The Lord has been placing some heavy stuff on my heart lately. Like a snow globe shaken about, He has stirred up the sediment of emotions that have settled at the bottom. He has put his finger on a sensitive area still tender, bruised, and not completely healed; I can’t help but wince at the thought of the discomfort to come.
But God is so good and He always knows what’s best.
When tragedy has encased our heart with a thick outer shell God will – in due time – break it wide open. Like a delicate egg cracked open, revealing new life.
“Maybe our hearts are made to be broken. Broken open. Broken free. Maybe the deepest wounds birth deepest wisdom.” Ann Voskamp, The Broken Way
It was 13 years ago that the shell around my heart began to form, determined to protect the raw delicate layers beneath it.
If you’ve ever experienced deep-seated agony, then you know the stinging pain that reverberates throughout your entire body. One that brings with it a burning sensation that never dissipates. Like Novocain to a throbbing and relentless toothache – you numb the pain, vowing never to feel this hurt again.
This is the kind of agony losing a child brings; its brings on a wave of emotions that you never even knew existed. A loss like this rips out the fresh beating heart from your chest, places it on a hot bed of coals and then puts the charred remnant back inside of you.
A pain I would never wish on someone else – that’s the reason why, after gaining some little bit of strength, I worked to ensure others wouldn’t have to.
It was 3 years after Aryanna went to be with the Lord that Aryanna’s Law was signed into law. I’ll never forget that bittersweet day. Bitter because the pain still echoed throughout my hollowed-out soul. Sweet because it helped ensure another mother or father would not face the numbing pain of a child gone too soon.
What I had determined to be all bad; God had destined to use for good. (Romans 8:28)
Although the shell around my heart had become impenetrable, allowing nothing out and nothing in, God has slowly been at work. Like a mother hen caring for her young, the Lord has been incubating my tender heart beneath its hardened shell. Providing the warmth and the oxygen needed to strengthen and develop the life within.
13 years this incubation process has taken place and I can feel the new life forming inside, ready to peck away at its protective layer and enter into the world that awaits.
Maybe you can relate? Maybe you’re in the incubation process?
Though your heart may be hard on the outside, trust that God is working on the inside.
Sometimes this process may take months, other times it can take years.
“Yet when God delays He is not inactive. He prepares His instruments and matures our strength. Then at the appointed time we will rise up and become equal with our task.” John Henry Jowett, Streams in the Desert
As hard as it can be to be patient during this incubation period, resist the urge to speed up the process – doing so will only leave your vulnerable heart exposed too soon.
At the appointed time we can arise, strengthened and renewed. The thick shell cracked open, revealing the beauty that was born out of the brokenness.
“The seed breaks to give us the wheat. The soil breaks to give us the crop, the sky breaks to give us the rain, the wheat breaks to give us the bread. And the bread breaks to give us the feast. There was once even an alabaster jar that broke to give Him all the glory.” Ann Voskamp, The Broken Way
I love the kind of brokenness that Ann Voskamp speaks of — a breaking of ourselves in order to give to others. A brokenness that’s not wasted, that can be used for God’s glory. That’s the the kind of brokenness I want to have.
Today I’ve broken open and shared a piece of my heart with you, something I haven’t been able to do without the Lord’s strength and I pray you would be blessed by it. The Lord has brought me to a season of sharing my testimony to bring Him glory, which has all been part of the incubation process. He too has given each of you a story, a testimony to break open and share with the world.
To read more about Aryanna’s Law please visit http://www.AryannasLaw.com
Related Post: My Love Letter was written out of the vulnerable and raw emotions of a hurting mother’s heart.