all over the floor.

We went home broken, and grieved together. We thanked G-d each day for our children and we realized that even though we hurt for their presence, that they showed us what eternity was all about.

No more sadness.

No more sorrow.

No more pain.

Their lives showed us that G-d was real. With each grim diagnosis, G-d trumped them with more time and more daily miracles. What the enemy had meant for harm, G-d turned into good.

G-d allowed for us to be broken together. While there were times where I wondered how we would make through one more day, we fought together and chose to believe His promises.

G-d blessed us with another boy and a girl. They have not taken the place of their brother and sister. They know all about them and know that they are in Heaven. My kids have zero fear of death.

My husband and I in all our suffering found that G-d was the only way to keep us together . He has been faithful to His promises, and we have been faithful to ours.

If you are married and times are hard. Whatever the reasons that make you want to quit, I encourage you to stay true to your vows to G-d. Hold on to each other, and know that the only way you can last forever, is to be broken together.

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Storyteller

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“There are some nights that felt like they would last forever

But you kept me breathing

You were with me right then

And all that you have done for me

I could never hold it in

So here’s to me telling this

story over and over again..”

This song sung by Morgan Harper Nichols has been drumming through my mind for months. Music has a way of soothing my soul and renewing my faith. Through my valleys and mountains, G-d has spoken to me so deeply through music and confirmed some of my greatest desires and healed my greatest fears.

I have wanted to be a writer since I was in second grade. We got to publish our own story and it was thrilling to have my words in laminate, unable to be erased or forgotten. My Grandma Esther read my pathetic ten page story and put the book down. She looked up at me and clutched her chest as if she had just read a New York Times bestseller. She squatted down and said, “You my dear are a writer.” My mind went wild.

You see, I have always been shy and a bit of a wallflower. I was small for my age and we moved a lot. The years faded away and so did my dream.

The older I grew, I recognized that I was easily spooked. I am not talking about being afraid of the dark or heights or deeper fears. I was terrified of death, rejection, and being abandoned. No one ever told me these things. In fact I was a preacher’s kid, so if anyone should have felt confident, you would think it would have been me…

My dad and I would have long talks together and he would always reassure me that there was nothing to worry about. Still I couldn’t let go of the fear.

Since we moved around a lot, I never felt like I belonged. Everyone seemed to have a place. I felt like a nomad, constantly searching for a place to settle and put down my roots.

My love for G-d has been unwavering, however my trust in Him hasn’t been ironclad. I have weathered many storms in my life.  With each earth shaking event, it shook and yet strengthen me at the same time.

However, the fear ensued.

I didn’t feel I had any worth and I lost myself to the worries of this world.

But G-d…

I ended up meeting my husband after yet another major move. We fell in love and got married. The pieces were starting to come together, and I was thrilled.

Life didn’t waste anytime, we ended up having children and shockingly they passed away. My nightmares were coming true and it took me to a dreadful place.

No parent should ever have to bury their child, let alone twice…

I felt abandoned by G-d, like I was not worthy of grace and honestly that He was letting me go.

The hardest part is that my valleys were so common, they left me prone to anxiety and depression. It got so bad that I began to have severe health issues to the point I almost lost my life.

Looking back, with each major blow, while I cried and begged for G-d to release the pain or call me home, He was there with me. I see his fingerprints now. I see them in the people He sent to love on me. I see Him in that He changed my selfish perspective in life to becoming more selfless.

While the fear and sorrow has been great, I do have good news. My story isn’t over. I can now see that although I have been through the darkest sorrows, he pulled me through. I have reached some of the heights of joy that I never could have dreamed possible.

Many watched helplessly as they saw me spiral down like a airplane in flames. They keep on asking me how on earth I am still here and more joyful than ever? I can’t take any credit.

All I can say is it is G-d.

In my weakness, He has made me strong.

Through the fear, He makes me brave.

When I don’t feel like I am enough, He reminds me that I was made in His image.

When I want to lay down, He helps me get up and keep moving forward.

My scars are ever present. They are reminders of my battles of survival and victory, because I am still here.  Only because He was with me.

For the first time in my life, I have a dream. I realized I want to be a Story Teller. When I share stories, I feel as though my spirit is dancing.  With every word I sway back and forth and I dance with the words that have brought my heart alive.  What’s even better, is watching others eyes light aglow at the endless possibilities of hope.

I have found where I belong and am loved well by many. I long to encourage others that they too can make it through the storms of life by one simple choice, G-d. If he can redeem my broken mess, He can help anybody. I long to share of His goodness and faithfulness. I long to help others know that they haven’t been forgotten and that their story isn’t over…

He has rekindled my loved for writing and reminded me that it’s okay to tell my story over and over again. He made me to be what I never knew I wanted to be, a Storyteller.

As the song continues:

“The mountain where I climbed

The valley where I fell

You were there all along

That’s the story I’ll tell

You brought the pieces together

made me this storyteller

Now I know it is well

That’s the story I’ll tell…”

What are you dreams?  What have you struggled with that G-d has brought you through?  Have you found that it was in your time of crisis that you found your calling?

I would love to hear your thoughts.  Write me a message or leave a comment on FB!  I want to hear your story!