They were old and covered in cobwebs when I pulled them out of the file box in the garage. I was searching for some lost papers my son needed but I found a snapshot of my life in 2000 instead. Court orders and child support pay stubs and correspondence with my attorney. All in the same file I shoved them into 16 years ago when my divorce was finally over.
I had forgotten some of the pieces of that life until holding the reminders in my hands. My heart felt a small ache- the kind you have when a painful memory from the past is suddenly and unexpectedly present. Not overwhelming but a remnant of an old wounded place where a scar now exists.
We all have them. Tender spots that get exposed by relationships, circumstances, an off hand comment or innocent action. Scars are part of living in a broken world, as are the wounds that precede them. The Bible describes us as fragile with metaphors like
A smoldering wick – a small light that could go out at any time
A bruised reed – a plant leaf barely hanging on able to be snapped off easily
A jar of clay – an ordinary pot made of breakable material, easily cracked if dropped
Our culture doesn’t like to acknowledge being broken. We are of the “put on your big girl panties and deal with it” generation that long for self sufficiency and self help. But the truth is, broken places are a pathway to the Healer.
Before my divorce I had never experienced real brokenness, for my own sin or for that done to me. The heartbreak of a failed marriage exposed so much in me, not the least of which was my need for Christ. I never knew how much I needed a Savior because I felt so safe. So together. So good. When my husband left I felt exposed. Fragile and the very opposite of together. All that pain drove me to healing as God’s love and grace and truth began to fill in the cracks of my broken heart.
One of the sweetest, most powerful truths that began to fill me up and heal the wounds was this- He is the treasure. My marriage is not the ultimate gift. My children or my health or people’s love for me or my success are not the most important thing. He is. He is better than all the gifts he gives and He will never leave me. When I wasn’t even aware of how desperately I needed him or how worthy and beautiful He is, He committed himself to me. His love, relentless and overwhelming, turned my wounds to scars. It healed me and filled in the empty places left by divorce and left by my own pursuit of lesser treasures.