The Miracle of Brokeness

A vintage commercial runs through my mind and I laugh. Miracles can happen. They’ll happen for you. Publisher’s Clearing House…making dreams come true. Laughter continues until I realize a shift within me.  Miracles and dreams feel ethereal.  A little beyond my reach. Beyond my reality.

This has not always been true for me. Eleven years ago, this month, The Rosenberg Sky Room, located just outside of downtown San Antonio, was the setting for one of the most memorable days of my life. The University was preparing to celebrate their Quasquicentennial and a night in China was the backdrop for the decor. Red fabric was draped from the ceiling while white paper lanterns added enchanting lighting.

Breathtaking views of the city and the grand Texas sky provided the landscape for the evening.  Inside the ballroom, tables were adorned with floor length cloths in black and white while towering glass vases filled with large twigs and calla lilies provided the most elegant centerpieces.

When the event planner called to let us know that there would not be enough time to flip the room from the decor of Friday night, to the decor for Saturday, and we would need to either work with their decorations or choose another location I had to quickly decide what mattered most.

Looking at the website for the Sky Room today, the room is described as the place where “we encourage our clients to dream big. Celebrate your wedding day along with your loved ones, while enjoying incomparable views of San Antonio’s distinctive skyline. The Rosenberg Sky Room; this is where your story begins.”

Our story. The one where two become one.

The decision was made to stay with the place. Intentionality, creativity, and love filled every space of the room and spilled out into the foyer. The Sky Room became our place for the night and it was enchanting.

Just inside the ballroom, stood my favorite decoration, an enormous ice sculpture in the form of a glass slipper. Extravagant, yes. Excessive, probably. Minimalist, absolutely not. Necessary, I believe so. Etched underneath the glass slipper were the words that my heart wanted to share, “Dreams come true”.

This man, those dreams. Together at last. Two broken people, joined together in love. Years of pain and disappointment washed away by gratitude and hope. All of it was lovely and beautiful and worthy of celebration. I held those words close to my heart as I looked around the room filled with the faces of all those I held dear and I believed for myself, dreams really do come true.

That glorious day, our beginning, was also the commencement of our breaking together.

In our becoming, we have been falling apart.

Somehow, over time, our hearts have changed, we have changed.

I have said and done things to the man of my dreams that I never imagined would be possible. I have become complacent in my love for him and allowed tension and stress to disconnect my heart and my body from him. In the chaos of raising a family, I have lost sight of love that I hold in the deepest parts of my being for the man that God has given me to have and to hold. My heart has broken time and again as I’ve struggled to believe that this life I am living is the dream that I had in mind when I chose to proclaim those words eleven years ago.

Recently, I began reading Ann Voskamp’s The Broken Way. As she repeatedly asks the question, “how do you live with your one broken heart?”, my heart screams, YES! Exactly. She goes on to talk about how Eucharisteo, giving thanks, always precedes the miracle. “Thanksgiving precedes the miracle-the miracle of knowing all is enough. And how many times had I read it-how Jesus ‘took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people’? Eucharisteo-Jesus embracing and giving thanks for his not-enough, that preceded the miracle…The miracle happens in the breaking.”

The miracle happens in the breaking. In the breaking of bread, in communion is where the miracle happens. What in the world does this mean for me and for you?

She goes on to say, “Somehow…the miracle, the intimacy, of communion comes through brokenness.” My heart beats a little faster as my head swirls those words around. Again and again. Miracle. Intimacy. Communion. Brokenness. Suddenly, miracles and dreams begin to sound a bit earthly to me.  My heart begins to ponder what this might mean as we navigate the reality of the day to day.

I might just be a believer after all, that miracles can happen.

DSC_0533Bethany Cabell is a Texas transplant, residing in Michigan with her husband and their two young boys.  A lover of beauty, she lives life chasing after wide-open spaces: sharing her heart with others, in relationship with Jesus, and through music and photography. She tells her story here. &