In college, I was headed to a dear friend's house for her birthday. Store-bought cake in the floor board on the passenger side, because let's be real - cooking or baking in college was non-existent & truthfully Nicki didn't even like cake.
Before I knew it, the front of my car had slammed into the back of another car. Wrecked. My first wreck ever. The car was wrecked. I thought at the time my life was wrecked. The car wasn't really drive-able but I drove it anyway. To my friend's house with cake in tow.
Smashed car and all.
Wasn't long after that, the same friend was in a wreck. Her car wrecked and not drive-able. In desperate need of a ride, I told her I'd come get her in. In my still wrecked car.
It was just going to be there and back.
Well, I never made it there.
If you've never had the pleasure of experiencing your car hood fly up and slam into your windshield then you haven't lived. Or maybe I should say, see your life flash right before your eyes. Lucky me, I've been able to experience this thrill not only once but twice in my life. First as a child on the way to church one Sunday with my family. My mom jokes that all my childhood memories I love so much are from all the "old, ugly cars" we had. Brady just doesn't know how good he has in the vehicle department...ha! Back to the windshield...
Glass everywhere. I mean everywhere!
Shattered in a million little pieces.
I honestly don't remember much from that day other than I had to call my friend and tell her I couldn't come get her and then walking home. Shattered. Tears rolled down my cheeks as I couldn't believe what had just happened. With cuts and blood here and there...I walked.
I never wanted to see that car again. Which is why I just got out and started walking - leaving it behind. For all I cared, that car could go up in flames.
It was a painful experience all around. Even for my friend/roommate who also saw her life flash between her firebird, an 18 wheeler, and the concrete median.
I'm not even sure what made me think of that today because there are just some things in your
I guess today that's how I feel is wrecked. Shattered.
But walking away and watching my life go up in flames isn't an option.
And that car, the windshield, the fender-bender with the cake seems so minor in comparison to the wrecks I face now. I mean college and my college problems seem now like a cake-walk (no pun intended) compared to what life is like now. I guess that's what growing up does to us.
Back then my major concern was what I was going to wear out on a Thursday night. Or dealing with a broken heart from a break-up. I thought my life was over when I had been dumped. The cut was deep...or so I thought. If I only knew what life would be like after that...
That break-up happened to be the best thing for me. That pain was necessary in order to move on to what God had in store for me. To the man, I would eventually marry. God knew I needed someone who would do anything in this world for my happiness. Who would love me despite my crazy. And don't kid yourself, I have plenty of crazy to give. Who would be my shelter when life is too much. Who would uplift me, encourage me, and pray over and for me.
I couldn't have all that today in a husband, if God hadn't wrecked me my previous relationship.
Now, I thank God for that pain and suffering because I can see what goodness came out of it.
Life wrecks come in many shapes and sizes. For me, lately it feels everything I touch turns to a wreck.
Motherhood, a wreck. My house, a wreck. My health, a wreck. My child's behavior, a wreck.
I want reprieve from the wrecks of life.
I want to see what goodness will come from my sufferings and those who are suffering around me.
I want to know after the wreck, that there is something grand waiting for me.
But I am tired.
I feel like I look like the windshield did that day when it shattered in a million pieces.
I feel raw. Exposed, if you will.
I feel wrecked in every sense of the word.
Searching for whatever little piece of hope I can find in the wreckage. Trying to grasp what this refining process means.
I've been here before and I know I'll be here again. It's simply the ebb & flow of life. Sure, there are times it's easy to lift my hands and voice amidst the wreckage that surrounds me.
And there are times I want to do nothing but throw my hands up in the air and walk away.
That's why I think I feel so raw and exposed...those are not the easy things to discuss or tell.
Sure, we might tell our spouse or a close friend but I'm talking about really allowing ourselves to break and be broken.
To be completely wrecked AND be okay with it. And share together in our brokenness.
Because that's unrealistic to think I'll never doubt, have fear, or question the refining process. But no one ever wants to show their vulnerability and certainly not to the ones who view as strong. Whoever that may be. Isn't that what we all want, for others to think we have it all together?
Heaven forbid, we be real and honest and raw. It's much easier to say, "I'm good or fine"than "no, I'm a wreck!" It's easier to hide behind a facade or Facebook, then really be who we are.
Broken. Tired. Worn people. Wrecked.
I don't think God wants me to only show and express the times I feel like praising Him or when I feel good about this life. Plus, I don't want my life or Facebook/social media life (let's be honest that's how we like to judge or gauge others' happiness these days) to only reflect the highlight or reels of my life.
That's certainly not who God wants or intends for me to be either. Nor is it real life.
Life is messy. Wrecked.
Because if I am worn, tired, and broken - I am certain I am not the only one, searching, hoping, wishing for that big break, a glimmer of hope, something.
I mean who am I kidding?! I've got nothing but messy hair, day old mascara under my eyes (which drives my mom crazy!), and a heart that breaks often.
I think it's during the wrecks of life, He wants me to know it's okay to be scared, to cry, to question, but most importantly to let Him do the heavy lifting. He never intended me or us to do the heavy lifting...not when we feel the weight too much to bear.
He came to overcome, not for me to overcome. I can and will overcome through Him, but not because of my own strength.
Being exposed forces me to trust. Forces me to rest. Forces me to wait. Forces me to allow Him to be what I can't be.
His word tells me over and over that He WILL carry me, sustain me, hold me, and WILL be my strength.
I just have to be willing to be vulnerable enough to let Him. To lay my wreckage at His nail-pierced feet. My brokenness.
He already knows I'm a wreck. A mess shattered into a million pieces with day old mascara running down my face due to all the tears I've shed recently due to the pain this world brings.
I am only kidding myself if I think I can do this life without wrecks, bumps, bruises, or hurt. And while today, I may wish them away--- I know that He will bring beauty out my brokenness.
That there will be something grand waiting on the other side of my wrecked heart. No, I can't see it but I know He loves me too much to allow my suffering not to be in vain.
I also know it's darkest before the light. That joy comes in the morning. And thankfully, He loves me even at my darkest.
Even when I lock myself in my bathroom to plead my case to Him. Or simply because I just need a break from the world and from my 3 year old. Yes, that was me yesterday.
Thankfully, He loves me at my darkest and meet me in the quiet and darkness of my tiny, out-dated, wreck of an 80's bathroom. Just like the man, I married. He sees the worst of me and yet still he loves me more than anything on this earth. And if you only knew how much he loved college football and the boy who made him a father ;)
While the wrecks in life look different now than those in college, I am still that same girl with messy hair, day old mascara under my eyes, and a heart that breaks often.
Just this time, I know I don't have to do it all on my own.
He hasn't failed me yet and He won't. Ever.
So until then may I hold on steadfast to Him, letting Him sort the wreckage, letting Him put back together what is broken.
Today, my dear friend that I was taking the birthday cake to the day I got into a wreck, dropped off presents on my front porch and one of them was a necklace that had "beauty from ashes" written on it. As if I wasn't already an emotional wreck from this past week, tears welled up in my ears and took me back to how He makes beauty out of us. Even out of wrecked lives.
Maybe being wrecked isn't so bad after all...
Because even in the wreckage, He makes beautiful things out of us.
And sadly, Nicki still doesn't like cake...but that's okay because she loves me despite how profoundly wrecked I am. Cake and all.