My five-year-old fingers pulled the red crayon from the box. I placed it in the middle of the paper, made a curving line upward and around to a diagonal line downward. I came back to the dot in the center and made a symmetrical figure, a picture of a perfect heart.
My heart was created to bring goodness to Earth. I imagine the face of my Father as He knit me together in my mother’s womb and set the rhythm for my heart. It’s a divine metronome that follows Heaven’s cadence like the ticking of a clock that never misses a second.
Although my heart was created in perfection, it was set into a place of imperfection. It was extracted from my mother’s swishing womb into a world where good and evil are at war. My young heart learned heartache early.
The pulsating organ within my chest cavity is strong and healthy and beats approximately 115,000 times a day. I can manipulate the rise and fall of the beat. It accelerates when I am running wide open on a trail and slows when I am resting on a massage table. I am in tune to its rhythm.
A broken heart loses that attunement and rhythm when it’s punctured with violence and shame. It runs with panic and looks for faces of care to calm and give triage.
I ran to my teachers who hugged me during the day and held my hand at recess. I ran to the neighbor boy who noticed me and brought me into his house and laid naked on top of me. I ran to the back of my closet where the rhythmic sucking of my thumb brought my heart back to aligned tempo. I ran to my Papa who served ice cream in bed and called me his favorite. I ran to razor blades and medication to feel physical pain because my heart was starting to numb.
Because I ingested large amounts of pills, I was swallowed by the mental health system with sterile rooms, yellow robes, gripped slippers. Soon a broken heart is stripped of all freedom with mental and physical detainment. It is desensitized with pills that blunt your mind, numbing the joy and the pain.
It’s like watching a horror movie of yourself being tortured while strapped to a chair.
But that cadenced heart that was divinely created keeps beating and escapes and runs to the Creator with the strength she has left. New life is breathed into the frayed remnants.
I run into the office of my new Pastor per his invitation and testify of my brokenness made whole, and he celebrates with a loud boisterous laugh and promises to take care of me. And then blindsides me as he slithers into the brokenness of my heart. I am shaken violently like an etch n’ sketch physically, sexually, emotionally and spiritually becoming scrambled and disoriented.
My broken heart watches as small graves are dug and pieces of it are thrown into the ground. It feels the weight of dirt being tossed over it to obscure the damage. It is watching with half of itself underground and half above as his followers worship him and he’s whisked into the spotlight of ministry fame.
I hear a faint whisper again, “There is a plan for your heart.”
So I take what’s left and make payment to see if there is any hope of being repaired. And the hands of the receiver holds it and massages it and plays with it – and it feels good for a second – until she takes my heart and flings it around causing a spiritual vertigo that is endless and upside down
My veiny and scarred 45 year-old hand pulls a red pen and a crinkled piece of paper from my bag. I draw again. My heart has been punctured, scrambled, silenced, mangled, but still it palpitates to the cadence of heaven 115,000 beats a day. It was intricately crafted, designed to survive, poised with resilience and fervor. I want to cover all the stains and holes, trim off the frayed edges, and present it as a perfect picture…but I can’t. I stare at what’s in front of me. I see the the heart on this paper is incapsulated with beauty. I’m interrupted when my name is called. I carry it with me to the edge of another brown leather couch. I take a deep breath in and exhale. Tears begin to flow. I can feel. I can hear my voice. My mind swirls toward clarity. This courageous strong heart that was crafted in my mother’s womb with wonder and delight is being resurrected. And maybe, just maybe I am beginning to experience the journey of a healing heart.
Megan is a Midwesterner in the mountain west. She runs a tight a ship and thrives alongside her husband of 15 years and six children. She is educated in teaching and counseling and spends her time helping people dream redemption. She loves Hot Tamales, Essential oils, coffee with friends, and listening to audio books while folding laundry and Costco runs.
Megan – Your story is so powerfully and beautifully written. It’s a story of redemption and hope as you begin “to experience the journey of a healing heart.” I’m sorry for all the ways you have been hurt. Thank you for so bravely sharing a part of your story here.
Barbara – thank you for your response – Hope has buoyed my heart – redemption is a sweet gift – Grateful to be the recipient of both – Hugs!
“This courageous strong heart that was crafted in my mother’s womb with wonder and delight is being resurrected. And maybe, just maybe I am beginning to experience the journey of a healing heart.”. Yes… it will be so… thank you so much for your powerful story… written with such grit and grace!!
Grit and grace are two words that accurately describe the journey – thank you for your comment –
Thank you for being vulnerable. It is healing.
Thank you Ashley! I love what Brene Brown says – “vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity.”.. I want it all –