“The LORD is near to the broken-hearted, and saves the crushed in spirit.” Psalms 34:18
How are you really doing?
I say I’m OK, although the reality is that I carry around bits and pieces of brokenness.
Even when my spirits are low and it feels so real and present, I don’t want to say it out loud. I don’t want to bring you into my troubles or talk about the sad pieces of my life.
But my brokenness makes me who I am. It is how I relate to this world, to God and to you. We have all been through difficult times in our lives. I know I learned a lot from those times. I learned that I am not alone and that others have gone through similar awful, miserable, crazy stuff. We learn to mature, become courageous, resilient and begin to understand what hope looks like to us.
“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness,” wrote the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Hope is possibility. Hope is rooted in our very humanness. It can be small pinholes of light in the dark or a blazingly bright sun shining on our path.
Personal hope is what I understand it to be for myself. I may see abundance or scarcity. In other words, only I know what my soul yearns for; only I know what my life lacks. It is very personal — between me and God.
When we are feeling broken, looking forward to something becomes dulled, foggy. Things feel a bit off.
Everyone feels broken at some point. Often when we find ourselves at this place, we don’t know what to do. Sadness, stress, pandemic — too much coming at us at once. It’s OK to feel this right now. In the past weeks, several people have mentioned this low-level uneasiness that is elbowing out the sense of wellbeing.
It can be hard to take an outside perspective on an inner condition. But perhaps we can see beyond the fog and change what may need to change. That too is about our humanness.
There is a good side to these uncertain times. It can slow us down and help us take stock of our journey. It can help us sort out our priorities, reach for some new goals and make a plan to enrich our lives and those around us. It is an opportunity to get closer to our Creator.
Recognizing “the blues” and accepting that it is OK to feel this way is a sign of a resilient sense of wellbeing. Time is on our side; I believe things will get better. It helps me to manage these bits of brokenness. With confidence, I know: “He heals the broken-hearted, and binds up their wounds.” Psalms 147:3
Margie Adams is staff chaplain at PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center.