On Wednesdays during this series I am featuring guest posts by some of my blogging friends, who are going to share their real-life stories of Kintsugi in action. Today I’m pleased to welcome Linda Stoll.
It was another time, another place, a bittersweet 24 hours that spun slowly out of control.
A messy meltdown, a toxic stew, really. Irritation at uncontrollable circumstances boiled over as a torrent of ranting and raving nudged all common sense to the side. Up on my imaginary soapbox I jumped with a long litany of deep disappointments loudly acknowledged and proclaimed with no holds barred.
I railed on endlessly, my husband a captive audience to all my bottled up frustrations overflowing unhindered. He was seemingly stunned into silence. And me? Well, let’s just say that this long time pastoral counselor, astonished at the intensity of her unbridled emotions, was unloading her accumulated baggage in a most unattractive fashion.
The polar opposite of everything I’ve ever encouraged and taught others poured out from my broken heart, assailing my own horrified ears. Just because you’ve got a whole string of initials after your name doesn’t mean you’ve in any way arrived.
Completely and utterly spent, I closeted myself in my room, my husband wisely giving me a wide swath of needed grace and space, a hefty helping of solitude so that I could somehow get a grip and pull myself together.
Hours later, the sky had darkened and a familiar peace once again descended. He returned to the scene of my obnoxious meltdown, quietly knocked on the door, and tentatively ventured in toward the big oak desk where the laptop was keeping me company.
He quietly perched himself on the edge of the quilt-covered bed and eyed me cautiously. Ashamed and sorrowful, I asked his forgiveness for my verbal torrent. I whisper that this is not who I want to be. “You were a bit riled up,” he gently observed, offering a hug and a cup of tea.
The messy torrent of tears and a humbling conversation with Jesus had cleansed my rattled soul and I was able to calmly name exactly what had shaken me to the core, one incident after another, like a whole bunch of dominoes toppling over the next.
He didn’t try to talk me out of my observations or attempt to fix me. He didn’t bother to correct my assumptions or challenge my conclusions, flawed as they might have been. Despite the surprising unpleasantness of the evening’s earlier diatribe I felt heard. Validated. Accepted. Loved.
Soothing grace, that amazing unmerited favor, blanketed me and cradled me close. And I felt ready to let it all go and move forward, yet once again.
Don’t you love how God repeatedly opens His arms wide, offering us a gracious welcome home?
He accepts us right where we are with all our obvious faults and quirky frailties. He, our ultimate safe place, sits gently with us in our misery. He delights in our cries for help for it means that we’re done relying on our own futile energies and are finally turning to the Source of our strength. And His Spirit comforts us even as He points out our glaring sins so that we can confess and relinquish our wrongs and be freed to continue the journey unhindered.
His Spirit whispers peace as He knits together the unraveled pieces, the shattered odds and ends of the heavily laden soul.
And, chastened and humbled, we return once again to the people in our world, a bit wiser and more authentic than ever. ‘Cause we’re all broken in one way or another, aren’t we …
Linda Stoll is a pastoral counselor to women in Cape Cod, Massachusetts where she lives in a little town tucked between the ever-changing bay and the ocean deep. She’s hip deep in her tenth year of blogging and lives contentedly with her patient husband of 41 years. Her greatest claim to fame is her seven grandchildren, one who now lives in heaven. You can visit Linda’s blog here, or connect with her on LinkedIn here.