Learn this lesson well my friend
There’s a time to rejoice and lament
Every season will find an end
All will fade and be made new again
– Josh Garrels

Sitting warm, sleepy eyed as the single-cabbed ute headed south; weaving it’s way through the central roads of the North Island. My father yarning away; telling tall stories about things I don’t remember but the feeling of contentment and joy hold strong. Knowing our journey was to be with family, I felt special and maybe somewhat excited, even if it was a sad reason for our gathering. He had chosen me to go with him… I always savoured these times, holding onto the embellished words he would share, his words lifting me up and making me feel special…

My father was always someone who could make me forget about the dumb stuff and laugh and dream. My father is a true dreamer. He could always brush off reality and make it seem OK but the reality was this year would change a lot things.

And sometimes life is not OK.

In the last year, I found myself in the depths of brokenness. A family defragmented as a consequence of decisions we had nothing to do with and because of it, the echoes of questions unanswered and disregarded. Abandonment and confusion.

Enveloped in shame, there are times when I have sat in my office and thought, “I am such a fraud, nobody can know – I have to hold it together.” but still carrying around what feels like a poisoned soul. Shame has become a familiar feeling and through this I have discovered that shame is inherited; someone always gives it to you. Shame likes to be out of sight and not be talked about. Shame hates it when we bring things into the open and talk about it. When the truth is exposed, it shrivels up. Shame likes to be that little voice that points the finger and says “How dare you!”, ” I knew you were always like that”, “See, everyone knows”, “You are a disgrace.”

A deep grief has been flowing from me. Flowing through the cracks of my identity and dreams; grieving what has gone and what could have been.  Grieving someone who has gone from my life but who is very much alive.

As I figure out and wrestle with some very painful truths, I have discovered and accepted that it’s OK, when it’s not OK. 

To be authentically broken.

“Right now I want a word that describes the feeling that you get– a cold sick feeling, deep down inside–when you know something is happening that will change you, 
and you don’t want it to, but you can’t stop it. And you know, for the first time, for the very first time,
 that there will now be a before and an after, a was and a will be
And you will never again quite be the same person you were.”
– Jennifer Donnelly, A Northern Light

As you read this, I invite you to acknowledge with me that sometimes we have to be honest with ourselves and each other. My blog has been a collection of posts that archives life and real milestones of truly magnificent memories; like the birth of my beautiful son – my joy amongst the anguish – But I strive for authenticity, it’s important to me and because of that, I need to share and document this here. I was challenged by this recent post from a person I really admire. It started a theme where I have read a few similar messages which nudged me to a place where I want to be honest and not just share the polished parts here.

I think that is why I am so drawn to stained-glass windows. Travelling through Europe in 2012, Hubby and I feasted on the ancient ruins, and remarkable structures of the past. We visited so many cathedrals and basilicas that we reached saturation point. I remember a lot about that trip, but the most vivid pictures I have in my mind is the beauty and brilliance of those windows.

I stood in awe, and remarked of the months or years that would have taken to create these; the blood, sweat and tears. Masterpieces of imperfection; pieces fitted together to create something so intricate and stunning. Especially when seen with light shining through them, illuminating the colours and shapes that fit together in an intricate mosaic.

I see our lives are like these windows, our broken pieces being placed and fitted together by the master designer. The pictures are not finished, they are taking shape and it is assured that there will be pieces added along the way. But when we take time to look at it, it is beautiful.

And it’s OK X

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