…To Bind Up the Brokenhearted

Job 6:11 – What strength do I have that I should still have hope?
I unlock the door to my empty house and drop my bags – purse, laptop, lunchbox – in their proper spots after yet another long, unfulfilling day of work. I walk into the kitchen to begin another evening of mindless, draining chores. I unload the dishwasher, my mind filled with thoughts of what else needs to be done before I can crawl into the bed and escape for a few hours. As I am wiping down the cabinet, scrubbing off jelly stains and bread crumbs left from the rapid morning exodus, suddenly I just can’t do it anymore. I leave the jelly rag sitting on the counter and dazedly walk back to my bedroom.
I pause, looking at my pretty, made bed with throw pillows built up in mounds upon it. It is my sacred place – the only place where I can escape the monotony of my life. I carefully move just a few of the throw pillows over, crawl beneath the covers, careful to disturb as little of my sacred place as possible. Beneath the heavy comforter and tucked in sheets, overshadowed by the pillow mound, I wish that I could just sink into another world, one that does not look or feel anything like my real world. I feel as though I will never be able to get up again. I’m so tired. Not physically. Maybe not even mentally. But emotionally and oh yes, spiritually, I am so tired I don’t think I can live one more day of the life that I have somehow ended up with. How different it is than the one I imagined!

I was going to do great things. I try to remember what they were but I cannot, or will not, because I don’t really believe in dreams anymore. That’s what it means to be a woman living a grown-up life – you stop believing in dreams and fantasies and get right down to business. Doing the things that need to be done. I discovered that marriage really isn’t that romantic. And I felt silly for ever believing that it was. I realized that having a baby didn’t make me feel needed or important. And I felt ashamed of myself for buying into such a lie. I found that being a teacher didn’t really change the lives of children – it just helped them pass tests. And I was angry that anyone ever let me believe I could make a difference.

So now I don’t believe anymore. I just live. And I try to be kind to people. And take good care of my family. And laugh when I can. But I’m so tired of living without hope. I miss dreaming. But I can’t risk it – because when it doesn’t come true, I will find myself broken beyond repair. Numb is better than broken, I think. What strength do I have that I should still have hope?

Have you been there? You, no doubt, had different hopes and dreams that were dashed by reality, but have you been there? Feeling so hopeless that you don’t think you can take another emotional step forward? Maybe not outwardly. You still read your Bible and pray and raise your hands in worship and believe in Jesus. But inwardly – in YOUR sacred place, have you felt the panic of hopelessness? Have you thought, is this REALLY all there is to life? Well, sister, if you have been here, I have spectacular news! I know someone who IS Hope – His very presence breeds and strengthens that feeling you had as a little girl – the feeling, no the unfaltering belief, that someday you would be spectacularly swept off your feet and whisked away to a beautiful castle where you would do things and live a life that mattered. There is hope!


The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
Isaiah 61:1

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    Liza

    What an encouragement, Emily. I found your blog through Tamara Lionberger Woodard's page and am now addicted 🙂 Thank you for the inspiration and for sharing your life with us. I hope you don't mind having another "follower." All the best, Liza Ortego Bush

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