the icy cold of winter buries deep inside my broken

Winter. She seeps into every bone of our body. She takes away our breath. She numbs every appendage. Chilling us from the outside in.
Maybe you don’t live in a frigid atmosphere. Maybe winter is just a season. Something that becomes part of the “after Christmas mess”. Maybe it’s the part of the empty. The longing. The gaping hole we feel in our souls. When the lights are down. When the happiness seems to dissipate. When the Joy seems to go way.
This is winter. This is her icy grasp. This is her song.

Winter. She seeps into every bone of our body. She takes away our breath.

the icy cold of winter buries deep inside of my class=

I sit cross-legged. Socks pulled up high. Boots on inside to keep the chill away from my bones. The struggling fire crackles next to me. Begging for attention. I poke at it every so often. Moving logs so they can breathe better and feed the fire.

I remember watching my father light a fire hundreds of times. Open the flue. Stack the kindling. Add the logs. There was a method. A deliberateness. He would roll the newspaper into the perfect cone shape…strike the match and let the eager flame lick up the dry paper. Then, before it was completely engulfed, he would gently warm the flue. The fire would be racing towards his fingers, but with a graceful flip of the hand land on top of the warming logs. He was a magic fire maker in my eyes. The logs would come to life, glowing, snapping. Sometimes I even got to strike the match. It was like being invited into some sacred ceremony. I could feel the importance. I often struggled with a match. My fingers not quite as adept as they are now. Nervous. And those tall matches. They were not easy to hold in my tiny hands. But he was patient with me. I loved those moments.

 

I think of that ritual every time I start a fire of my own.
I add another log now…coaxing her to life…begging. This wood seems dry enough. She immediately sucks in the flames and crackles to life.

 

The words on my book dance on the page in front of me. I’m distracted between fire and needy noses that snuggle in hard wanting attention. Claiming their space as near to me as possible. And as near to the glowing warm fire. Clearly I have the best seat in the house.

 

I glance up. The snow has started to fall again. It looks like a slow motion video. Large fluffy flakes silently adding to the cloud like mountains already piled on my deck. It’s beautiful from this perspective. Inside. I smile at the thought and look back at my book. A word jumps right off the page. Brokenness.

 

It’s how I cover myself. Pretending to be warm and whole and content.

 

It hits me like a sharp cold knife. Winter.
Such a vivid picture of how I feel. The fire, the warmth, it’s a cloak. It’s how I cover myself. Pretending to be warm and whole and content.

 

But I FEEL icy and cold and broken…all.the.time. Broken.
Broken. Because of sin. Broken because I feel the weight of all the things all the time. Broken. Not whole. Fragmented. Unworthy.
Not smart enough. Not thin enough. Not talented enough. Not pretty enough. Not enough. Guilt. Shame. Broken.

 

So I cover. And hide. I warm my chilled insides hoping to feel better more whole, less broken.
I have answers. I have hope. I know what I believe. I have a faith so strong it sews the broken. Stitch by stitch. A patchwork quilt. If you could see me I would look like a Velveteen rabbit. Patches of fur rubbed off. Ears sewn back on. Missing whiskers. But beautiful and whole in the eyes of the One who created me. I know that. I do. But yet…but yet…this is me, feeling the weight of broken. And no matter what I believe I struggle through this. Every.Day.

 

The slow motion “blizzard” continues. Millions of flakes drifting to the ground. Soft. Silent. Beautiful.
I want to stand outside and let them cover my hair, my eyelashes. I want to FEEL the winter chill. Really feel it. But then I remember…sniffles. Reality.

 

I am broken. You are broken. Messy. Undone. Works in progress.

 

But. Isn’t it through broken vessels that the Light can sneak in? Edging its way through the cracks. Pushing. Seeking. Bending past sharp edges. Warming the inside. Illuminating the dark. The cold. The empty. And that light…once it penetrates…is unstoppable. It stokes at the dormant embers of our broken. Coaxing. Shining. It struggles at first. But then? It crackles to life.
It’s in our brokenness we can then in turn let our light shine out. Through the cracks. Through them.

 

It’s in our brokenness we can then in turn let our light shine out. Through the cracks. Through them.

 

I do not want to fear my brokenness. I no longer want to be ashamed of it. I want the fire in my soul, the love, the forgiveness, the joy, the compassion – those things – to shine through every shattered edge. I rest in that thought.

 

The soft flakes continue to cleanse the earth.

 

I am free. Forgiven. Beautifully broken. Bursting with light. Come and see.
Lisa Lehmann
Lisa Lehmann

mom, artist, photographer, head in the clouds dreamer, lover of pens and chocolate, believer of keeping things real, dog lover - but omgawsh, the hair ...