Finding Beauty in the Brokenness

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

For the past two years, I have shared a blog post for my birthday. At 23, I described the lessons of life and writing I had learned over the years. At 24, I shared 24 things I was grateful for. But coming up with an idea for my 25th year has been a struggle.

It’s not that I’m ungrateful for my life or feel like I haven’t learned anything over the past year. Since my last birthday, everything has just been messy. I didn’t want to dwell on how shitty of a year I’ve had when there are so many people out there who’ve been dealt a worse hand. However, once a year, for my birthday post, I share the deepest parts of my soul. I thought it would be unfair to you and me to skip a year because I wasn’t feeling cheerful about it.

Like most people, I had high expectations for how 2020 would be. I’m getting married this year. I had just gotten a raise at work. I’m writing a book. My family life was stable and in harmony. Everything I had worked so hard for in my adult life was finally coming true to make this the most blissful year of my life. Everything was as close to perfect as it ever had been.

But all of that came crashing down.

My mother-in-law passed away in March. My fiancé and I took this very hard because it was unexpected. This grief has been hard enough to carry for the both of us, but then Covid-19 came to make everything even harder than it was supposed to be. Since she has been gone everything has been excruciatingly difficult.

When I finally was able to come up for air and breathe through the grief, severe depression has ransacked someone close to me. Watching her try to conquer the storms of emotions she feels has made me feel more helpless than I have ever felt in my entire life. I feel as if I keep throwing out life preservers, but they never connect. It’s like I can never bring her back to the safe shore. I’m so afraid of watching her drown.

While dealing with all of this heaviness, I’m expected to be a smiling bride who’s enjoying planning a wedding during a global pandemic. As much as I love my fiancé and I can’t wait to marry him, planning this wedding has also been one of the hardest things I have ever done.

I’m normally the optimist, telling everyone things happen for a reason. Everything will be okay. This difficult moment is a small blip in my life. But like so many other people, I’m tired. I’m tired and I’m broken.

As I bared my entire soul yesterday and told my fiancé about all of the weight I was carrying, he made me feel a small twinge of beauty in the brokenness.

You see, like a broken mirror glimmers when light hits it, so does life. The beauty is those small moments that at first glance seem unremarkable.

The snuggling on the couch with the love of your life on a Sunday. Family dinners when tension seems to have melted away. Trying on your perfectly tailored wedding dress for the first time that makes you feel magical. When your best friend laughs and tells you she’s having a good day. Eating a delicious slice of birthday cake on your 25th birthday.

Even though this year I feel like a broken mess who can’t handle any more bad things, these beautiful moments remind me to be an optimist. They remind me that good things are always coming even if they come in messed up packages. They remind me to find beauty in the brokenness.

I’m not sure if I have some wisdom to impart to you for my 25th year, but I can give you some encouragement. If your life is broken and messed up, I want you to know that you are not alone. Almost everyone that I have talked to this year, isn’t having a great time. However, when life gets too heavy and you can’t bear it anymore, I beg you to look for something beautiful. Something to remind you why we are always believing in the good things coming.

I want you to find beauty in the brokenness. Remind me to always be searching too.

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