Sunday, October 30, 2011

{Day 30} Real Marriage Part 7: Choose Life, Even When It's Falling Apart

When difficult days come, there are often no easy answers or quick solutions. It's natural to want to delay real living until things are looking up. I mean, really, how does one go on living and find any joy in the midst of such difficulty? 

As we've gone through trials in our marriage, I haven't been all Pollyanna about things. Really, there has been a good deal of mopeyness. 

But life moves on with or without my permission. 

In the midst of disappointing days, I had to keep putting one foot in front of the other and not let the days pass me by. I took my kids to our regular places. I smiled and made small talk with friends. I spent time with family. I laughed. I watched movies and read. I took pictures. I dressed up occasionally. I ate Ben and Jerry's. 

And it hasn't been just a solitary thing. Forging a new "us" hasn't happened in isolation. Over the hardest days and months, we still talked. We went places together. We joked. We ate dinner. We read excerpts of books out loud. We looked at the stars.

And we did these things smack in the middle of a life unraveled. 

I've savored the little things in a big way. Only Grace can give you the oomph to do that. 

I'm not naturally a joy-chooser but I am naturally a life-liver. 

In the better moments of my most discouraging days, I knew that healing would be slow. Things don't come undone all at once and they don't stitch themselves back together overnight either, not when you've been married for any length of time. 

If I waited for complete resolution before I gave myself permission to live full, a lot of life would pass me by in the process.  

One chapter of Grace for the Good Girl, "safe, even when it hurts," is a place I have returned to several times. These words infused my soul with much comfort and clarity:

When things break, something happens inside us. The routine is interrupted by the urgent, and the broken thing becomes top priority. Shake it. Tap it. Turn it upside down. Find the glue. Replace the batteries. Pull out the needles and thread. Return it to the store. Throw it away.
It isn't natural to just let the broken thing be broken. 

It's not, is it? But that's what I've had to do. Accepting the broken thing gives way to freedom. In my case it hasn't been a happy, smiley sort of freedom. It's been more of a necessary resignation. 

I simply dropped the heavy load I'd been carrying. 

This heavy load was our swept-up brokenness. I'd surveyed the shards of our broken life, a brokenness we'd both contributed to, swept up the jagged pieces, tossed them in bag, and carted them around. It was heavy and taxing and depressing because no matter what I did or where I went, the bag of brokenness was with me. 

It was and still is a bit of a process but somewhere along the way, I dropped the bag at the feet of Jesus and told Him that He alone could fix us. I told Him I'd surrender to the process, however long it would take. 

I "let the broken thing be broken" and determined to make the most of my days in the process. Because really, we all have broken parts our lives. To refuse to accept them is to refuse to be human.  

In the same chapter, Emily Freeman goes on to say this about healing:

Healing is messy and fluid and often unpredictable. I can't manufacture my own healing. It usually takes longer than I think, runs deeper than I wished, and involves more areas of my life than I ever imagined.

This has been so very true in my life. You can sit around and wait for healing to hurry up already so that you can be happy and savor life again. Or you can choose to see everyday beauty, embrace everyday gifts, and love in everyday ways today, no matter how tangled up life feels or how long the process may take to untangle it.

It will not be easy. There will be days when you pick the heavy bag of broken pieces back up and try to haul it around again. 

Keep letting it go. 

Keep choosing to live full in the midst of the broken.

Grace and Hope will equip you. And Joy will find you. 


It's been 30 days. Tomorrow will be my last post in this 31 day series and I can't believe it. Many bloggers {over 700!} have also written for 31 days. My friend, Richella, is hosting a "Best of 31 Days Linky Party" tomorrow for any "31-dayers" who would like to link up their favorite post. I'm joining in, though I have no clue which post I'll choose to link. If you're a fellow 31-dayer, I hope you'll link up as well!

{Click on the button for the list of all the days 
and topics thus far.}


  1. I loved loved loved this. I desire for this to be true for myself and I feel like God has just been revealing some of this to me.

    I liked when you said, "If I waited on restoration to feel finished before I gave myself permission to live full, a lot of life would pass me by in the process."

    I've so enjoyed your REAL series. You were one of two that I actually read every time and I have a feeling I'll keep reading even after tomorrow. Thanks for all of the REAL you've posted for these 31 days. I don't know you at all, yet you've encouraged me more than you know in several places of my life.


    1. I've been dating my girl for 5 years and we have just broke up because she told me she likes someone else but she say she still loves me... the next week she left the house and said she needs to find herself??? and i wanted her to be with me by living were i live, forget about her ex's, having a good job and being in a healthy relationship which leads to marriage and kids. but she was planning to leave me since and when i knew about her plan i gave her space maybe she will come back?? but if she didn't then i had to find help, a spell caster to help me bring her back so i did contacted i was giving this usa number +15036626930 and this email address after 3 days of casting his spell my girlfriend returned back to crying to me that she will never make a step without me again, that she will always love me till death. i am still surprised how dr.marnish did the love spell

  2. I don't know how I found you last year, but I stop in several times a week to read. Thank you for your honest reflections on faith, family, etc. I, too, am a Christ-follower, a teacher,a mother of three---but a few years further down the road. Blessings to you and yours as you continue to share---

  3. I'm not sure how I missed this post several months ago...perhaps I needed it more now than then. Whatever the reason, it cuts to my core. Thank you for sharing...for your transparency and for taking a risk by sharing your heart so others of us who also feel that brokenness can know we are not alone and we don't have to cart that bag of pieces around any longer. I needed to read this today. A heartfelt thanks to you...

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  5. I really admire you for being so strong..After all you've been through, you're still fighting. God is always with you :)

    marriage counselor in Denver


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