Ruthann J. Weece

Where Empathy and Brokenness Meet

Empathy for Brokenness

So many of us are walking through life limping and protecting ourselves from an injury we’ve recently encountered.

I was thinking about this recently as my own heart’s been aching within…
I recounted all of you who are just trying to make it through the week.

Those who’ve recently lost a loved one…or are nursing a family member in their last hours…women who deeply long to be valued and loved…young mommas who’ve had their children taken from them far too soon…shattered marriages broken into pieces…young men and women longing to know they matter…and so many friends who are carrying around arm-fulls of fresh wounds from their own version of brokenness and pain.

You see, we can’t live our lives trying not to break…
Because honestly we’ll all make our way through brokenness and how we choose to walk through it
–is what matters.

I used to think if I controlled enough things in my life, I could avoid being wounded.
But what I found is it’s humanly impossible to avoid brokenness.

And instead of trying to avoid it, I’ve been giving my wounds the healing they’re needing…
When we experience brokenness there’s some time needed for us to figure out who we truly are…because when we lose someone we love or when something dear gets taken from us, we lose a piece of ourselves and it takes awhile to be ourselves again.

I know because this is what we are living with right now…and most of us are walking through our own identity crisis every day, desiring to become whole again.

As I reassure Joe often that we will all be okay, I honestly think I’m telling him this in hopes I’ll believe it too.
I wonder if we will really be okay if life doesn’t fully turn out the way we’re hoping it will?
Can we deal with the loss and feel it without losing hope for the change to one day come?

Because the question people keep asking us is if all the things Joe’s lost will come back.
And this is the mystery of life we all are living in each day.

Because the things we lose in this busted up world, are never promised to come back.

Can I live in the twisted up tension that I can’t fix it all?

Because I don’t have to fix it and yet I also don’t have to deny what I’m feeling. I don’t have to pretend either…but can I sit in the brokenness of it all and  be okay?
The true question here is can I remain here in the brokenness and trust God in it all, regardless of how this thing plays out?

There’s a symphony of voices playing in our heads telling us how we should feel and how we should respond.
They tell us how we are supposed to act and whether we have enough to make it through.
And sometimes they can be all too suffocating like a cobra who is squeezing the air from our lungs…

Yet, I’ve been learning that when I’m feeling like this I must chase the sacred and go to God’s holy word, which ushers in his healing.
Because his word clearly speaks; my identity to the very core was created in his likeness.
It reminds me Jesus himself is our example of how to live broken.
The One, who came to show us brokenness was made whole.

And honestly what we won’t allow God to break within us can’t be made whole.
Because until we all fall apart, we won’t really know just how much we need God.

And lately as Joe has been feeling so beaten up and broken, I’m struggling for the words to speak over his wounds.

Because what do you say to someone who’s lost so much?

But I honestly believe its in our grasping for words and reaching for something to ease the pain, we realize our coming up empty is for us to surrender our brokenness before God…emptying ourselves at his feet.
It’s here friends, we speak some of our most broken unspoken words.
Every time we fall down at the cross, God’s grace meets us and it heals us here…
As we press our heart into God’s he massages our wounded soul and heals it from the inside out.

Sometimes the best and most bravest thing we can do for someone who is feeling a bit broken up, is to meet them at the foot of the cross and let God give them what they’re needing.

Healing happens…where empathy and brokenness meet our Savior, Jesus the One who walked through brokenness to show us we will be whole again.

6 thoughts on “Where Empathy and Brokenness Meet”

  1. I like the line that says “I don’t have to fix it, but I don’t have to deny what I’m feeling either.” God loves us and cares how we’re feeling…and He is trustworthy. I’m in IN helping out with my youngest grandson. My daughter-in-love had kidney stones over the weekend and is still feeling fragile. She’s also putting out lots of effort to attain emotional stability due to a rough childhood, and is realizing more and more that in Christ she has everything she needs. Her name is Sarah, and I’d love it if you would pray for her, Ruth.

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