On caregivers, faith, family, and writing…

Broken HeartMy granddaughter Zoe spends more time thinking about spiritual matters then the typical six year old, but having a mother who is a minister and a father who is a Christian author has informed her theology at a young age. Three years ago, when asked what God looks like, she answered, She has a big, beautiful face.  She also announced that Jesus likes birthday parties, and after a Good Friday service she said that her heart broke into two pieces for Jesus. I hated the thought of her feeling so sad, but the fact is that broken hearts are a part of life.

When I was a teenager, I thought my heart was broken when the young man of my dreams showed up at church with another girl on his arm. When a shopping cart hit my new car, and later when I lost my part-time job to a more experienced full-time worker, I thought I’d die of a broken heart. Then, as I grew in experience and maturity, I saw what real broken hearts look like, both in my own life and in the lives of others.

While we lived in Florida, I worked as a volunteer in the counseling ministry at my church. Most often, I counseled with caregivers and women who were struggling with relationship issues. Two women in particular stand out in my memory as examples of the truly broken hearted.

good-fridayI’ll call the first lady Jane. She was single and had devoted her life to caring for her mother. As her mother’s life drew to a close, Jane’s heart was filled with anger, bitterness, and pain. She felt as if life had passed her by while she cared for her mother, and she felt that others who should have helped her had left her to carry the burden alone. She also feared a life full of emptiness and lack of purpose after her mother left this life.

The second lady who I’ll call Ann was the victim of a lifetime of abuse. She told stories that would probably be considered too far-fetched for reality TV, and just when I thought I’d heard it all, she shared another horror story. For months we cried and prayed together as we tried to find and repair the pieces of her broken heart.

Both Jane and Ann went through heart-breaking Good Friday experiences. They huddled, like the Disciples in a locked room on Saturday, fearful and anxious and hopeless. Then, Sunday came, and they experienced the power of new life. Like Mary in the Garden, they heard Jesus call their names. They knew He recognized them, that He knew their pain, and that He cared.

After experiencing His healing touch, Jane blossomed into a beautiful woman who shared her loving heart with everyone sheSundays coming met. Ann emerged from the suicidal wreck that she had been and became a source of love and light to those who knew her. The healing these women experienced didn’t come from any earthly counseling or human wisdom. It was a result of the anointing Luke spoke about spoke about:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me [Jesus], because…He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted.            Luke 4:18

After I heard about Zoe’s Good Friday experience, I sent her a message, and it’s also my Easter message to anyone whose heart is broken in two pieces: Hold on, Sweetie. Sunday’s coming.

Blessings,

Linda

winding road Cover 25 percentA LONG AND WINDING ROAD: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos

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Available in ebook.

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