I’m still broken.
I’ve been happily anticipating Friday – today – as emancipation day for me. Post-surgery recovery positioning prescriptives expired today. After a week on the couch, keeping my head at an angle so that the gas bubble in my eye could stay in place, I’ve been looking forward to the first day of the rest of my life.
I’m still broken.
I’m up, moving around, putting a load of clothes in the washer, practicing some music for a wedding commitment, putting on real clothes for the first time in a week, fixing my hair…
…and nothing’s really working as well as I had hoped.
My depth perception is screwed up. I poured a glass of milk and missed half the glass. I grasp things that aren’t there. I struggle to read.
My muscles are complaining. This sedentary recovery has left me weak. I feel as though I’ve gained back most of the weight that disappeared when I started eating healthier last fall.
(For the record, healthy eating went by the wayside. Have Kelley Llewellyn bring you her chocolate cake pudding thing and try to remember that you prefer kale. Just try it. And good luck with that…)
I’m broken, still, and there is a message in this somewhere. Optimism is a great motivator – I made it to Friday, but here I am and I’m still not ‘normal’ and I have to ask for help and I need so much grace for that. My eye is swollen and filled with blood and incapable of doing what it was made to do. It’s just there, taking up space, but it doesn’t look good and it’s not functional.
And there’s the metaphor.
I’m here. I’m taking up space.
But that seems to be about it. I don’t look good and I’m not so functional, at least in all the ways that have defined me in this season of life.
I scrawled in my journal last night – another arrow in my arsenal of complaints (“I can’t even WRITE correctly!!!”) these words, a quote from Ruth Haley Barton referring to the perils of leadership:
“…poisoned by the hypnotic belief that good things come only through unceasing determination and tireless effort.”
I don’t feel poisoned today, but I am disillusioned, and I know that I haven’t learned that lesson yet. I have been broken, and now I am laid out and restricted while the world spins on without me and I offer nothing but a word or two, an email response or an answered phone call while I tend to the thoughts in my mind.
I must honestly confess that I do need this rest, I do appreciate it and to some degree, I savor the long minutes and hours to watch Albert Nobs and consider it, process it. I am sinking into this cushion of rest, although it feels like so much laziness, like I am letting everybody down, like I am not doing enough, like nothing good will come unless I work harder and make it happen…
I am still broken, and my eye is far from healed, and all the ways I had planned to slip right back into my old self are looking quite doubtful, and I can’t help but think that there is much more for me to extract from this time of stillness.
Some small, quiet, terrified place in my heart is crying, “Please don’t stop needing me! Please tell me I still matter! Please don’t forget! Please leave room for me to prove my worth! Please let me show you how good I am!”
I am still so broken. And grateful for it.
Oh God, be my everything
Be my delight
Be Jesus, my glory
My soul satisfied