Friday, September 9, 2011
The Broken Road
You have no idea how great I feel after getting this off my chest. I wrote it, stewed over it, almost posted it like five times and then realized I was incapable of saying or writing anything else until I hit "Publish Post." I had to let it float out into the universe instead of allowing it to sit on top of my brain any longer. That's just how I operate; once I feel something, I need to get it out. Even when it's ugly.
Since then, I have thought a lot about what I said. Perhaps too much, but I have been thinking. I thought a lot about how I said it and even how it may be perceived. The thing about this blog is that I write it for myself---regardless of whether it will be read by others or not. I don't often think about my readers while I'm writing because it prevents me from telling my real truth. I have to write like no one is reading in order to be my most authentic self.
I had a front row seat for a beautiful, amazing wedding this past weekend (my brother in-law married his college sweetheart on Sunday). I realized something very important as I stood on the alter in that church, witnessing the union of two people who love each other dearly. As a young husband and wife duo played the guitar and sang Rascal Flatt's "Bless the Broken Road," I cried. I stared down at my own wedding band as I clutched my bouquet a little tighter, remembering the day I married my husband and thinking about broken roads--and what it means to know that journey.
The song, as you likely know, is about appreciating the fact that finding love isn't always easy and things can get tough as we make our way through life. But in the end, we have a new appreciation for finding the right person because we have gone through the toughest part of our lives to get to our ultimate destination. I think, though, it's sort of lonely to think that we have to travel a broken road alone to find someone to love us in the way we need to be loved. Does every broken road have to be traveled alone?
I like to think of my own "Broken Road" as a journey I've been fortunate enough to never need to travel alone. Through every step of it, I have always had someone by my side. It can often feel like we're alone, but that really has never been part of my story.
So when I think about that song, I remember why I was crying. I think God blesses every road we travel---no matter the journey--because we are actually being led to another road. For me, I can't say that I would call the journey to finding my husband a difficult one; that's not exactly what I remember. The journey we have taken together since then has been a tough road to travel some days, however.
On the days where I have clarity and I think about all the reasons why God would choose us to never have biological children, I think about that road again. Maybe He makes some roads easier to travel, so that we have enough strength, appreciation and determination to travel the rough pathways together. Some things just come naturally to us, while others require us to fight like hell. I believe that's just how life works.
When I talk about how I feel in those honest and less than happy terms, I believe it's just part of the broken road. It's part of how I learn to function in this world as a person who sometimes feels like I am broken myself. If you met me or spoke to me out there---in the real world---I doubt you'd catch a glimpse of my pain. I wouldn't let you, to be honest. But the only way I'm able to do that is because I have another place where I can be honest, no matter who is watching. And for me, that's here. This is my safe place--this is the place where I can say exactly how I feel and I leave feeling a sense of peace and relief. I unload my burdens, show off my ugly side and walk away.
But the thing about a broken road, or at least the point of the song with the same name, is that it doesn't last forever. You walk the broken path because it leads you to something amazing--something you realize later was all part of a bigger plan to bring you to where you belong.
And for that, I realize it's hard to believe that God isn't blessing our broken road, just like he does all the others.