Break, divide, multiply, grow

Who knew we could break on so many levels … and simultaneously, too?

My heart broke when my father died last summer. It’s a selfish sort of break because the brokenness doesn’t apply to him. He’s pain free. Cancer free. Sadness free.  On the other hand, I still can’t say or even think the words, “My dad died,” without crying. Will that ever go away?

A few weeks after his death, with life spinning with grief, an important relationship broke. Grief is messy. And then, during the anticipated eclipse that I’ll forever frown upon, my dura broke. Dura is the outermost membrane that enwraps the brain and spine. It keeps the brain and spine floating, balanced and comfortable … which is why I felt physically unbalanced, smashed and with intense pain (which led to 9 days in the hospital).

Can a broken heart lead to a broken dura? The doctors said no. They deemed it a “spontaneous” event. But I know God, and He isn’t spontaneous. He’s a God with a plan.

So what do you do when sharp shards of brokenness lay all around you? What’s the plan then?

While the brokenness was still brewing, I had a long chat with a cousin emerging from her own brokenness – an ugly, broken marriage. She told me that to get through it, she had created a safe haven. She designed a place to surround herself with goodness. For her, this was a basement room swirling with uplifting music, inspiring words and her cats. She found peace there. She found healing there. She found God and His church there.

Surround yourself with goodness. The message resonated and repeated for me. That’s why I’ve been in my metaphorical basement. (Hence, the lack of writing on my part.) I’ve been trying to be gentle and kind to myself … trying to foster His healing power. In my broken state, much of my physical energy and internal enthusiasm spilled out. I was left pretty empty – not entirely empty, but where I didn’t have enough of me left to give.

To repair and refuel, I’ve been filling my vessel with His words, taking time to read books again, being more intentional with personal time, and developing healthier physical habits (drinking more water, eating more, sleeping more – sure helps me feel like more of a person!)

The pain isn’t gone, but the healing process is evident – and I see possibilities for growth sprouting from the broken spots. For breaking is a pre-requisite for growth. Yes, that’s a rule governing the growth and development of the very cells forming the very body that our soul is implanted within.

“Break, divide, and multiply, because what other way is there to grow? No other way to transform and begin to belong, this breaking and dividing to grow a heart …” writes Ann Voskamp in her book “The Broken Way.”

I know our breaking, dividing and multiplying – our growth – Is meant to do good for others. Our growth beautifies and benefits Earth’s journeymen. That’s a vital, living part of His plan. The only cells that don’t benefit others – that benefit only themselves – are known as cancer. And that’s what started this beautiful broken mess in the first place. Ah, the life cycle. The cell cycle. The cycle to return to Him.

Because of Him, let’s intentionally surround ourselves with more of His goodness. The growth will come with time and nourishment.

Thank you for reading. Please share in the comments something that helps you heal – a piece of the process that nourishes your body and soul. What you share might be just the piece missing from someone else’s puzzle. God bless!

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Showing 6 comments
  • Radene
    Reply

    Thank you for sharing. I love these sentiments from your heart. Big hugs to you and your family!!! And yes, take time. Be kind to yourself. It is so important.

    I have found it also true. Looking back at the year and half of my 10, now 11-year-old son’s leukemia diagnosis, I cannot help but be grateful for the experience and though it’s not over, I’d like to hope the worst of it is behind us. Regardless, life will continue to bring challenging learning experiences. Some that completely knock our world upside-down. I would not ask for it, but I in retro-spect I am very grateful for it, as hard as it has been. It has given me a chance to really look heaven-ward and place my trust in Him, who knows and sees the big picture. And like you said, goodness. There is so much goodness, even in the heart of the storms. It has been in those storms that I have felt/seen some of His greatest love. I love the song “Broken” by Kenneth Cope, and Laura Story’s “Blessings” They both tug at my heart strings but speak such truth of the love of God.

    • JesPoe
      Reply

      Awe, thank you for sharing! I’ll have to put those songs on repeat at my casa too. And prayers for your family … lots and lots of prayers!

  • Carly
    Reply

    Jessica, you have an amazing heart! Thank you for sharing. Time & nourishment-Yes! I feel that small & simple habits lead to healing & growth. This past year and a half I’ve continued to surround myself with goodness on a larger scale. There are still lots of kitty snuggles and yoga, but I’m literally surrounding my mind, spirit & body with goodness. Attending the temple regularly, going to Institute classes, being vulnerable with new friendships, stepping outside my comfort zone when following promptings from Heavenly Father…my list goes on and on. Also, dance parties with friends or just by myself are very nourishing & essential to me! 😉
    You are an incredible example to me. I’m sending prayers & hugs to you & your fam!

    • JesPoe
      Reply

      Oh girl, yes – temple, Church classes, friends, vulnerability – filling our spirits up! Yes, yes, yes! Thank you for your influence. You’re inspiring!!

  • Sam
    Reply

    Nature, disconnecting from social media and reading. Somehow I forget all my woes in nature . I’m going through a rough patch of my own and can relate so well. Some moments are just so hard. I just try to remind myself that the good will come too and to hold on to that. It stinks when physical and mentally it’s impossible to keep up with all the good things I previously was able to do. Thanks for sharing! This came at a low moment for me and helped me.

    • JesPoe
      Reply

      Nature – that’s a favorite of mine too! Long walks in the woods, watching for birds and seeing the growth cycle in it’s organic state – it’s inspiring and calming. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and a bit about your experience. I’ll keep you in my prayers!

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