broken bones.

Last night I was lying in bed, wired from way too many iced teas and coming off an invigorating fellowship with my Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) small group. I watched the clock pass by, minute after minute, quietly listening to the breathy snores of Josh and Cali next to me. They were sighing in unison, sounding so similar I couldn’t tell which one was a person and which one was an 8 pound dog. I replayed the events of the day and evening, of which I decided that I definitely talked too much and used up about 4 days worth of words. I tend not to realize how chatty I am until I am laying in bed and thinking “Oh my gosh, I said that didn’t I? And that? And that. Oh boy.”

(The thing about being a chatty extrovert is that I typically forget very quickly all of the “oh my gosh”’ moments but unfortunately then it doesn’t stop me from much next time. Which is why I am doing a Bible Study now called Keep It Shut. For real.)

Anyways, I digress.

The nighttime hour seemed like the perfect time to clean out the Notes section on my iPhone so I began clicking through grocery lists and meal plans, dating back to 2010. (Hey, that’s one way to make a girl sleepy!).  Then in one of my most recent notes, this quote was typed out:

There’s no glory in easy. No one remembers easy. They remember the blood and the broken bones and the long agonizing fight to the top. And that, that is how you become legendary.

That’s all my note said. I put my overactive brain to work, trying to figure out where this was from and why I wrote it down. A sermon? A podcast? Something on the radio? A song? A quote by one of those really deep authors? Well, my brain was shutting down quickly so I turned to Google and guess who it credited this quote to?

(5 points if you know …)

Dr. Amelia Shepard from Grey’s Anatomy.

Oh goodness. So it wasn’t from a deeply spiritual source, no, instead God was using a fictional brain surgeons script line who works at a fake hospital with a imaginary board of directors. Eh, whatever it takes right?

But in thinking about that quote, I realized how true it is when we live out the story that God has called us to. Isn’t it the broken bones we tend to remember the most? The hard times in our life sort of act as defining time frames, chapters for the seasons. I don’t remember all of the easy, no-drama car oil changes but I sure do remember the ones when they tell me something is wrong with my car and needs a big repair. I don’t remember the doctor check-up’s where everything looks great, thanks for coming in! I remember the ones where they sit down next to you and say I am so sorry ….. We remember the fight, we are familiar with the scars, we hate the pain of dealing with the broken bones, but it’s the broken bones that give us a chance to do something.

What if we start using these broken bones we all have and start wearing them out loud a little more? What if instead of hating the broken bones with disgust, we start to respect them, viewing them as God’s fingerprint on our lives and knowing that we have a few beautiful, unwanted, but still present, life tattoos. What if we stop hiding these scars – no one needs to know we are struggling with money, with in-laws, with our marriage, with the kids, with a past mistake – and start to use them to create a story that gives Him glory and allows others to see His work as legendary? Because we can sure create a life where things look easy. We can sweep everything under the rug and post the Facebook pictures with smiles and empty sinks and vacuumed floors. We certainly can make it all look effortless, but why? People don’t remember easy and if people don’t remember easy, it’s a lot harder to allow Him to use your story to touch others.

I have had so many beautiful and unique stories shared with me over the years. And each time, I just want to hug the person (okay, I do) and tell them you aren’t alone. Others have broken those bones too. Others struggle. I struggle! Like, all the time! Yes, my struggles in my childfree season may look different than your struggles but I get the premise of struggling.

There a quote, which many attribute to Henry David Thoreau, but I just learned recently is misquoted (meaning I have no clue where it truly comes from) that says “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song (of life) still in them.” Gut punch. I don’t want to go to the grave with my story still in me.

I think far too often we are tempted to hide the broken bones and as a result, we lose us. We lose our story and our potential impact. No, I am not talking about you needing to write a book or start a blog or walk around Target shouting “I SHOULDN’T BE HERE! I AM IN SERIOUS DEBT!” No, I just am posing the question on what would it look like if we started having less of a filter between the broken bones and the relationships we are in.

Victor Frankl says “God did not create us to live in reaction, but to be co-creators of a meaningful life.” Yes, there are going to be amazing moments of easy in our life and they will include special, special memories. But none of us are exempt from the broken bones season either, so instead of negatively reacting to it, what if we ask God how He wants to use this injury to make it more meaningful?

I’m starting to ramble now, but I love where this quote got my mind going and am anxious to see what He does to sprout more thoughts from it. I just don’t want to lose years of my life living in crisis mode. I want to push forward when it hurts, I want the bones to heal correctly so that I can be functional again. I want to redefine hard seasons as opportunity seasons. I know, it’s easier said than done, but I know we can do it.

10 thoughts on “broken bones.

  1. mrsbrooks09 says:

    So, this totally reminds me of a sermon I listened to the other day while getting ready for work. It’s by Steven Furdick at Elevation Church and it’s called “Put It To Work”. I feel like it tackles a similar subject about how we need to use our broken bones and trials and Put it to work as part of our ministry. Something that I’ve felt ashamed of for far too long was how open and willing I was to share my brokenness. And now that I’ve allowed my filter to dissipate some more, I love how God uses my brokenness in others lives and visa versa. Some people start sharing and it blesses me! I love where that quote took you, and I hope and pray that it continues to speak to you!!! XOXOX HUGS

  2. Kaity says:

    “I just don’t want to lose years of my life living in crisis mode. I want to push forward when it hurts, I want the bones to heal correctly so that I can be functional again.”

    Yes. I couldn’t agree more. This is exactly how I’ve felt this week. My new mantra is “today.” I say it as many times as it takes to keep me from tracing those steps through what-if’s and we never’s and stay focused on the present.

    Thank you for sharing!

  3. Amanda says:

    I just read in my devotional today about how God can use our hurts and that everything can be made beautiful in God’s time, so it pairs really well with what you’re writing here. For what it’s worth, I think you are totally rocking the idea of using your hard seasons as opportunity seasons! You are such an inspiration!

  4. thelongestjourneyoregon says:

    Those words may come from a fictional character on a made up show, but they are so true when applied to infertility. I know that I will be able to look back on these past two years and know that it was during this time that I showed my true strength. I believe that I am stronger today than I ever thought possible.

  5. Elisha says:

    Love this post so much! And my friend did a small group with “keep it shut” and I really wanted to go but it just didn’t work out. Maybe I will get the book for myself.

  6. melissavenable says:

    So funny that you used that quote. I have been catching up on Grey’s and literally just saw the episode with that monologue by Dr Amelia Shepherd! When i read it on your blog I’m like, “didn’t i just hear that??? where was that???” & laughed when i saw who it was! ;) But what a GREAT post… such a great reminder. Love it. :)

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