Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Shattered--a story

Note: The lines are not meant to be spaced like they are, but this particular post has given me 'fits'--it's like 'something' was trying to stop it.  So I apologize for the choppiness.  I pray it won't detract you from reading it.
 "She doesn't just envy you; she wants your life.  You must beware of her; put some space between you."

The daughter listened to her mother's words in disbelief.  Thirteen years earlier this vivacious woman
came into her life by swatting her on the butt with a dishtowel in the church kitchen.  She and her husband and kids were new to the church and had come to this event to get to know folks better.

An impish grin awaited her when she turned quickly to see who had the audacity to swat her.
 Those eyes drew her in and she knew she'd found a friend like no other.

Later that friend told her how she had prayed to God to bring a Christian sister into her life.  When
they met, she knew God had answered her prayer.

And oh, how they were friends.  Their children grew up together.  Tears mixed with belly laughs---long
phone calls, Bible studies, couple get-togethers---they were almost joined at the hip.

So she scoffed at her mother's words.  She figured her mother was jealous of her time with her
vivacious Christian sister/friend.  She didn't say so, but she thought it.
"I saw the look in her eyes; I heard the tone when she said, '    always gets whatever she wants.'
 Believe me it was not joy I saw or heard!"

She refused to believe her mother, even when the warning was repeated several more times.
 Instead, she grew angry at her mother as she hoped she wouldn't be forced to choose
between the two.

Ever wise, her mother  sensed that she was facing banishment.  So she said no more about the
 friend. She told her daughter several years later that she knew if  she was cut off, the daughter
would feel like she had no one to turn to  when the inevitable occurred.

And it did occur.  Fifteen years of Christian sisterhood and friendship shattered.  For you see,
the vivacious friend  stepped in when the woman was at her weakest.

A terrible accident had occurred and the woman had spent months caring for an injured child. 
Everyone reacted the day of and the days that followed the accident.  Everyone BUT the woman.
 Someone had to keep a head on straight to make life and death decisions.   Someone had to look
 the teen in the face without tears, giving her hope.  Someone had to break  horrific news to her or
a stranger would in a cold, sterile hospital ER in an unfamiliar hospital, for the teen had to have
 a specialist, so would be moved.   Someone had to stay nearby the ICU all night long in case
her child were to 'crash.'  She made it quite clear that she was to be brought in to hold the child's
 hand out to God if that moment came. 
It didn't come.  The teen not only survived---the recovery was quick and amazed hospital personnel.
 She moved out of  ICU in record time to a regular room.

The husband was finally able to look into the teen's eyes and he took his turn during the day.  The
vivacious woman helped the mother out by taking over in the morning, helping do the hair and such.
 Folks later told the woman how strange it was to see the husband, the friend, and the teen together
when they visited.  You see, the woman took the night shift because she was a 'night person' and could stay awake with the teen during the toughest times of pain.

But I am taking too long.  When the teen healed externally and all restraints were gone, the woman fell
into a hellacious depression.  But the husband did not believe in depression, so he just saw his wife as becoming selfish and uncooperative.   Meanwhile the friend continued to be very helpful and when the marriage showed signs of strain, she came to counsel---to help.  The woman confided much too much
to her sister friend--her weaknesses, her husband's displeasure, her anger at her husband---on and on.
Thus the sister friend knew exactly what the husband wanted and needed and he had what she wanted and needed.  So two marriages died and another was born.

Meanwhile the woman's mother paced and worried and prayed. Then she prepared herself for the day
that her daughter's life would shatter into a million colorful pieces. 

The day finally arrived when the sisterfriend became the enemy--when the daughter  looked around  in
 horror and confusion.  Deeply depressed, she didn't have what she needed to fight back.  She wanted
to dig a hole under the bright pieces into the deep earth and hide in shame.

Her mother knew what was in the woman's mind--she knew suicide hovered, waiting to snatch the
woman into its womb.
So the mother did what any good mother would do.  She went to her daughter's side, took her into her
 arms and told her how special she was---how loved she was.  Then---
the mother simply and quietly stooped down and began to pick up and glue together  the jagged pieces
of her daughter's life.
 And perhaps most important of all, never once, did she say, I told you so.

A mother's love, especially when mixed with God's healing power, can put a child's shattered life back together whether the child is 4 or 30 or even older.  Oh the child's life will not be same.  No, for the
jagged edges don't glue together seamlessly.  Some pieces are not even found, so a filler is used. 

The result is a very special  piece of art  welded together with love and faith and hope.   In some ways
 it's more beautiful than before,  for the glue of  love, faith, and hope has fiery strength in it that forged the broken person in a way that is different, but in many ways better.

Shattered, but not destroyed ---fixable if someone is willing to put forth the time and effort and give a
 selfless love.  If that person lets God work through them.  Then His love will flow and heal.  It won't
happen over night for the broken person has a say in the reconstruction and sometimes may bulk---may snatch a piece and throw it ---may add water to the glue so some pieces don't stick together as well as they could.

Free will.  Broken, we have free will to decide if, how, when, and sometimes  to what extent we will
allow ourselves to be healed.  Please understand that FORGIVENESS has to be a part of the healing;
other wise the healing will not be complete. 

God is there waiting.  He may take on the face of a mother, a father, another family member, friend, or
even a stranger.  But I believe with all  my heart and soul that He will be there, holding out his hand.  He excels in putting jagged, shattered pieces back together.  We just need to take His hand in whatever form
 its given to us and  then  BELIEVE.

         "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee;
 yea,I will help thee;  yea I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
          For I the Lord thy God will hold they right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee."
                                                         Isaiah 41: 10, 13

          "Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers,
nor things present, nor things to come,
         Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God,
which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
                                             Romans 8: 37-39

Part of One word carnival  and imperfect prose on thursdays

For some reason, I could not get rid of this picture below and I was making  things worse, so it remains.

 I struggled in writing this and in fact, bulked, but God is persistent.   Why this?  Why now?  I know not.

I do want to make clear that the woman's life is happy and she long ago made peace with the vivacious woman and the ex-husband.  She's actually happy for them---they do fit together much better than she did with him.   She is free to be herself in a way she was never able to be with him.

 She also has acknowledged her part in the break down of the marriage and the subsequent fall out.  She allowed anger to keep her from compromise and she didn't seek God's guidance at some very crucial times.  She doesn't think divorce was God's answer, but she didn't seek His help until the damage was done and the marriage had gone up in flames.
 It's been seventeen years (approximately), so the healing was a process.

 I figure that some people (some family members most likely) are experiencing less than satisfactory reactions, but I'm writing for God and me, not anyone else.  That "for God" probably is really making some heads shake.   Go ahead and shake them.


  1. All I can say is, "wow." And your mom sounds like a wise and wonderful woman. I'm glad you had her there to pick up the pieces.

  2. Wow. That was great!

    Thanks for joining the carnival.

  3. A very wise mother indeed --and the best thing was that she didn't ever say "I told you so"..... I KNOW that the daughter is much happier now... Right?????

    Thanks for sharing, Beth...

  4. this was a little bit heartbreaking, even if there is hope and promise and Grace, God's Grace, at the end. perhaps i say so b/cs my story is still being written and i'm still learning new ropes.

  5. smiles. this is a beautiful story with an oh so true moral...very nice...

  6. not shaking my head.
    it is a story of real life and real hope and real Love.

    Love to you

  7. thank you for sharing the shattered so we can see the hope that lies beyond the breaking.

  8. God takes broken pieces - if given to Him - and makes something beautiful of them! That's one reason I like the word "Redeemer"!

  9. This is such a magnificent story of love and restoration. It is told with such compassion and courage. It can't have been easy. When we share from the heart in this way, it never fails to minister to others.

  10. This story needed to be told and it will speak to hurting hearts that may also have had a loving but vicious "friend." The mother was wise and knew when to keep quiet and also knew NOT to say I told you so. Precious is the Lord who is ever with us even through the storms that break us, and He is there able and ready to put us back together again.

  11. A mother's love, especially when mixed with God's healing power, can put a child's shattered life back together whether the child is 4 or 30 or even older.

    powerful, beth. i'm so glad you wrote it, even though you sensed someone wanted you not to. this is the fight for light we are to engage in, each day. and this posts shines.

  12. Your addendum completes this story, a story of pain redeemed through His grace.

    (And thanks for your words of encouragement about my mom. You're so right. It is hard and wearisome, and often difficult to know when/how much to do for them. But I am grateful to give to her what she has lovingly given to me over the course of my life. I'm still mostly away from my blog, and my "free" time is spent catching up here at home or simply trying to grab a nap. But Mom is slowly gaining some strength back, and for this we are all grateful...)


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