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“The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.” Ernest Hemingway

A broken heart-an interesting phrase. It means “devastating sorrow and despair.” I don’t know about you, but when I am hurting, I feel it most in my heart. Huge stabs of pain that are relentless. My heart cracked long ago, but now it is broken in two. We think with our heads, but we feel with our hearts. I believe that a heart is so much more than a beating machine that sustains life. It is the very center of our emotions.

A broken heart is painful beyond words. It defies description, but if you have ever experienced it-no words are needed. You understand. When we are wounded, we go over and over the tragic events, the hurtful words spoken, and the misunderstandings. Each time we think perhaps this time we will make sense of it all. But it is a fruitless endeavor. Each time we replay the pain, the knife cuts deeper, and peace eludes us. We feel betrayed by our own mind, because it will not stop torturing us. If only it had an “off” button.

The only “off” button, that I have found for my mind lately, is sleep. Sleep is ever evasive for those with broken hearts, but if we are able to chase it down, it is a momentary healer. I only sleep for a few hours at a time, and then I open my eyes, and reality hits me with a sickening thud. For a moment, I thought that my life was a bad dream, but the sunlight seeping under my curtain, reminds me that I have to face another day of physical and emotional pain, for the things I can no longer do for my mom.

I had a prophecy once that said, “Weakness is not wicked.” I didn’t understand it then, but I do now. When my body and mind can no longer function at the present pace, it is not wicked. I am simply weak and exhausted, like poor Elijah, the powerful prophet, who had achieved amazing miracles, but ran from the ever threatening Jezebel. He was weary and frightened for his life. (I can surely relate.)

After running away, he sat down under a juniper tree and prayed to die. (I haven’t reached that point yet, though at times I feel like I’m dying.) And he said, “It is enough.” (I’m there.) What revived him? The kindness and gentle care of the Lord, who sent helpers to make angel food cake (my version). The angels ministered to him, and gave him food and drink. (Last night was the first time in ages, that I sat down, and had a sandwich with my husband, but immediately afterward received a call that pulled me right back into the fray.) I have decided to turn off my cell for now, as I cannot face one more crisis.

So first Elijah prayed to die. Then he fell asleep. Then he ate and drank something, and went back to sleep. It is the only prescription for my sorrow at this point. (Except that sleep eludes me because of anxiety.) Where is that Lunesta butterfly when you need him? (If only life were that easy.)

And then again, the angel of the Lord came and touched Elijah, and told him to eat and drink because the journey was too great. That is right where I find myself. The journey is too great for me-too overwhelming-too heartbreaking-too emotional-too physical-too impossible.

But Elijah went in the strength of that meal for forty days and nights. As I feed on the Word of God, I trust Him to strengthen me for the journey ahead-the one that is too great for me.

And then he found a cave-a place of refuge-a place where he felt safe and secure. I must find such a place, for it was there that God spoke to him in a still, small voice. It is impossible to hear that still, small voice in the midst of the chaos that I have been living in, for I have surely gone through the wind, the earthquake, and the fire, but He was not speaking there. He speaks in the still, small voice, and I must be still, and know that He is God, and that He will never forsake me or my family.

God asked a question of Elijah,”What are you doing here?” Of course, God knew the answer, but I believe that he was allowing Elijah to tell his story (to get it off his chest). It is so wonderful to know that the Lord listens to us, when others ignore our cries for help. He knows we need to pour out our hearts to Him. (David did this often.)

But after Elijah told God all that he had been through, and how alone he felt, God reassured him that he was not the only one left-there were many believers still. How vital it is to know that we are not alone. God reassured him, and gave him a new mission. And it was to mentor a successor-to throw his mantle on someone else, who would be able to take over where Elijah left off.

And he journeyed on, and found Elisha, and Elijah cast his mantle on him. I believe that it is time for me to cast this mantle (of the care of my mom) on someone who can help me carry on. I have felt that no one could care for her like I have, and I have put untold pressure on myself to be everything she needs. But I have learned that I can’t be Sam, and I can’t be God. I can only be me, and do the very best that I am capable of, while still remembering to take care of myself and my family. (The last part has been completely impossible.) And that is why I feel like Elijah-frightened, exhausted, and alone. I must delegate my care of her, because I will surely die, if I keep on as I have in the past.

Perhaps all of this is a necessary crossroads, for I would never have admitted that I am about to collapse, (other than to Rob), who hears it continually. For 3 years, I have laid down my life for my mother, and like Elijah, I am now weak and weary, and in need of ministry myself.

Lord, send your angels to minister to me. Help me find rest, and food and drink to sustain me. Meet me in a place of refuge and security, where I can hear Your voice, so that I can be strengthened for the journey ahead, wherever it leads.

Heal my broken heart, Lord…



  1. Sparkle,
    I can give my “Yes and Amen” to your prayer…your burden is very heavy right now and it is time to lay it down and rest for a while.
    At this moment in time, I can’t put mine down, but there will be a day that will present itself in a way that I will know that it is time to lay it down and trust that the angels will carry me to that place of healing that only the Lord, God Almighty has reserved for my weariness.
    It seems as if your time to lay down your heaviness is now. There is no shame. There is no weakness. It is just time.
    You are doing all that you can do at your expense. This one is on the Lord. He will make a way for all of the cares you carry…it is time to let this burden rest off of your shoulders. God loves your mom more than you and He knows the next turn in this journey…
    Still praying…

  2. Echo & Amen Love Sandy

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