Picking up your pieces..

IMG_4116There was an earthquake in in our home…in our lives really this last couple a years.  As I sit watching the sun rise it’s glorious golden head, and splay the life giving orange across my kitchen table, it sends a beacon of color into a now, rather anemic looking living space.

The walls in our home used to be vibrant, and full of life.  Jeri painted bold sunflower yellow”🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻bold stripes an various walls, and I had always wanted candy apple🍎🍎🍎🍎🍎🍎red walls in my kitchen.. Yup I like me some primary colors.

These shades reminded me of life, and the infusion, and drama of family, in all of its variable feelings and raw emotion.  It was alive, it could not be ignored…it was not grey…not when it was us.

We were a family, in all of our imperfectness, we were perfectly broken, because we were “us,” we were together, we were bound by love, and surrounded by time and space that wove us inexplicably together…a party of 5.

Let there be light…and there was..lots of it.  There were challenges, but there was a commonness of thought and trust, that no matter what befell us, we would persevere..we would survive..we would not crumble…not now…not ever.

And then….we did..we fell…we broke.  We were like a coconut dropped high from a palm, and splitting wide apart upon the barren and cold cement, spilling its valuable coconut milk, all over…never to be gathered up, never to be tasted again..

This is divorce…an ugly word to me.  A word I never thought would become common in our family..and yet it has…it is…presently among us.  It’s jagged talons are clawing their way into our lives, and from this point forward, we, yet again, are forever dismantled.

Like the mighty eagle 🦅 the sharp pointed fingers dig deep into our lives, and as we struggle to raise our heads, the cruel grip becomes stronger, and we…the prey, realize that we are succumbing to the predator of being separated from one another, and our family ….and we want to lay motionless, giving in…because the fight doesn’t seem to be worth it.

But it is…It’s always worth it.  Life is what we know, and even when our world is rocked from its axis again, there is the survival instinct that pushes us forward, even when our will feels as if it’s gone, and hope has flown away with the eagle…

Going on…one tentative foot in front of the other ,is what you do.  Even when you don’t want to…”just do the next thing.”

I’ve been told that I just need to “move on,” move past these things, that there is more life up ahead.  I suppose there is.. I do know this in my head, but strangely…my heart has not got the memo.   There was no sticky note to let me know that when you repainted the walls of your home into a dull beige-grey color, you obliterated your memories..

The kids feel it.. They say,”this doesn’t feel like home anymore.”  Not just my kids, but the other kids who have lived in our home, who have graced it with their vibrant selves, who have eaten countless breakfast burritos, hung out in my kitchen eating pizza, and wings, birthday cakes, popcorn and chocolate shakes.

So many young men and women have stayed over, hung out, hopefully felt loved and cared for…because if they did, then I will know that this wasn’t just a house…it was a home.

A home is a place to belong, to let down your scraggly hair, to be unshaven, unwashed, to be hungry, and to know that you will be fed, there will be clean clothes, a warm meal, and the knowledge that you are loved..you are valued..you are seen.

We will not let you be invisible.  Not now..not ever..you matter, and your dreams count, and they are beautiful and priceless, because this is what makes you…well…you..

There was only one of you ever conceived, and in your home, your space, you were allowed to just be…let out your air…deflate on the couch with a binge watch on netflicks, play video games, have a back rub, lay beside your dog, snack on greasy food, make a mess on the carpet, and to know that things and fancy walls didn’t matter as much as you did.

I choose you..the people…not the surroundings, but you, the human being.  I chose to love you, and to know you, because after all is said and experienced, it’s the soul inside of you that will go on..that will live forever.



It’s in the brokenness of the cross that there is hope…redemption.  Relationships and family will disappoint you.  There will be sorrow, more then you ever thought that you could bare.  It will come…death will..disease might..Friendships and lives end… this can be counted on, but wait…there was, and is resurrection.  I can’t miss this important piece of the weaving in my life.

He, that, being Jesus, died, was tortured and broken, his body stretched out upon a crude wooden cross, so that I, and you, and anybody  who wants  to know what abundant life in Jesus is like, will know the life, the hope that can never be taken away.

This is not a dream…this is a reality.

When your present situation blows up in your face, and all that you counted on, and believed in, has exploded like someone has thrown a mighty hand grenade all over you, you can be made new.

You will not be the same…I will not be the same.  I must adapt, I must accept some truths that I cannot fathom, and yet, there they are clear as the morning sun; they are illuminated, and what was once in the dark, is exposed, and darkness cannot, and will not hide from the great light.

The light shines, it comes forth, it knows nothing else but that it must shine, for that’s why it was created.  Without this fiery ball of glowing fire there would be no plant growth, no warmth…no light…no existence of any kind.

I today…choose light.  I will not cower in the shadows of what could have been, I will acknowledge that I made tons of mistakes, I stepped in it, I was wrong, I screwed up to the maximum…

Love is there, it surrounds us, all of us, and I don’t want to miss it.  Learning to love better and more fully, and to be able to forgive, is a constant learning that I’m leaning into.

Picking up peoples’ pieces and loving them where they are has got to be one of the most soul satisfying endevours that is out there.

I look at the disarray on my garage floor, the things that will be collected by the garbage collectors, and I realize the refuse in there is just rubbish…it can be replaced… but the people in our lives .. they cannot..their are no bodies in this trash…



People are irreplaceable…they are not thrown away…they matter.  We all do…

Divorce steals life…just like death.  It is referred to as being …as a death…a permanent separation.  If these words seem harsh…they are.

Jesus came so that ..” I may have life…and I may have it abundantly.”

Life is the thing,  and I choose it, and I pray for the community of friends that have held me, cried with me,  prayed with, and for me, and for those that are experiencing such suffering, and breaking of their hearts this day…I pray for you, and my heart breaks again for all that you are going through on this rugged and broken path…I will be there…

I will walk with you, listen to you, I will remember you..,.

The lovely little angel with the crazy fuzzy pink hair on this card came to me from a dear lady who has been a wonderful, caring, and praying mentor to me.  As has happened so many times, this writing from this friend, brightened my day, and refocused my attention on what truly matters.  I am so grateful to her, and for her loving and tender care.

It’s the music and song in our inmost being, it’s the love and light that we send forth to others… that’s the hope… that’s the “courage” in en”courage”meant….

5 thoughts on “Picking up your pieces..

  1. Oh Jill, beautifully written. Again you make it possible for us, outsiders to feel some of what you are going through. Keep pressing on friend. Jesus is indeed there to give you light and life. Big hug from Albania.


  2. Dear Jill, You express your sorrow so well. I am so sorry. I do understand what you are going through. I have been there. It never goes away. I weep to the Lord and he listens. I confess my part in this failure and I rest in His forgiveness. Weep with them that weep and trust that I can share in others sorrow. Lots of hugs, Lisette


  3. Dear Jill,
    My heart is breaking for you. Many thoughts are racing through my heart and head, but for now I will only tell you, I am praying for you.
    blessings to you,
    Kathy Tanner


  4. Hi Jilly, I am an editor at Good Housekeeping magazine—our editor-in-chief came across your blog site and found it very touching (as do I). I’m contacting you to see if you would be interested in writing an original essay for us—I think your story would really resonate with our readers in an emotional and ultimately uplifting way. If you’re interested, please contact me at the email address I noted when I registered. Thank you very much for your consideration, Carla


  5. Dear Jill & Family:
    May this Passover season help you remember what’s so good about Good Friday. It was a day of death, but three days later there was a resurrection that changed everything into HOPE. The Last Supper was really not the Last Supper. There is another Marriage Supper of the Lamb coming soon, and you will be there Jill along with all of us who are married to Jesus. Please hold on to HOPE. We like to tell our Africa Hope Bible students our definition of HOPE: Holding On Past the End. That’s what Jesus did. That’s what the disciples could not do until the Holy Spirit came and filled them with joy and peace. Then they went out and turned the world up side down. Be encouraged dear sister. God loves you. We love you. Bianca loves you. Your children love you. Your family loves you. It may be too soon now to think about the future. But hope is always rooted in the future, and the best is always still ahead for you and for every child of God. We are all rooting for you, praying for you, and believing that whatever the devil meant for evil, God will use for good. He already is Jill. May the fellowship of your sufferings deepen the resurrection power of eternal life that God has breathed into you. Our prayer for you is Romans 15:13, “May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace in believing by the power of His Holy Spirit.” Faithful is He who called you who also will do it. Please pass our greetings to your children in Jesus Name. Because He lives, we can face tomorrow and eternity with HOPE together. All our Love & Prayers, Gil & Carol Harder


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