Wednesday, November 6, 2013

I'm not supposed to tell you...

There's something I probably shouldn't talk about. Or at least, it seems forbidden to do so...

But right now, in this season, if I don't talk about it, then I don't talk at all. And if I don't talk, then you'll never know how much Jesus has done for me and is doing in me and has promised to do for me in the future. And if I don't share THAT, and if I don't shout His goodness, then the Bible says the rocks will, and well - that could make for all kinds of car wrecks and strained necks and heart attacks, so...

I'm going to talk.

But our culture sort of dictates otherwise, doesn't it? Don't air your dirty laundry. Don't reveal your weakness. Don't let the cracks of brokenness show.

Yet if Jesus is washing that laundry and providing that strength training and filling those empty can I keep silent?

I can't.

I'm not supposed to tell you I'm going through a divorce. I'm not supposed to tell you that I didn't want it. I'm not supposed to tell you that my world got ripped out from under me on February 11 of this year and hasn't completely found it's balance yet. I'm not supposed to tell you that almost 9 months later there are STILL full days of complete Alice and Wonderland foreign nonsense, a land that makes zero sense and has tiny doors and giant hats and cats with creepy smiles.

I'm not supposed to tell you about the times that simply taking out the trash rendered me to tears because it used to be a chore I didn't ever do. I'm not supposed to tell you about the times folding socks made my chest literally ache because the absence of male socks in the pile broke my heart all over again. I'm not supposed to tell you of the times over the past 9 months that I left tear stains in the carpet and lost my voice yelling at no one at all and didn't cook for 4 months straight because I couldn't handle the pain of cooking for one.

I'm not supposed to tell you of the times I left a fellowship or get-together with friends and drove home, alone, bawling my eyes out the entire way, blinded by loneliness and the dread of the empty house awaiting me. I'm not supposed to tell you about the nights I had to borrow a friend's noise machine just to sleep at a few fitful hours. I'm not supposed to tell you about the days I had to leave work because I couldn't fake a smile a single second longer or the days I drove to a lake and parked and stared because I couldn't even pray. I'm not supposed to tell you about the time I started crying in a department store because I walked past the men's section and didn't have a reason to buy a new T-shirt or ball cap just-because anymore.

I'm not supposed to talk about the pain, the confusion, the hurt, the betrayal, the loss, the chaos that comes from a dark night of the soul, a night where the clock hands stick on midnight and tick endlessly toward a dawn that never quite seems to arrive.

But I AM going to tell you about the time Jesus cried on the floor beside me, the time He held me and rocked me and understood because His heart hurt too. I WILL tell you about the time He wiped my tears and lifted my head and whispered promises that somehow were just louder than the lies bombarding me. I AM going to tell you about the time He gave me a heart shaped rock just when I asked for one, about the time He blessed my heart with a sunrise that took my breath away, about the time He parted the clouds and graced my face with a sunbeam and whispered that I was His sunshine. I WILL tell you about the time He held my hand when I couldn't stop stumbling and tripping and reminded me I wasn't alone. I will preach forever about the grace He gave me that I didn't deserve, about the unconditional love that is the only substance capable of reaching the bottomless depths of my heart.

I AM going to tell you about the times He ministered to me through godly men and women in Authentic Ministries, who took me in like family and loved me with zero questions asked and zero judgment passed, who prayed with me and over me and for me. Of the times He sent me friends at just the right moment to offer escapes and laughter and chocolate and coffee and reminded me there was still goodness all around me.  I WILL talk about the time He reminded me of His plans for my future and shared specifics with me that were so big, they made me laugh but also made me believe. I WILL tell you of the time He walked beside me down a cracked sidewalk when I felt utterly alone surrounded by people, and told me He was my date. I WILL tell you of the time He heard my heart's cry for a particular praise and worship song I hadn't heard in months, and gave it to me live and in person through extremely talented people twice in less than a week.

I am definitely going to talk about how He carefully collected the shattered, broken pieces of my heart and painstakingly began a masterpiece mosaic that is still a work in process, but will one day be museum-gallery-worthy. I will never shut up about His goodness, His faithfulness, His love, His mercy and His heart for me, that I do not deserve in any way yet can't get enough of...

Because isn't that what grace is, anyway? Undeserved favor. The Lord is near to the broken-hearted, and you'll never convince me otherwise because I've lived it. I'm still living it.

And I'm still talking about it.

And don't plan to stop.

Because the rocks just won't do it justice.


  1. You are such a strong woman for sharing your heart with everyone about what you are going through. You will be an inspiration to others for "talking!" Big prayers and hugs for you.

  2. Hugs. Thanks for sharing your heart. You're so, so beautiful. What a picture of God's faithfulness.

    As long as you keep talking, we will be here to listen. <3

  3. Thanks for having the courage to share. Sending lots of hugs and prayers your way. I love that we have a God who loves us in those deep broken places.

  4. Beautifully written, my friend. :) And so true. Continue praising His name. I'm so honored to know you and to see how you reflect God's grace and shine even in the dark moments. Keep shining!

  5. I love this, and you! Keep being real.

  6. I didn't used to know about brokenness and grace. Grace in brokenness has become all of it, though. Betsy, I'm a kid and I know absolutely nothing but just have to say -- I haven't been broken in the same way, but I've found the same Grace. It hurts and there’s nothing left and it turns out that, I think Matthew West sung it – there’s only Grace. And Ann Voskamp said that grace, it hijacks darkness.
    I thank you for these words. So much.
    Because none of us are alone in all the darkness and we hold on --
    and you've reminded me of that today.

  7. I'm glad you finally "came out"! I'm glad that you shared that your world is not perfect, I glad that you shared how you couldn't stop it from happening even as hard as you tried. I'm glad that you shared ways that you are "coping with this situation" that someone else might try. I'm glad that you have had friends and family to support you. I'm glad that YOU are YOU! and that GOD is GOD! and that HE has been and continues to be with you through it all. I'm glad that you know and trust our MIGHTY LOVING GOD!

  8. I wrote a book, The Next Right Thing, about my walk down this path of grief. You are a good writer, perhaps He will lead you to do the same. Keep holding onto Him---that is the ONLY answer!

  9. I'm so sorry you're hurting, I hate that we live in a world that is filled with such pain! But I pray that God will bless you for sharing yours - for being willing even in the midst of such a time to "comfort others with the comfort you've been given." If only the church were filled with more people like you, willing to be truly honest about the sorrow they carry, there wouldn't be buildings big enough to hold us. Because it's in sharing honestly, as you've done, that we find out how alike we all are and how beautifully God ministers to us during our times of deepest needs.May God richly bless you, I'm praying for you and I'll be sharing your beautifully written testimony.

  10. Bless you for your openness, because God can use it...even if you don't see how, even if you don't see why, He will use your heartache and honesty for His glory. Hugs to you.

  11. You beautiful soul. I am blessed to know you. Thank you for exposing the raw place in which you're living and the amazing ways Christ is taking care of you. I'll be praying.

  12. This post is amazing. YOU are amazing. Never forget that!! Praying for you always sis!

  13. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing. You have blessed me today.


  15. Betsy this is beautiful! This has reminded me that even when we feel alone, we are never truly alone. Blessings my friend <3

  16. Wow. It was right around that time that the guy I somehow thought I was going to marry ended our relationship. It was short and didn't go on too long (praise God), but it was long enough for me to be exceedingly hurt and confused. I cannot fully imagine your pain right now, but I do know I have been through something slightly similar. Praying for yah!