Blessings Broken Wide

Megan Smillie // Tales From the Trenches


July 20  

The blessings come. Amidst the working through of this life and the constant worry—unfailingly and faithfully—the breathlessness of peace and joy fills my heart most unexpectedly these days.

It comes in many different forms—all fragments and glints and deep hopefulness of what the future may bring. God is faithful. And he shows up for me, for my heart.  

I look up during a mundane shopping trip to see my oldest doing the same, and am enveloped in a bear hug that only he can give. We catch up in the aisles and I direct him around the store as he provides for his own place—him joking about how he’ll always need Mom. Yes, and—more than you realize, I want to say—I will always need you.

Just the other day, my youngest, at the adorable age of ten, grabbed my face in his hands and announced quite forcibly that he would be making dinner the next evening. I chuckled to myself, but discussed his options, and eventually we settled on frozen pizza because—finally—that makes everyone happy. And in a household where most of the older siblings aren’t home for dinner, the leftovers will truly be ideal for their after-work “nourishment.” His eyes glowed at the prospect.

An evening out with my oldest daughter, starting with Mass and then to peruse second-hand stores until eventually enjoying a cocktail and dinner on an outdoor patio, does just as much good for my mama-heart as it does for hers. Reconnecting and reestablishing her reference point has her miraculously chipper as she heads out early the next morning for an eight hour work day. 

Of course, there are hiccups. Of course, while I am enjoying one blessing, another “broken” comes hurtling at me via text about some injustice or other—some need or want that is not being met. It cannot be picture-perfect all the time, am I right? (*grin*) 

But in this broken, in every broken, there is always beauty, there is always a gift. The wrapping may be a bit wonky, and it may be gifted to us by hands full of hurt and anger, but if we look close enough, we can discover the blessing. It is in the child who hates reaching out, hates to admit hurt, or pain, or even fault, but is learning to express it all. It is in another who uses her voice for every wrong and has slowly become more patient and discerning about when to use those words and when to let it go. And maybe also these teens are learning to allow Truth to be their advocateto sit quietly and calmly, resting in the knowledge of what is in their hearts and not worrying about what others may think. Every broken brings about these realizations. Every challenge that must be faced transforms into an increase in trust and surrender to God’s plan for our lives.

And since God is faithful, he sends us the blessings along with the broken, so that we may continue to choose this surrender and ultimately trust in his Providence.

Because all of that just breaks our souls—infinitely beautiful and wondrously blessed—wide open. 

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