Scott and Bridget met in 1993 and were married in 2001. In September of 2003 we welcomed our first miracle, James. 16 months later we brought home our second miracle, Annie. And in October of 2006 our family was complete with miracle #3, Gracie. Rett syndrome entered our lives when Annie was diagnosed on May 19, 2006. This is the life of the MacDonald family as we juggle 3 small children and battle Rett Syndrome until Gods perfect time when we are cured.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Shattered, for a purpose

I have this water pitcher in my dining room.  People have asked me about it, not because it's such a beautiful piece but becasuse it's been completely shattered and then hot glue gunned back together.  Look at the pic below, I'm not talking just a missing piece but seriously, completely broken and then glued back together.

Of course the idea is not my own (I'm not that clever) but from a book by Angie Smith (who is just genious!) called Mended.  In this book Angie explains that her purpose for being "broken" by the things in her life are so that Jesus could shine through her life - thus the broken pitcher allowing light to shine through the cracks.  

This image hit me so hard that I just HAD to experience it for myself and so I went out, bought a VERY cheap pitcher (honestly, it was $3.50 on clearance because it already had a crack, Talk about irony.)

I spent an entire night smashing it and then glueing the whole thing back together (not an easy feat when you get to the small parts).  It was tedious but incredibly therapeutic.  It hasn't taken away all of my anger and saddness about what has happened to our family but I can say that it has put things in perspective and it is always there, sitting in our dining room as a consant reminder of what our family has been through and, more importantly, why.  

People see that pitcher and ask about it, I haven't really come up with a great answer yet, I have just said "it's a symbol of my life" but that explination doesn't do it justice because people say "Awww, I'm so sorry that your life feels like that".  They don't get it, I didn't explain it right.  

What this really shows is that my life was a complete pursuit of my own.  My own wealth, my own happiness, my own dreams, my own vision of life.  Somewhere, in my own pursuit of desperatly trying to create all of these dreams for myself God stepped in and smashed it all.  He opened my eyes to a marriage that was very one sided, parenthood that was full of false ideals, my image of how life is "supposed to be" and the so called solid rock that I stood on was nothing but sifting sand.   

God showed me, what really mattered.  I couldn't be more blessed that He stepped in when He did.  Each and every time He shattered my life He did it so that His light could shine through me.  Maybe not right away, but through the anger, the sadness and the tears all those pieces were picked up and glued back together and the cracks and spaces allowed His light to shine through.  What God breaks He puts back together stronger than it was before.  

By shattering my life with Rett Syndrome, my marriage has become stronger.  We no longer have false expectations of eachother.  I have come to an understand that my husband is not in charge of my soul happiness.  His and my own emotions of course will steer our family in certain directions but despite the difficulties and hardships that will come to us we choose to see that any hits to our family are not set backs but are additional chips and cracks in our pitcher.  My relationships have gotten stronger, my eyes are opened to what really matters now.  Could it be that each and every lesson that God wants us to learn comes to us in a form of brokenness?  These cracks and holes and even the shatters are part of how He is trying to use us.

A few weeks ago our church had a speaker that moved me even further on in my walk towards brokenness.  The message is below and I encourage you to listen to the whole thing through.  

I realize this message is intended to make those who are ready, able and called to MOVE into what God has called them to do, but for me, I believe it was a confirmation in my own walk, my own life and my own struggles that God is using my life and my family for His purpose.  

I live in a place where I see people struggle all the time.  It breaks my heart when I see a real struggle - a family who realizes they have a child with Rett Syndrome - a child they thought was perfect and whole and then to come to the reality that they will have to care for every single need of this child for the rest of their life.  A friend who's husband has gone into cardiac arrest and they worry about their families well being and future.  Other families break apart in divorce, the moms are now called to be both the father and the mother.  Cancer diagnosis, infertility, the death of loved ones and the list goes on.

When we open ourselves up to the world, when we make ourselves vulnerable to what is around us,  it's amazing what we see. There is so much desperation and sadness in our world.  When you flip on the news or check your inbox or even just turn on the radio you are sure to be hit with a bunch of depressing, sad news.  Life is sad, it's not fair, and there are always negative things to dwell on.

We have a choice to walk through this world as broken pieces laying around or we can choose to use our faith as the glue that puts our pitcher back together.  You can see those who choose the broken pieces, those who choose to complain about their circumstances, those who allow even simple misunderstanding to destroy their marriage or common colds to rock their lives.  And the mended pitchers who deal with far worse circumstances but hang onto hope and forever have their heads held high in Gods grace.

The choice is ours.  We can strive to live that perfect, easy, comfortable life.  Daily chasing after the bigger house, the nicer car, the larger income, the designer bag.  Or we can choose to trust in the one who made us.  The one who allows for heartaches so we can show His love.  The One that brings the rain because that's the only way we will see the flowers.  The One who is using us because He knows this life is just a fleeting moment and our real treasures are waiting for us in heaven.

Of course when the rains hit there is a time of sorrow, of adjustment, of questioning but to be able to pick yourself up and be used is what this life is all about.  Even with the struggles, this life is so much more than we deserve.  I'm trying to get to a consistent place where I am no longer chasing after anything in this world,  where I'm not trying to fix everything to make my life perfect, I want to get to a place where when life gets too easy I wonder, "Has God decided not to use me anymore"?  A place where I embrace the hardships because I know that they are there for His purpose.  

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” - Soren Kierkegaard

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