larger heart piece with smaller heart shape next to it making it whole

A Whole In My Heart

My youngest daughter just broke me.

I was in the car having just collected the kids from school, listening to an interview while I drove. I paused the podcast as the kids got into the car, then hit the ‘resume’ button as we drove out of the school gates.

It was the first time I had heard this particular interview, and the man went on to tell a story about a lady who had been raped, abused and broken. She was in prison and had received a signed certificate from a psychologist that said she would never, for the rest of her life, find mental health or be healed.

What some would describe as a miracle, happened for her. Against a lifetime sentence of ‘brokenness’, she came to an understanding that shifted her life – instantly – to a new place where she was whole again. She jumped the boundaries of time to discover that indeed, despite her professionally prescribed ‘brokenness’, she was actually whole. Loved. Worthy. And mentally healthy.

Physically imprisoned, yet free at last.

My daughters were listening.

For an instant, I had the obvious parental thought of “strewth…should I turn this off?” once the words rape, torture and abuse were mentioned. But the clip played on.

As it finished, I asked my kids – “what did you think of that?”

At 8 years of age, my youngest daughter said. “I think that was great”.

“Why?” I asked, somewhat surprised by her answer. “What lesson did you learn?”

Then – she broke me.

She said: “I learned that it doesn’t matter if you are sick. Who cares if you are sick for the rest of your life. We can just be grateful that we are alive”.

I have lived half a lifetime, trying to find that answer. And my youngest daughter in her simple acceptance of truth, taught me the lesson.

I asked her two more times to repeat what she just said. I couldn’t believe it.

“It doesn’t matter if you are sick. Just be grateful that you are alive”.

cracked heart with hole showing warm light and glow within

And there it is. Such simple perspective. Such beauty in the pain.

Then – she got me again.

I stepped out of the car. Asked her if she would mind, for a final time, saying what she just said. I recorded it on my phone as I held back tears.

Then she pulled out a vibrant orange flower from the pocket of her school dress, raised her small hands gently to my neck and placed it in the button hole on my shirt.

lynden with orange flower in shirt from daughter

She smiled. And danced inside on her way through life, as if miracles were being given away for free on that day.

“Can I have something to eat dad?”

“Of course you can.”

…there is wisdom, until our very own creation of beliefs, thoughts and ego, start to tell us that we have it all figured out. Then we become “experts” and sign papers determining other people’s worth. But no one can tell you what you are worth.

We have innocently been reciting the wrong lyrics to the song of life. We grew up believing that there was a “God shaped hole in our hearts”. That we were some how lacking and deficient.

Turns out there is a God shaped whole in our hearts, instead.

The greatest hole puncher for those thin walls of darkness – is gratitude.

And whatever struggle surrounds you, is nothing compared to the strength that you have within.  

As Thomas Fuller and Florence Welch said: “It’s always darkest before the dawn”.

Draw on that strength within you.
Let the light out.

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