I’m currently attending a class at church called Hiding From Love. Tonight we talked about the splits in our lives–the areas where we are broken–and how that brokenness keeps us from loving God and others.
We started to share the ways we try to hide our brokenness–putting up facades, rejecting others, turning to addictions or pornography, isolating . . . and the list went on. People started talking about how they wanted healthy relationships, and some talked about past relationships that failed and why they failed, and why they are better off now without the person they used to be with.
I stayed quiet for the most part throughout the first part of the class. I didn’t have anything to say for a while. There was only one thought in my mind, and it was about the relationships I have and have had–the broken relationships, with broken people, and a broken me. Finally, I shared my thoughts.
I can’t cut off my family just because they aren’t perfect. I can’t stop all relationships because they aren’t healthy. So what if I love someone who isn’t the best for me? If I love them, I love them; there’s no turning it off.
The goal isn’t for me to get better so I can be in a perfectly healthy relationship. The goal is to love, to stay, to be present, and to be active in the midst of the brokenness. There’s going to be brokenness in every person and relationship; we can’t let that stop us from living and loving now.
I have friends who are committed to their marriage even though one person has an addiction. I have friends who stay even though their loved one is fighting cancer and it is painful to watch. I have a friend who keeps living life to the fullest, even though he was in a terrible accident that cost him the use of his legs. I personally have anxiety, bouts of crying and panic attacks, but I’m still taking risks and living my life.
I have come to the place where I know I’m going to have times where I cry and am angry and feel hurt, and that is okay. I’m going to face difficult times, and I’m going to be able to live through it and love through it, even though it hurts.
We don’t have to hide from love because we are broken, or because the person we love is broken. We don’t have to wait to live until there’s a better moment or a more ideal situation. Today is the day to live and to love.
If we continue to seek something “better,” we will constantly pass up love while we wait for “the best” for our lives. Why not be content now? Why not have fun now? Why do we have to keep grasping for a better job, a better person, a better life? We have the life we have now, and it’s ours to live, with all of its brokenness.
We can seek perfection, or we can seek contentment. Perfection will cost us our relationships, and being present in the moment. But with contentment, we can live and love today, in the midst of brokenness.
We have a choice, we can harden our hearts to protect ourselves from the hurt life brings, or we can allow God to give us a heart that is full of passion, the ability to feel, and, yes, vulnerability to pain.
“And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”
Lord, help us to see beyond our brokenness. So many of us seek “better” things . . . accomplishments, jobs, a person to be in a relationship with, more money, beauty, or even a quest for emotional health . . . But all that really matters is that we love right here and right now. Thank-You for loving us in our brokenness, and for giving us the capacity to love others in the midst of theirs.’
Rachael Hartman is a 30-something with two dogs, and a passion for writing. She owns Our Written Lives, LLC an independent Christian publishing company.
She wrote this piece to share with the San Antonio CBC Young Professionals class, of which she is a part.