The Backstory

pieces for the potter

November 18, 2016 I hit rock bottom.

Over breakfast my husband delivered news that hit me head on like a reckless driver with no regard for human life.

I lowered my fork. I shifted my blank stare from my crispy bacon to the eyes of the man who I promised to spend the rest of my life with.

I didn’t throw my orange juice in his face. Instead I felt a calmness.

Shock. I must be in shock.

I made my way to the bathroom to be alone. My hands instinctually lowered to my protruding belly. I gently cradled the life growing inside it as my knees gave and I fell to the floor and the tears fell from my eyes.

THAT. That very moment felt like the end for me. Surely it was. How did one recover from this?

But that beautiful slideshow…the one they say plays out in front of you at the end? That beautiful slideshow was not what I experienced.

I lay on the tiny bathroom floor, not to be dramatic, but because it was the only room in the house that had a working, locking door. That small, 5×10 rectangle, while cold and often dirty, had become my refuge, my safe haven.

It was the wee hours of the morning and while the rest of my household appeared to be sleeping soundly, I was fighting one of the toughest battles of my life. Alone. In the bathroom.

I lay broken, shaking on the floor. My eyes clamped tightly shut, in a lame effort to keep the tears from pouring out.

It was not all the beautiful moments that played in my mind like a movie. No, instead it was all the hurt I had experienced. It was all the mistakes I had made along the way. It was all my brokenness. And it felt like an “extended version” movie clip.

Their divorce.

Feeling unloved.

Rejection.

Molestation.

Feeling replaceable.

An eating disorder.

Promiscuity.

Failed relationships.

Using others.

Allowing myself to be used.

Feeling numb.

Craving acceptance.

Abusive relationships.

Feeling lost.

I cried through it all, through every painful, dark memory. I relived every single one of them.

Faces I hadn’t seen in years appeared, some of their names I had forgotten. But regrettably, what I hadn’t forgotten was what has transpired between us.

It haunted me. They haunted me.

I thought I had buried these experiences deep. I thought I had convinced myself that some of them hadn’t actually happened. I thought I had moved on. But there they were, they all came to the surface. They stared me in the face and there was no escaping them.

I was face to face with my actions, with what I had done in my life, and my mind was spinning. Spinning out of control.

How did I get here? How did I lose myself? What had I done?

The shame overwhelmed me. The guilt consumed me. The burdens had become too much to bear. I could feel the weight of it all pushing me down.

Down into the darkness.

Down into the hopelessness.

Down to rock bottom.

And it was there that, at long last, I felt my head go down. I felt my head go down, not in giving way to the darkness, but to do something completely foreign that I had never truly done before.

I bowed my head. And I bowed it to pray.

Pray? Me? Really? Now? YES.

In that moment, at absolute rock bottom, I prayed out of desperation. Absolute desperation.

I didn’t worry about any sort of logistics. I didn’t worry about any sort of rituals. I didn’t worry about my awkwardness in never really having done it before.

I cried out.

My soul cried out. It cried out in anguish. It cried out in hopelessness. It cried out in tears. In so many tears.

And in that moment I begged. I begged for my life.

God. Help me. Please, help me. Please help me, God. I’m begging you. Please help me.

I repeated it over and over again.

I repeated those words through the tears. I repeated those words through all those shameful memories of my past. I repeated them through the mess I found myself in that moment. I repeated those words through my absolute brokenness right there on that floor.

God. Help me. Please, help me. Please help me, God. I’m begging you. Please help me.

I repeated them over and over again until I fell asleep there on the cold, hard bathroom floor.

Exhausted.

At the mercy of God.

Broken pieces for the Potter.

Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are the work of your hand.

Isaiah 64:8, NIV

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