The Brokenness Always Wins

It’s almost 4am… I’ve been awake since 1:15. 

This isn’t a pretty page in my journal, and not a lot of fun to read. If you scroll down, you’ll probably come across some pictures of Beka – they’re a lot nicer to look at than this dark page. But there are dark pages in the Psalms too, so there we are. Rest assured, I’m alright. Things will go on. But sometimes a lament has to come out to make room for other stuff…

I’m feeling the brokenness.

I feel it in our home… The clutter, the way things are slowly (and quickly) decaying, the general dirtiness, the sink full of dishes after being so proud that the sink was empty for a few brief days. The windows that are cracked and wearing, the few improvements we’ve made but never quite finished, leaving unpainted trim and unfinished walls in their wake, the run-down, the shabby, the mind-numbing clutter, the way it forces us into little paths from this room to that, from my chair to the kitchen to the bedroom but no further.

My hands are too full, and I can’t hold on to everything.

The brokenness always wins.

I feel it in my mind… Looking back on some years of journaling…

(I can’t really call it “blogging” or “writing,” since, as someone whose blog I read regularly quoted someone else, and as usual I make a habit of mangling source AND quoted material, anyway, they said “If you’re writing and nobody is reading it, you’re journaling.” So yep – this is my electronic diary, not all that much advanced from the pathos and drama of a teenager pouring out the convolutions of their twisted soul to a blank, uncaring page…) 

Anyway, looking back at the entries of my  “journal,” it saddens me to see that some of the things I would “whine” about when I started this thing, struggling with my weight and a whole host of issues underlaying it, are the very same things I “ponder” about these many years later, still struggling with my weight and a whole host of issues underlaying it…

And now I’m older, with new issues adding their lovely siren songs to the pile, which gets higher day by day.

My hands are too full, and I can’t hold on to everything.

The brokenness always wins.

I feel it in lost joys of movement and freedom…

My beloved trike has seen little to no action this last year. Tai Chi, my new love, my friend, the thing that brought balance and strength to me, has fallen in a dusty heap, along with the exercise balls, the strength bands, the walking shoes, the disc golf discs, the bocce balls, and a multitude of other “toys” to entice me to get out and move.

I sit. I lay in bed, eating supper and watching videos on YouTube. I crochet in a dark house, instead of riding in the sunshine.

My hands are too full, and I can’t hold on to everything.

The brokenness always wins.

I feel it in my life direction…

Again, looking through my e-diary journal thingie, I can see the path… From getting laid off from my “calling” in radio, to a brief stint in post-production at CBH, trying to sell jewelry, making and selling CDs, a brief stint at WaY FM, loom knitting and crocheting, playing gigs at retirement communities or coffeehouses, trying to have a “real” part-time job in retail, looking at writing a book or being a real, honest-to-goodness “writer,” well, guess what?

Nothing has changed. I’m still wandering, still lost, still looking for something, anything to provide purpose or direction to this random pile of poopy I call my life. 

My hands are too full, and I can’t hold on to everything.

The brokenness always wins.

And I don’t know if I can keep doing this… keep trying to hold the brokenness at bay. It was easier to do when it was just months or even a year after the surgery – it was all shiny and new, excitement and momentum were doing their thing, and the new life was a bright path in front of me. Anything seemed possible.

The remodeling was done, everything was pretty and new…

My hands are too full, and I can’t hold on to everything.

The brokenness always wins.

Four years later, the path is dull grey. The excitement has worn off, the mundane has set in, there are cracks and wear where things really should be painted or fixed or maintained, and I just don’t know if I can keep up with it.

There is stuff to be gotten rid of, there are walls to fix and paint, there are floors to be scrubbed, there is filth and decay and habits and bad choices, and they are choking me. 

There are taxes to be paid, there are idols to try and destroy, there are dreams to kill, there are dishes to do, there are lies of the mind to be denied, there are trikes to be ridden, there are things to be made, and I can’t see which one to pick up and which one to throw down.

Be a writer – write. But ALSO find your “tribe,” build your readership, and keep up your presence on social media. Don’t forget to get your stuff out there – lots of submissions. You’ll get a lot of rejections, but that’s what it takes. 

You’re a musician too? Well, practice! And work on your next project. Oh, and build your fanbase, call everyplace to find gigs, keep after places you’ve played so that they know you’re still out there to come back and play, get your music out there in every possible outlet, go after new fans, and keep your stuff in front of the public.

By the way… none of this is really going to bring in some income, and help fill that hole in the pit of your heart – that guilty pit where you see your Beloved bringing in the income, then struggling to make it stretch to fit all the bills. Remember (like you could ever forget…) that you led the charge into that bottomless cavern she’s trying to dig you out of, and realize that for all your running around, writing here, doing part-time stuff there, or engaging in “creative pursuits,” you really aren’t contributing anything significant to ease the load.

I realize that I’ve never really learned to work hard, to keep working hard, and to not give up. And I’m in my mid-fifties… old, tired, and probably not going to learn that blessed truth anytime soon.

My hands are too full, and I can’t hold on to everything.

The brokenness always wins.

In a new way, I think I have a little more insight into those who take their own lives. I think their hands have gotten so full, the weight so heavy, that they simply can’t take up the fight one more day. They don’t realize the pain and emptiness they will leave behind – they only see that their hands are too full and they can’t hold on to everything.

The brokenness always wins.

How do you pick and choose? How do you empty your hands? How do you decide the “must-do’s,” the “should-do’s,” and the “might-do’s,” when they all look the same? How do you keep them all appeased, to try and hold the brokenness off for one more day? And where do you find the strength to wake up tomorrow to do it all again?

I don’t know. Truth be told, I’ve never known, my whole life long. I don’t know how to pick something up, deal with it, put it down, pick up something else, take care of it, keep going on… And NOT forget the first thing sitting back there, which now needs to be dealt with again, before I get to the other thing on the list. 

How do you empty your hands? How do you get rid of the stuff that’s choking you and killing the things that truly matter? How do you keep the essentials from getting forgotten?

And is there ever any space to breathe, to rest, to dream, to love, to feel?…

My hands are too full, and I can’t hold on to everything.

The brokenness always wins.

Abba Daddy, I’m confused. I’m hurting. And my hands are tired. 

I could throw a pithy phrase in here like, “So I place everything into Your hands,” but we both know that’s a lie – I’ll still see the clutter, hear the cries of the urgent, and feel the weight of all the “things” waiting to overpower me as soon as I turn off this screen.

I’m confused. I don’t know what to keep and what to throw away – I’m not even strong enough to reach down and throw things away… I’ll just keep piling the trash around my feet, as the tears roll down my face.

I’m afraid that the brokenness will win again. And I don’t want that. But I don’t know how to sort things out, how to get back to just those very VERY few things that You want me to take care of. I can’t recognize those few things anymore – they’re lost in the static of everything.

I’m sorry that I’m carrying around idols. I’m sorry that I turn to this screen for comfort and joy far more than I ever turn to You. I’ve gotten so numbed by the glare of the screen that I didn’t see all the horrors in the shadows. I didn’t see just how close and how dark the brokenness is.

I’m sorry that I’ve been wasting my new life. And I’m sorry that I haven’t been taking care of it like I should. I forgot how many chains You’ve shattered, and been trying to re-make them from the broken links. I’m trotting off to Egypt, when You’re waiting for me in the new land.

I’m scared, Daddy. I don’t know what to do next. I don’t know how to sort out this mess. And I don’t know how to begin to try.

My hands are tired, and I can’t hold on to everything. 

Help me Father… please. 

Only You can break the brokenness.


  1. Anonymous says:

    Always remember my friend that there are plenty that have it way worse than you. You have a roof over your head and an able body and mind. A wife and friends and even a dog that loves you. Depression is a foe that can be conquered.

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