How I get shattered…

Recently, I had fallen asleep on the couch in the middle of our show and was in a state of dreaming that feels as if you are caught between two worlds at once. We were huddled under the warm blankets and spread out with pillows, he on his side and me on mine on the “L” shaped couch. I was drifting off into one of those dreams that seems so real and vivid, yet you can feel your mind searching in confusion. It is as if you are aware you are in a dream yet still not sure about it as you drift away.

I heard the sound of my name and I awoke with a start as I squinted in the dark to see my husband standing over me. In a state of sleepiness, I didn’t immediately process it was my husband standing there or that it was his silhouette against the glow of the television.

My heart started pounding and I could feel my hands start to shake. Where was I? What happened? I heard him saying something about the dog needing to go out and the baby was fussing.

I was on autopilot, heading toward the kitchen, and listening to the familiar litany circulating around my brain, “I am in my house, I am safe, I have two children, there’s the cat, that was my husband, the wall is cold, I need the bottle, the counter is cold, I don’t want to be cold, I hear the dog…” And so on and so forth.

It is the self-talk that I find myself doing in an attempt to stay in the present so as not to allow a trigger to set off a chain of events I don’t want to participate in. They are staccato thoughts stabbing at the mind, stunted and uncertain, but trying to sound brave in an attempt to scare off the unmentionable things that haunt the mind. But, it was too late. Those unmentionable things stormed into the present…so very real and so very powerful.

I do not even know where I go when my heart pounds, my body shakes, and my reality feels stretched out between then and now while the now rapidly starts to disappear. I heard my voice getting frantic, I could feel the storm swelling within, and my insides turned into a tornado.

I got swept up in the path of it and, by the time it blew over, I saw tears in my husband’s eyes as he stood in front of me reaching for my hands. And, by then, I had no idea what was going on or why I was so upset. I stood there bewildered and perplexed. What had happened? I was asleep one minute and a frightened animal the next.

I found myself feeling around in a gauzy layer of clouds for several days. I was jumpy, nervous, and frustrated. So much progress had been made and it had been so long since I felt as if I were walking through a landmine of triggers. Yet, there I was, doing the special dance around a land mine of triggers as if I had just gone completely backwards after having come so far. I have developed an aversion to that word: trigger.

Then, the guilt set in; forgive me, God, for being so broken and scared. How many times have I wept and asked God to forgive my brokenness, to forgive me for my fear, as if it were a choice? It is not a choice and that is the torment of it. That is the part that cuts and bleeds you out. I don’t want to be this way, God, make it stop, this isn’t who I am!

I just want to be a good and faithful servant. I want to give and be a light in this dark world. I want to love and be loved. I have a big, soft heart and how will anyone ever see that if I am frozen in a state of fear?

I pulled out my headphones and headed to the elliptical again. God and I were going to do something about my state of mind. I pumped my legs furiously and began reciting the Shema, a Hebrew prayer for rising in the morning and retiring at night.

Sh’ma Yisra’eil Adonai Eloheinu Adonai echad…
Barukh sheim k’vod malkhuto l’olam va’ed…

I sang it loud, even if it was off-key and I was out of breath. I kept singing it, even if my pronunciation was chopping the entire prayer to pieces.

That night I let my husband hold my hand while a giant thorn of grief finally broke loose. I could barely speak, but I finally uttered, “What happened was wrong. And, it hurts so much I have always been afraid to feel it.”

We read Psalm 37 together and God revealed Himself. He is my refuge and my stronghold. The beauty of that broke me and, in the middle of it all, I saw joy in Him.

I think broken people are usually the most beautiful kind. In spite of it all, I am compassionate, tenderhearted, sincere, and I hunger and thirst for righteousness. I have a heart of flesh and not a heart of stone. I genuinely care about the feelings and burdens of others, because I know what it is like to live under the weight of them. And, I have a passion for God that burns like a wildfire.

I am an imperfect human being who has had some successes, some traumas, a few failures, some more successes, and even some blessings along the way. I am a human being who fell and shattered along this journey. I am someone who, by some miracle, lived to tell about it.

And, that is why I get shattered in Him.

I am an imperfect human being who is still learning to get still so I can let His light shine on all of those broken pieces.

Exodus 14:14

The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.

A version of this post also appeared on The Mighty.

45 thoughts on “How I get shattered…”

    1. I was hesitant to share this one, because it feels so raw and vulnerable. But I did hoping that anyone out there who goes through these things would see it and know they are not alone. And, to know that we’ve got a big God on the job and He is going to right all the wrongs!

      Psalm 37:23-24 is a promise we can hold onto: The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Beautiful . . . Father God, thank You for setting a hedge of protection around Your daughter and her family, preserving and protecting them from all harm, physical violence and mental cruelty in Jesus Mighty, yoke breaking, bondage lifting, stronghold shattering Name! Amen.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Thank you for openly sharing your walk of faith ! I appreciate you and your writing! On my blog I write about my walk of faith and depression some times. God wants us to draw near to Him in our brokenness. God understands brokenness … God’s Holy Spirit is here with us so we are never alone.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. JD, thank you for sharing again how the Lord is working in your life, and encouraging others.
    All that you are experiencing is for His purpose, and for His glory. Is this episode included in your book? I look forward to reading it. Have a blessed week-end.~ Fran

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not this particular post, but I do share a bit about some flashbacks, my reaction to things that are cold to the touch, and why. That part I just cannot put on the blog. It is too…I don’t have a word for it. Anyway, I feel extremely vulnerable is one way to put it. All of this leaves me with the sensation of being very vulnerable. I am still very reserved in what I share and am working on a project that addresses more of the fine details about different parts of the journey, but I had to step away from that and take a break. But, I realize that God can use our vulnerability for His glory, so I submit it all to Him so He can do what He wants with whatever I can offer. Thank you for talking the time to leave all of the comments you leave. I so appreciate them!


  4. This is a powerful message, and thank you for sharing it along with us. Yes, you may have been or felt broken hearted, but with God, you will forever have eternal peace with Him that He intends to always give us. Never give up, Shattered in Him and always know that you are loved, not only by God but by us as well. 🙂 Stay strong.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This warmed my heart! I’ve been revisiting many parts of the Psalms, Deuteronomy, Exodus, and Isaiah lately (not in any order).

      I see a theme; those who talk about us, those that judge us, those that scorn us, those that harm us, and those who seek to destroy or tear down who we are…well, one day we will be standing next to Him as He lavishes His love upon us and makes everything right! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. In your brokenness…God is powerful. In your being shattered you are being built into something He can use for His glory. The guilt of your past is not yours to carry. Don’t forget to lay it down, multiple times during the day if you have to. And your willingness to be obedient and honor Him with real emotions is a testament and a witness to His faithfulness. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For some reason, when I get on that elliptical with the headphones and keep verses pulled up…well, I live for those moments. It has been the best therapy and it is productive. I can disappear into Him and He is always there with compassion. And, I am learning how to keep laying it down, which used to be the battle of all battles. With each set back and release of old, stuffed grief, it gets easier to recognize when I need to run for cover the most. Yes, there are days when I have to lay it down a thousand exhausting times. Thank you for the reminder to keep doing that, as well as the reminder about guilt’s place. That is very much appreciated! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hear you on laying things down over and over! I keep thinking I can fix things and then find out that it wasn’t even mine to fix.
        Satan will tell us the guilt is ours and we should keep it. He is a big liar!
        Hang in there and hang on to Him…..and I will do the same :).

        Liked by 1 person

  6. You have been fighting so hard. The guilt you feel for reactions caused by your trauma are what I call illegitimate guilt. Your words tell me you get it, but the emotions of guilt come anyway and they are so merciless. I’ve had a past battle with illegitimate guilt myself. No more big battles anymore, God has healed that. It still tries to sneak in from time to time. He’s still working… and will continue until the day we meet Him face to face.
    You do have a great big heart filled with love and compassion and I’m so thankful to be on the receiving end as I am so blessed by you! Great, transparent writing that God is using. God Bless and keep you close to His heart.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so, so much for this. I have come along so far that it is actually quite amazing when I look behind long enough to grasp the enormity of God and His compassion in this. But, yes, those moments come when you slip under the guilt; for you attitude, for being so affected, or even the ways the brokenness took you down some slopes that inevitably caused more brokenness. But, He is so much bigger and more powerful than all of that. For that I am thankful!! He is a good, good Father. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Exercise is one of the best remedies I can think of, aside from the process of healing that God brings us, for overcoming trauma and all that comes with it. I’m so happy you’ve found that for yourself! Nice husbands are a great help too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do not know what I would do without my space in the garage. I even like to keep a soft light so that the mood is soft. It has become the best place to get into conversations with God next to long drives in the car alone! And, nice husbands do help. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I love you, Love. I truly do get it. Forgive me for acting and saying things out of frustration. The Lord has done a mighty work in your life and in our life. He is using you as a lighthouse for others lost in the sea that you were lost on for years. Have patience with me as I am still learning how to recognize triggers and not to take a lot of things personally. I’ll have patience with you as you get very grumpy between waking up and your coffee. Maybe when all of Hank’s teeth come in we’ll be able to get some proper sleep. 😩

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Okay, you are allowed a pass. But, who doesn’t get a little spiffed between waking and that first cup of java after being up all night with a teething baby? No one, that’s who! 😀 😀

      I love you and I am going to keep you because you are fun!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Well shared and very open and honest. You sound like a “normal” human being, as we are all broken in our humanity. But we are perfect in the eyes of God when washed in the blood of Christ. Thank you for this one!!!!!

    Steve 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. This “tent” we live in while on this earth is weak to many sinful things. Now, that doesn’t excuse the times we give in to temptation, as each time we do, we disappoint our Lord.

        But as we repent of sins, we are forgiven by God’s gift of grace. I love the verse found in (1 John 1:7)…

        “If we walk in the Light as He is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another. And the blood of Jesus Christ washes away all sins.”

        Now, that’s comforting…

        Liked by 1 person

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