I’ve dropped and broken several beloved possessions in my life, but one in particular stands out. Even after painstakingly gluing the pieces back together it wasn’t the same. Some of the shards were crushed and useless so there are holes left in it. But I still display it. Why? Because it is a priceless thing. It’s not altogether beautiful… but…it’s part of my life.
The object I broke is a black goose, one of a pair. Growing up these figurines were part of my mother’s décor, I don’t remember not having them around. My sisters and I tried hard to be careful with mom’s pretties while doing chores but now and again we broke something. These geese were one of the few things spared. Years ago, out of the blue, Mom gave the set to me. Sadly I ended up breaking one of them while unpacking from a move. This was during an extremely difficult period in my life. When I saw the pieces lying there I saw myself. Shattered. I sought counseling and read books which included taking a test to determine my level of dysfunction. I was well within the dysfunctional parameter. I in my wisdom though determined that I would be good enough. I would act more educated. I would dress nicer and I would be better! I fought tooth and nail to live unbroken but a deep part of me lingers there. I wasted precious time trying to fill holes with meaningless material. I missed countless opportunities to grow into God’s will for my life.
Today as I write this, I’ve again determined something. To be done living broken. I was knocked off a shelf and busted early in life. The crushed missing pieces of me are gone, and the holes left are a part of me. Like my goose, I think I will start wearing them with dignity and pride. They can’t define me any longer but they’ve certainly shaped me into what I am today. I must move past the bitter resentment of what wasn’t, and move into what is. God loves me. I am priceless to Him. Through Christ I’ve been put back together, wholly whole with holy holes and He still wants to display me!
My battered statue still has a place of honor in my home. It serves to remind me of my battle with brokenness. Where I was, where I am, and where I’ll eventually be!
Patti D. Hemphill
May 25, 2015