“Oh wait, I am broke.” But….in reality, I’m not. Though I once was.
A meme is making the rounds that reads “If I was broke and had nothing to offer you would you still be my friend?” I shared it with the comment added, “oh wait, I am broke”. This morning, I am looking at that with new eyes. I am sitting here thinking of another meme that I had posted hours before that reads, “Sometimes I delete my own posts because I’m not the same person I was 4 minutes ago”.
Financially, I am neither rich nor poor. Though I do not have a lot of extra cash sitting about allowing me to participate in other things, I am still technically, not broke. The bills get paid and we eat and are warm. (Thank you my friends for the fire wood. You know who you are.) Even the unexpected events, eventually get paid.
What I am getting at then? I’m glad you asked.
I surrendered my life to Christ as a teenager. While we attended church, the things I should have learned, I did not. I was very immature and insecure. I have always felt different than others and I know they picked up on my social awkwardness. I was teased, bullied and even physically assaulted. Bullying was not recognized as the problem it truly is then. It was kids being kids. Ignore it and it will stop. Agree with it and they lose their power over you. That statement is not true by the way.
I married the first guy who told me he loved me. Who then got bored six months into the marriage. In just over a year, I had lost everything I had begun to build up. I lost all the money I had saved, a car, a mobile home, my fragile self worth was shattered. I moved back home and began again.
As I got on my feet, I moved out into a place of my own. Just weeks after my divorce, I met someone I thought amazing. Gentle, kind, caring but hiding a terrible secret. Not long after we were married that secret came out. He was a very abusive alcoholic who merely needed someone to bankroll his alcoholism. While my first marriage had been more of neglect, this was brutal in many ways. Ways I am sure I don’t need to expound on. I began drinking heavily because as long as I was drinking, I was in the gutter with him, on his level. When I was sober, I was a target to be brought down. Finally, after two years, I was broken. I was done. Still there was one spark of resistance and hope and I was able to escape. After a twenty-four hour bus ride I stepped off in my home town into the presence of my parents. Mom almost cried, I looked that bad. At five feet ten inches tall, I barely weighed a hundred pounds. I had the appearance of one who had gone through hell and back again.
Months later, I met who was to be my third husband. The one I spent thirty-four years of my life with. Though it wasn’t all sunshine and roses, it was a good marriage. We helped each other. Then, that ended with his death. There I was, broken and adrift once again. There was a difference this time. Not only was I much older, but I was a much more mature Christian.
When my son was young, I saw an ad in the local paper seeking people to write editorial columns. I took a shot at it and sent in an article. It was accepted. The day I found out I sat down and prayed. I had not been to church in years, though I still was a Believer I wasn’t involved in church. In the prayer, I said, what ever is Your will, I will follow. The very next day, I received a post card inviting me back to church. I will admit that I was nervous about returning after so long, but I went. I haven’t looked back since.
Over the course of my life, I have faced many storms, struggles and battles. I have taken wrong roads that were difficult to say the least. That day, God brought me back, placing me on the right road. I have grown in maturity and understanding with each passing day and event.
When my husband died, then around two years later I lost my job, I felt very adrift in an ocean of sorrow. I began seriously hiking and walking in my own little prayer circle. I’ve had many conversations with God. There has always been answers. At times, it is the strong feeling of His presence within. Where my anxious soul was calmed and peace taking its place. I have prayed for discernment, for understanding, for strength. I have prayed for overcoming the emotions that are not Christ like. I have prayed for an acceptance of circumstances and the knowledge how to endure and grow better.
I know, that as long as I journey through this life, I will be learning, growing and maturing in faith. I know too, that I am not on this journey alone. Though I was once broken in many ways, I am no longer broken. All of the broken pieces of the past have been repaired and replaced, healing the wounded heart. Teaching the immature spirit and mind. In this life, I will never be without issues and struggles. That is all a part of the journey. It is when I leave this life to be with the Lord, that I will be fully whole. So as I journey, I will pray that each broken part be mended in a way that I can share what is learned. To share the understanding that comes with the healing. To be able to give freely what is so freely given to me. The love of Christ.