I first met Natalie on Twitter. As I started reading her blog I fell in love with her words and her along the way. The way she inspires hope through her story, her words and captures her audience is beautiful.
Her willingness to speak truth despite the sometimes adverse affects is also what draws me to her.
This is her story and it is incredibly powerful.
The iris of my eye is the color of broken. My eardrums are lined with the sounds of broken. My legs are toned with the pain of broken. The breath that fills my lungs is spun with air that is broken.
I’ve come to believe there’s something sacred about recognizing and accepting the shattered pieces within me and around me; it’s sacred because it points me to wholeness.
Look at your body, run your fingers through your mind, touch your soul; where are the fractures?
I remember the day in the kitchen, the day I claimed my brokenness. It was years after the original wounds and the unspeakable devastation. The severing of innocence, the seemingly never ending betrayals that marched from the mouth which I loved were things in the past, but I could still see them in the distance, daring me to look them in the face. And so I stood, feet planted on the tile floor, my mind muddled, and eyes red, as the words tripped from my lips.
“I wish I could love you with abandon, with all of myself, with a whole heart, but I don’t have a whole heart to give you.” My voice didn’t waver as I finished speaking these words to the man leaning against the counter, arms wrapped around me.
“I know. It’s okay,” his response was even and calm.
In that moment, a kind of peace washed over me. I gave up the dream of wholeness for the reality of it.
I know that might not make sense at first read, but that’s exactly how it happened. It was when I told my truth that I felt like I wasn’t broken anymore; it was in the acceptance, the acceptance exchanged for my vulnerability, that I felt myself become whole.
The man in the kitchen? He’s my husband now, my second husband, and he accepts every shattered thing I bring to our relationship. It isn’t always easy for him; he doesn’t always understand why I need to have certain routines, why I get depressed when seasons turn, or why I cling to particular words as if my very life hangs on the strands of their beauty. And yet, there’s a kind of love between us that gives birth to vulnerability and makes a way for serenity.
What I realized, on that vulnerable day, is that we all have the ability to give the gift of wholeness to one another by the way we see, the way we touch, and the way we listen. We do not have to journey along, feeling as though God is the only one who accepts us; we can be Jesus to one another.
In Christ, I am whole. Through His eyes, I lack nothing. Through His words, I am created, good. Through His life, I see the cycle of birth, death and resurrection; He has walked the path of brokenness to wholeness in all its glorious perfection.
When I share out of my brokenness, it is an offering, and when my offering is accepted that’s when I am reminded of the beauty of life. When brokenness and wholeness are allowed to collide, a peace is born.
One of my favorite Rumi poems speaks to this idea,
Inside this new love, die.
Your way begins on the other side.
and be quiet. Quietness is the surest sign
that you’ve died.
Your old life was a frantic running
The speechless full moon
comes out now.
I know what it feels like, what it looks like when the moon comes out, and I want to the moon to come out again and again and again.
I write brokenness on one hand and wholeness on the other so that as I reach out into the world, I may practice life-giving acceptance. Living in the tension of the falling apart and the putting-back-together is stretching, often painful, and yes, it takes time to arrive in the place where the two meet. But when you land in that place, when you meet another person in that place? Nothing compares to the beauty which lives there.
Natalie is a lover of Chinese food, independent films, mystics, and toffee flavored lattes. She lives in the Portland area with her husband and son. Her evenings are spent working on her memoir and blogging at natalietrust.com.