There's this piece of me that is broken. So broken that time and time and time again, the bandaid over this unhealed wound is suddenly torn off and the raw, damaged patch of hurt is exposed once again. It doesn't make sense, this brokenness. But it is there, and I continually try to make sense of it. Sometimes I cry out in desperate loneliness, realizing that no one in the world can possibly understand this piece of me that even I don't understand. I often pray that it can be healed, taken away, made better, or at least made understandable to me. But it remains. And it might always remain until my broken brain is made whole someday.
At times when the hurt seems unmanageable and the pain feels like it will engulf me, God answers my prayers, not by taking away the hurt or the pain, and not even by helping me to understand it (I'm not sure there is much to understand about it), but by giving me someone to sit with me in that dark moment until I can find a portion of light again. Most often, this is my angel husband, the man who loves, cares, and comforts me like no one else can.
I usually try to avoid telling him why I can't stop the tears from falling, because it hurts to admit that I'm no more healed at that moment than the last time this happened, but when he wraps me in his perfectly loving arms, I know that he is my safe place, and that no amount of frustrating sorrow can come between me and him.
Over the last six years, five of which have been years of struggling with depression, I have learned so much about joy. That finding joy is possible, even in the darkest times. That joy is not about my circumstances but about my perspective. That joy is a matter of faith in God's perfect plan, even if that plan includes many, many evenings with a splotchy face and puffy, red eyes. That finding joy takes effort, but the result of increased faith and an overwhelming sense of God's mindfulness of me is so worth that effort. That joy somehow turns my feelings of bitterness into feelings of gratitude.
I had one of those broken moments tonight, but what started out as a desperate prayer filled with hurt and tears later turned into a prayer of gratitude for the wonderful man God has given me to help me find joy, even in my brokenness. And once again, I am reminded that finding joy is always possible.