On Being Unraveled… And Being Re-Knit Together

This is Day 18 of my Write 31 Days series for 2017: 31 Days of Kintsugi.
For an index of all the posts in the series, please click here.

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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. 

Obviously. 

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.  

 

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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.

 

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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 …

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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.

 

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47 thoughts on “On Being Unraveled… And Being Re-Knit Together

    1. Thanks, Linda! I’m glad you’re enjoying it. Thank you for letting me share your post!

      (And I’m sorry all your comments are needing to be moderated. That’s not meant to happen once someone has a comment approved and I don’t know why it’s doing that! I will approve them all as quickly as I can.)

      Like

  1. Your words always speak to me Linda but today they went over and above.

    The tender grace your husband extended to you is exactly how I imagine God does for each of his messy, broken people. The gift of redemption that we are lovingly given reminds me that our humanness is exactly the process for how God makes us whole.

    Thank you for this gift today.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like what you’re saying about God showing us how to love well, Mary. Us earthly people will never come close to His ultimate perfection, but hopefully, our hearts are open to learn to show kindness and grace.

      As in any relationship, this often doesn’t come easily, but with effort, it can happen. That I know …

      I’m glad you’re here today, friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is great, Linda (and Lesley, thank you for having here here!).

    It’s kind of funny, that for me with a drastically worsening physical unravelling, people around me expect (and almost seem to want to see) an emotional unravelling, and it’s not happening. It’s certainly not something I enjoy, the pain and nausea and all the other stuff, and it is frightening, but it’s not distressing.

    I can…well, I was going to say ‘live with it’. But it’s really OK.

    I don’t know what to make of it all, but shan’t complain.

    https://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2017/10/your-dying-spouse-385-caregiver-grow.html

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That, my friend, is peace in action.

      Frightening but not distressing is an interesting way to put it.

      It’s not unusual for a few of those who gather around to crave some kind of drama in the trauma. Some of us are overtly emotional, and others are stalwart soldiers like yourself. We do best to accept and respect people’s individual responses to difficulties and not try to bend and mold them into how we think they should respond.

      ‘Nuff said.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for sharing about becoming “unraveled.” I think we all can relate. I hope we also can react as wisely as your husband did when our loved ones have a meltdown!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for being so open, Linda. We don’t always like to share that we go there in that way, but we all do, in our hearts if not out loud. I don’t usually explode verbally, but I seethe inwardly, which is just as bad. My dear husband can usually tell, though, that something’s wrong, and wisely gives me that space to cool down and regain perspective. I am so thankful for God’s grace as well. I had not thought of His giving “space to repent” in that way, but I am so grateful He does. And as someone else said, this is convicting me as well to offer that same space and grace to others.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m going to go out on a limb on this, but I think many Christian women seethe inwardly because they’re ashamed of their anger and aren’t quite sure what to do with it. They’ve been brought up to believe that ‘nice Christian girls don’t get angry.’

      If we look at the roots of anger – hurt, fear, frustration, being disrespected – and we can learn to articulate our emotions in ways that are appropriate, we’d probably be doing alot less seething {love that word, Barbara!}, less ranting and raving, and be more at peace.

      Just sayin’ …

      ;-}

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Linda, it’s really nice to see your post here. I appreciate these honest words about our daily need for grace. His mercies are new every morning, thankfully.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. All I can say is marriage is hard work. Anything good we end up enjoying is only because of God’s great grace, learning to speak truth with love and respect, and a whole lot of hard work.

      And bushels of forgiveness.

      Can I get an amen?

      ;-}

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Awww, Linda. I’m ever surprised when those deep hurts roil out of my mouth, often inflicting pain on someone closest to me. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does . . . it ain’t pretty. But it sure is humbling.

    I’m so thankful for God’s grace in those times. For the ways He heals when we let the pain come forth. For the grace He pours in as we’re brutally honest. And for the forgiveness from loved ones when I ask for it.

    God has ways of healing and restoring, doesn’t He?

    Thank you for sharing so honestly here. I’m blessed by your words.
    **Sorry I couldn’t stop by yesterday. It was one of those crazy-high-school-son-driven sort of days.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jeanne … you bring up a wise point about the whole issue of being humbled before God. He will do what He needs to do to bring us back into a right relationship with Himself and others.

      Your words remind me of Psalm 51:17 –>’A broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.’

      You have added to the richness of this conversation, friend …

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Isn’t it hard when that last drop falls into your cup, breaks whatever surface tension you’ve maintained for who knows how long, and life spills out all over the place: disappointments, anger, anxieties, misunderstandings, and all those affronts we’d thought we’d forgiven – but obviously did not. It’s a cleansing of sorts, not especially pleasant for those around us, but we’re probably all better for it in the end. Love is acceptance and the good grace to understand what we need, when we need it. What gifts to receive. You’ve captured this very human time so well, reminding us of who we are and how we so often experience life in similar ways.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, friend … you’ve heard my heart and sifted and sorted my words to make beautiful sense of it all.

      What a sweet way for me to wrap this weekend up, in the company of friends who truly ‘get it.’

      Appreciate your perspective …

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Been there and done that more times than I can count. I’ve let my emotions, like you’ve talked about on your blog most recently, Linda, get the best of me–to own me, instead of me owning and managing them. Thank you for your transparency here, my friend! You are an inspiration to us all!

    Liked by 1 person

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