Thursday, February 12, 2015

"The only way we'll last forever…"

"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..."

The first time I heard Casting Crown's "Broken Together I wept -- and wondered how long it would take for me to find the courage to write this post. Let's just say that it's taken more humility, than time.

If you have never had your heart broken -- or broken someone else's heart -- this post is not for you. But, if you have found yourself broken open by love, I hope it gives you courage and hope.

For such a long time I thought that a good relationship was one where no one got hurt. Both parties always put the other person first, and never did anything that would break the other's heart. No one was disappointed, sad -- broken. If you got hurt -- or worse yet, you hurt the person you loved -- it must mean that the relationship was doomed.

It's not surprising then, that whenever someone got hurt, I was ready to run. If I'd done the hurting, I couldn't stay and live with myself. If I was hurt, I was so wounded that I was impossible to live with. I stopped trusting and it was clear that whoever hurt me was in for a life of apology and regret. My brokenness was irreparable. The best I could hope for was a me that was patched together and long-suffering, but forever bruised.

In my fantasy world of one true love, there was no room for anything but Prince Charming and Cinderella meeting on the steps of a university and living happily ever after. Heartbreak would never happen, because we were "meant for each other." Enduring love was only possible if no one got hurt. When someone got hurt it was best to cut your losses and go find your real one true love -- because obviously this wasn't it.

I was wrong. Hearts break. And when hearts break a new softness is possible. I love the Psalmist's encouragement:

"The sacrifices of God
are a broken spirit:
a broken and a contrite heart,
O God, thou wilt not despise..."

Well, if God didn't despise my broken -- or contrite -- heart, why did I? Perhaps there was something beautiful and promising to be found in the wake of those experiences that shattered pride and gave breath to deeper humility --and humanity -- in a relationship.

I am learning that most of us have felt heartbreak, or have unintentionally broken the hearts of those we love. And that sometimes -- without meaning to -- we bring heartbreak with us. But heartbreak doesn't have to mean sorrow, destruction, or endings. Sometimes the most beautiful relationships are a mosaic of "broken" experiences cemented together by devotion, respect, patience, and forgiveness.

Mary Baker Eddy acknowledges heartbreak in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures when she writes:

"If we would open their prison doors for the sick,
we must first learn to bind up the broken-hearted. "

She doesn't deny the presence of heartbreak in our human experience. She doesn't tell us to run from heartbreak -- our own, or another's -- but to bind it up. We are all in this together. We each do our best, and through trial -- and yes, heartbreak -- we often discover something softer, gentler, kinder than princesses who run away in glass slippers will ever find. I am learning that in most relationships, broken together is pregnant with promise, enduringly beautiful, full of hope, and rich with grace.

I hope that if you have read this far, you will take the time to listen to Casting Crown's "Broken Together it may just be one of the most beautiful Valentine's songs I have ever heard.

When hearts break, they don't have to be broken apart. Sometimes this is where -- when broken together -- our hearts in Him may blend more beautifully thus.  

offered with Love,


1 comment:

  1. Beautiful post Kate, I love your transparency and very needed in this life:) Judy T