Sunday, April 21, 2013

Healing a Broken Heart

Have you ever dealt with cracked knuckles, hands, or feet?  You know, really dry spots that suddenly crack and bleed?  Well, I suffer from a skin condition called psoriasis and if I am not diligent in keeping lotion on multiple times a day (which am very poor at), I most likely will have a crack on my hands.  If you have never had this, I can tell you from experience that these cracks are extremely difficult to heal.  They have to be moisturized consistently for many days and then it can takes multiple days after that for the wound to heal up. 

Probably one of the most annoying parts of these cracks is that they mostly happen in places that they can get bumped.  Why does this matter?  Because they can be very close to being totally healed, you knock it against the wall, and it pops open again.  Suddenly, you are starting the entire process all over again to get it healed. 

I am discovering that healing the wounds of a broken heart work in a very similar fashion.  When Joshua passed away, my heart was cracked wide open and I started the slow, continuous process of trying to close up that wound.  Over the past 2 months, I have seen signs that the process is slowly working.  The time between the sad or hard days are getting farther and farther apart.  Then, I have experiences like last night that remind me just how easy it is for that wound to be knocked wide open.

I went to a church meeting to listen to some of the leaders of our local congregation.  Overall, the meeting was extremely uplifting and wonderful.  However, there was one speaker that shared his experience of his 5th child being born with a congenital heart defect.  He specifically talked about the time the child spent in the hospital and how difficult it was to balance the time with his other 4 children.  All the feelings of guilt, stress and being torn between the hospital and Logan came rushing back.  But it didn't end there.  He continued to share the experience of a family friend loosing their little toddler in a horrible accident.  The part of her story that hurt the most was when she talked about not being able to get the image of her lifeless son out of her mind.  It hit just too close to home with my experience and I lost it.

So, there I was, in a church filled to capacity with people and I had my breakdown.  The tears started to flood and my body started to shake.  Fortunately, I was able to keep it pretty quiet, so I don't think I was disturbing too many people trying to listen.  But, I tried very hard to get my emotions in check quickly and it was just not going to happen.  It took a good 20 minutes to stop the tears and even longer to stop shaking.  I contemplated leaving the room, but I thought that would bring more attention to me, so I just stayed in my seat. 

Once I was done crying, I thought to myself, "Wow...I was not ready for that," and I really wasn't.  Heck, I didn't even have a tissue!  I am realizing more and more the fragility of a broken heart and just how easy it is for the wounds to open up.  It is a wound that requires lots of tender love and care and even then, it can open unexpectedly.  I guess I just need to learn to expect the unexpected, although, I just don't know if I will ever be able to expect it.  I need to start carrying around some tissue and hopefully next time I will be able to handle it with a little more grace. 

1 comment:

  1. I can't imagine going through what you're experiencing, Stephanie. You are such an amazing example. And you're still in my prayers. :)


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Joshua Kent Ipson was born December 1, 2012 with a very complicated combination of congenital heart defects. After 2 1/2 months of fighting for his life, he passed away on February 13, 2013. We invite you to share our experiences as we grieve his loss, rejoice in God's plan, & keep Joshua's message of hope alive.
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