For one entire year, when we found ourselves in our new church, I began each Sunday morning with a panic attack. Sitting on the bed with a towel wrapped around me from the shower, I tried to remember how to fill my lungs with air. Sometimes I’d walk across the room and turn on the box fan in the window, or flip the switch to the exhaust fan in the bathroom, all to drown out the sound of my heart pounding loud in my ears.
I’d been down this road before, and every time I’d had my heart stepped on by women who shared my faith in Jesus and who loved him big time and for real. Every time, it caught me off guard and sucked the air out, leaving me flat and empty. And sore.
I don’t know why we break each other the way we do. I don’t know why I allow a careless word to slip through my lips and hang there in the air, knowing the way it slinks between and settles in and crumbles into shards of glass. How can I not see how thin the line between the way things can be and the way I let things be?
We carry the glory of God in earthen pots with dirt caked on and death trying to get comfortable in the darkness where the roots are tender, and He trusts us to let Him shine through all the broken places. He knows how prone we are to wander – to crush and be crushed. And He has this uncanny way of bringing glory out of ashes, grace transforming dis-grace, healing banishing dis-ease.
Eventually, I found a way through those panic attacks. I opened up my heart to women over coffee or tea or a good book. I kicked off my shoes and tucked my feet under me at the end of the sofa and leaned in to hear the stories other women shared. And eventually, my heart got stepped on because that’s what happens. It’s true.
But also? This heart, all tender and broken and split wide open, has been filled with breath and life and hope – hoisted on the shoulders of women who love well with bruised hearts of their own.The good with the bad, and God right there in it, working it all for His good.
I have this tender, broken heart – split wide open, and filled with breath and life and hope.
Won’t you share with us in the comments today about a friend who has helped redeem your view of friendship? We’d love to hear your stories?