Wednesday, April 24, 2013

We're Not Broken, Just Bent

We were driving back home from IKEA. The only sounds came from the radio, or the thoughts that occasionally ran through my head over the course of the miles. Suddenly the words of a song I never heard caught my attention. "Just give me a reason, just a little bit's enough, we're not broken.. just bent.. and we can learn to love again". I felt my eyes well up and I turned my head to watch the scenery out the window as the chorus went on to finish with, "It's in the stars, it's been written on the scars, of our hearts, we're not broken.. just bent, and we can learn to love again."

Broken is the word that I have been using to describe myself. It encompasses the pain that sometimes hurts so deep it feels like my heart might break. It covers the damaged emotions that go back years and years to a time when I was too young to be able to speak up for myself and explains why sometimes now I find myself louder than I need to be. When I think about me now, and all of the issues with my health I have to deal with vs. just 5 years ago, I feel broken. Over the past several years, if I had to use one word to describe my marriage, I would choose the word broken. 

Miriam-Webster gives six definitions of the word broken. Number 5 is: not complete or full. I would say that I haven't been too far off the mark in my way of thinking. I keep a board on PINTEREST full of quotes and sayings that spoke to me for whatever reason when I read them. Some are uplifting, some are a little more dark, and some I needed to read over and over when I felt like things were hitting rock bottom. One of my pins reads, "What screws us up most in life is the picture in our heads of how it is supposed to be." Over this past weekend, I sat with that saying open on my screen, in the early hours of the morning after spending several nights on the couch, and I did a lot of soul searching. 

I realized that it's not my job to ask for change from The Boy™, nor should I expect it. It's my job to love him, with all of his faults, just as he loves me with all of mine, and leave the rest up to God. He loves me, just as I am, with all of my faults (and Lord knows I have plenty) and expects nothing more from me than what I can give him on any given day. I realized that in doing so, I have inadvertently made the last several years so much harder than they needed to be. He is who he is, no more, and no less, and if I truly love him, which I do, than I have to take that. If he decides that he has things to work on in his life, or God inspires him somehow, than so be it, but it's not up to me to be asking for it. My job is to work on myself, and my own shortcomings, and boy is that a big enough list on it's own. 

I read somewhere once that difficult times can help us grow, and that it's when we are most broken that God does his most amazing work. Martin Luther King Jr. said, ""God creates out of nothing. Therefore until a man is nothing, God can make nothing out of him." So right now, I am working on me. I am trying to be the best wife that I can be, remembering when I feel frustrated that it's because of my expectations. I am trying to remember to show him appreciation for what he does, so that he doesn't feel that all I focus on is what I feel is missing. Is it going to work? I don't know, but what I do know is that anything is better than how things have been. 

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