To all the Breaking Women


By Carolyn Shields

We have all, at some point or another, fallen into the dark corners of our hearts and longed to stay there. We've all had those weighted moments in the afternoon when we collapse on our bed and can't find the will or reason to get up. St. Faustina desired that she be like "a tiny violet hidden in the grass, which does not hurt the foot that treads on it, but diffuses its fragrance and, forgetting itself completely, tries to please the person who has crushed it underfoot." Sometimes it's nice to imagine that we can hide from the world, known only to the Heart of Christ. That we can kind of be His little secret. That feels kind of safe.

And this is more true especially when we feel broken, when we feel that ache in our hearts when we know that man doesn't love us in return, when we enter our 20s and realize we can't afford to do missions work [in New Zealand, Dublin...] because we simply do not have the funds, when we are awaken to the reality around us, that we are sipping a Not-Quite-A-Latte (thank you, McDonalds), when our car is about to violently die, and we are not conquering the world in some hip fashion like we dreamed of in college. When we see contorted images in a mirror, when family tensions escalate, and our wounds refuse to heal, even years later.

We have all been there.

It's ok that sometimes we just want to hide, but let me remind you of that little song we once sang as children: This little light of mine...Right after Christ shares the Beatitudes in Matthew 5, when He promises that those who are struggling will be rewarded, He tells us, "You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others," and I'll add: even when it's only a feeble flame. Even when it's only a 'little light.'

We can not hide. We can not fade out of existence. 

But here's what we can do: we can put our anxieties, our fears, our beautiful letdowns, our tears, that stupid mirror, those sad little beats of our heart that occur at 4a.m (Christ, by the way, never ignores 4a.m prayers. This I am certain of), and those disappointed dreams and we put all of them into a clay pot. We then approach Calvary, and instead of laying it down at the foot of the Cross, we throw it with all of our might at those rocks, smash it, and shatter it, and destroy it with all the force we can muster.

And sometimes all we have to put on the altar are ashes.

And remember: It's okay to cry. Cry until your heart says it's okay to stop. Cry in your mom's're never too old to do so. And above all, remember that Christ is crying with us too. Christ isn't a God who watches us suffer from afar, who pats our back and whispers, 'It will be ok.' Our best friends are those who feel our pain, who are greatly affected by our flushed faces and quivering hands, who wipe away their own tears as they cradle us when they see the waterfall running down the crevice of our face.

Christ is holding onto you tightly, and His shoulders are shaking in the same rhythm as yours. He won't let us go. He won't let us cry alone. He won't leave us to ourselves (Hebrews 13:5). He never wanted this either, but my God He will permit it because He believes in you. 

And when you pray, never hesitate to pour your heart out to our Holy. Never ever think, 'God hears enough dismal prayers. God must be tired of hearing me ask him for a man. God is dealing with entire nations whose pain stretches generations.' Be honest in prayer. Be open. If you are PISSED, slam your fist on your steering wheel and let Him know. If you are freaking FRUSTRATED, tell Him. If you're DESPERATE, reveal it. If you're just so TIRED, scream at Him to make you alive again.

Don't dam it up. Flood heaven with your prayers.  Let it out. Be blatant. Be brutally honest in your prayer life with Christ. Why? Because "Lord, I CAN'T. YOU CAN. AND YOU PROMISED."