Saturday, September 17, 2016

God Makes Broken Things Beautiful

On Etsy here

Five and a half years ago my life was a mess. I quit my job, was on the verge of divorce, and certainly in the midst of a breakdown. I was not myself, and I was so full of anger and sadness. I never wanted to come home, and I would do almost anything to feel "happy" for just a few moments. I told myself I did not love my husband any more. I was totally incapable of loving myself. I hated my life.

When I finally reached my lowest moment, when I was trapped in a corner with no other choice, I reluctantly agreed to go to counseling with my husband. In that first meeting, I sat on the country blue couch with tiny flowers, arms crossed, surrounded by rock collections and fossils, daring our counselor, a stranger, to make a difference in me. My husband and I sat on opposite ends of that couch, not looking at each other, not acknowledging each other, except maybe for me to roll my eyes. But I went. 

Every week we went. I finally began to talk and pour out my hurt and all the ways I had not been good enough. My husband was kind and patient and understanding, ready to reconcile all the struggles of our past, big and small, and I am so grateful for that. We learned together how to be better to each other and how to get through life together. Before then, I didn't know that was something you had to learn.

It took months for me to begin to see the world again. I began to occasionally taste a shimmer of hope and know what it was like to have my burdens lifted. I started back to an awesome school to study cosmetology, a hidden dream of mine for many years. We started attending a small group from a church our college friends went to (I wasn't ready for church for real). 

It was at this small group, surrounded by people that I had known for many years, who knew me before I had lost myself, when she said it to me through her own tears, "But Callie, God makes broken things beautiful." I had been crying, lamenting all my failures and guilt, and one of my best friends, Brandi, extended this little grace to me. She spoke truth into my heart, and it shocked me in a way, because until then, I did not think I could be beautiful like that ever again. It changed my view of the storm that I had been embroiled in and gave me hope. 

Fast forward five years and here we are.

Every day I wake up marveling at my life and my babies and my happiness. To go from hating yourself and everyone, to being filled and spilling over with such love is nothing short of a miracle. As a matter of fact, yesterday I walked the aisle of Lowes, a bounce in my step and loud music in my ear buds, almost in tears because of the ease of simply living my life. It takes so little to give me joy these days. Even when my spirited Roxie is in trouble at school, even when I have to do the quick math before swiping my debit card, even when hard things happen, I have joy. I was broken, now I'm beautiful.

We still see our counselor regularly, but it's more like once a month now. We are stronger together for having lived through the painful parts. We fight less because we have learned how to listen and speak to the other. We are best friends and so in love. 

And at this point, I don't mean to turn this post into a commercial for my Etsy shop, but it will come full circle, I promise. 

In 2008, my awesome friend Brandi (yes, the same one who gave me the words that inspired this post and the sign I made) opened an Etsy shop together selling funky, handmade jewelry. We did our crafty thing for five years, working many craft shows together and selling our garden gnome earrings all over the world. Those were some of my happiest times - drinking coffee, eating the endless supply of M&Ms in her apartment, and staying up all night creating with my friend. Her stuff would inspire me and vice versa. We were an awesome crafty team!

Instagram
We finally closed our Etsy doors about three years ago. I had a one year old, and our lives and styles were changing. But when I finally started to feel the itch to create again, I felt like I wanted to revisit Etsy. It's been different doing it without Brandi, but still fun in a new way. 


I have been making hand painted wood signs with hand lettering and lots of hand-painted flowers and leaves, most with an inspirational or scripture-based message. 

On Etsy here

It has been a balm to my soul, therapy in its own way. I feel like I've rediscovered the woman God created me to be. I get so excited to sit down and paint and make, and that sometimes still surprises me. 

1/2/3


On Etsy here

This is only my own story, and it has a happy ending, but it didn't happen by accident. Because of family and friends  (and friends who are family) like Brandi who stood in the gap for me, prayed for me, and stuck by me when I was not very lovable by most standards, I came out the other side, brand new. Because of my sweet husband who loves me like Jesus, I came out the other side. Because I asked for help, from God himself, and from the human man with the country blue couch. Because I poured out my heart to the people who love me. Because I am not afraid to talk about the hard things that most people want to hide, those hard things are no longer so hard. Grace and love changed my life, saved me from myself, and made me beautiful. 

If you are feeling lost and alone, like you'll never be enough, please know there is hope, and grace, and beauty in pain.




 

2 comments:

  1. You made me cry, of course. :>) Love you. It's beautiful. Go on.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for sharing Callie. These are the kind of stories people need to hear. Stories of hope, restoration, and love. It was in my own brokeness that God was able to do a deep work. He's good like that He is.

    ReplyDelete

 
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