About a month ago, one friend texted that I was “all take, no give” while another friend said that I was “taking advantage” of her. The conversations disintegrated after that, and I felt like I’d lost my two best friends where I currently live. I was flabbergasted that they viewed me so negatively, especially as I could count numerous times that I had given my time or help to them (typing resumes, editing papers, hunting down Christmas trees). They had generously given back to me as well (helping drive my girls places while I was working, treating us to dinner), and I didn’t want it to become a contest; however, I knew that I needed to look carefully at this since two friends essentially said the same thing. On the way to work that morning, I sobbed, talking to my sister Britt about how alone I feel here, about how difficult it is to be the only parent around, and about how exhausting it is to work three jobs and do all of the parenting myself all of the time with no break. I missed my sister so much. At the same time, I realized that maybe I was relying on friends too much since I have no family here. I’d thought that those friends were our adopted family, and it hurt to think I might lose them.
This situation spurred my decision to become more involved in our local church and join some women’s groups there. After the service the next Sunday, I browsed the books for the upcoming session, reading the backs. Every time I read the back of Nehemiah, a heart that can break by Kelly Minter, my throat and chest tightened and my eyes watered, so I knew I had to choose that study group. When I read about having a broken heart, it was as though God was talking directly to me. My mind flashed to the pink hearts that Laina drew and left all over the house when she was eight and her dad first told her about the impending divorce. Every single heart was broken; over and over again, she drew two halves that could not touch. When I read about God using a broken heart to help others, I understood completely. Yes, I thought. This is what I want. If I have had to live with a broken heart to learn my life lessons, then please allow that to help others in some way.
I finally felt some hope that my heart would heal as I allowed my pain and my blessings to bless others.