let’s break bread together: the openness of brokenness.

July 11, 2013, Michaela Evanow, 24 Comments

I write from a place of brokenness. That’s just how I do it. Sometimes I don’t write for a long while, and it comes back to bite me. I will stay awake for long hours, thinking, writing words across my brain. I will do the dishes and rewrite the same words over and over. It’s a bit obsessive. Some say it’s a gift, and I really appreciate that. It is something I enjoy doing, and not something I strive to do. The words just come. Sometimes they rush too hard and too fast and my hands shake and I write because I have to. This is God, to me.

I don’t often write about Florence and her condition, because it is not my life. I cannot make SMA the biggest part of my life.

This is what I struggle with on a daily basis. God, show up today, show up today and work a miracle (and then I realize the great lie…He has shown up). Don’t let Florence get worse and worse and then perish (and then my heart tightens and I know these are not the things I should be thinking about: Philippians 4:8). God, God, I am broken. So what do I have to work through today? How can the struggle make me beautiful today? Oh and help me make dinner and strain the kefir and do the laundry too.

Meet me here.

One thing that I’ve been mulling over for a long while is suffering and brokenness in our society. A society that is built around social media.

Facebook does not always give a platform for pain. As we all know, it highlights our perfections. There is a Facebook page I follow, called Birth Without Fear, that often has these stories called: I Am Strong. Those are amazing. It showcases mothers overcoming some huge obstacles. Not just new mums with perfectly healthy babies struggling with sleeplessness. I was there though, before the diagnosis, and it was my happy world. It is a world that many people live in! But these I Am Strong posts remind me that I’m not alone. And that suffering strikes not just the lame and blind in India or the orphaned girl child in China, but it strikes here too, in this Western world that doesn’t seem to believe in miracles anymore. One that has built theology around why Jesus doesn’t heal and how we are somehow so different from the woman with the issue of blood (who simply touched Jesus and was healed) or Lazarus (who waited in his sickness and then died and then rose again). But we are not, Jesus loves us just the same and He is the same as He was back then. Only we have changed.

We have changed.

I like broken people. I am drawn to them now, and I suppose I always have been. I wish we could wear our brokenness out in the open, like our tattoos or our scars. I wish we couldn’t hide it.

Sometimes I tell the Lord that I’m tired of being the broken one. The one that has to hang my laundry in the open. I do it willingly. But it doesn’t mean it’s easy. I have been told I put words to your thoughts, I share my heart that mirrors your heart.

I didn’t know you were this broken too, dear one.

Tell me your story. Tell me your triumphs (because yes! I love these stories too). Tell me that God is still good even after your child dies from cancer. Tell me that God is still faithful even though you are wrapped up in an unhappy marriage. Tell me that you are broken but you know the Healer. Just don’t be afraid to share…life.

And for those that have shared tears and vulnerability with me? Thank you. Your journey gives me hope and lets me know I am not alone.

I show my brokenness because it came to me through my child, and it’s not something I can hide. And because that is what I have been called to do…or so it seems that way.

I need people in my life that I can break bread with. I need meals and love and tears spilt over your heart struggles too. Your tears and stories ignite the reserved strength in me. Even in the shambles, we can be strong in Christ. We are here for each other.

I want to help you too, but if your life looks perfect, I just don’t know how. And I’m sure others don’t either. There is no way in. Are we not all broken in one way or another? It doesn’t have to look the same as my journey, and for the most part, it won’t.

But let me see your heart cracked wide open and let me know of your struggles. Let’s be broken together so we can heal together. Let’s learn how to love each other deeply.

And let’s not stay here, in the dust. Let’s pick each other up. Let’s bury our burdens together over chicken soup and sundown while the babies sleep.

Let’s fellowship over these mountains and on this road to Zion, let’s urge each other forward, and forget the meaningless things of this earth, the dust catchers. Maybe it’s not that easy, but will you try with me?


  • Reply Jenna Crane October 17, 2014 at 7:37 AM

    Hello, I just came across your site, and this post struck me. Our son has SMA also, and we have already had our first hospitalization of the season. I just want to say that I hear you, I feel you. I have fear, I know I shouldn’t fear. This life is hard and I’m tempted to feel like we have it worse. We don’t. I know we don’t. We have God tending to our hearts, and this life is still hard. Where would we be without Him? How do people do it? Anyway, you and yours are now in my thoughts and prayers, and I will think of you as I rub our spicy oil on everyone’s feet.

  • Reply B Mack October 9, 2013 at 6:40 PM

    oops it posted the wrong link- Josh’s Bread and Wine song is the one I wanted to share 🙂

  • Reply B Mack October 9, 2013 at 6:38 PM

    Thanks for sharing your heart! Reminds me of this song… Be blessed, you are loved Michaela Jay and Flo! We continue to believe with you 🙂

  • Reply Ginny McInnes October 6, 2013 at 9:02 PM

    Beautiful heartfelt words Michaela. We met years ago at LOJ. Road the ferry to Vancouver with your mom on May 30th and she shared with me about your beautiful Flo. My heart and prayers go out to you. I am touched by your faith filled brokenness and your willingness to share it so openly. My struggles seem so small in the face of your challenges. You are a shining star, a beacon of hope, a messenger of courage, a vessel of humility, a candle burning brightly, a steward of perseverence, walking on water in the midst of the storm. Bless you.

    • Reply Michaela. October 7, 2013 at 10:55 AM

      Hi Ginny, thanks for stopping by and saying hello! I cant quite remember you without seeing your face! But thank you for your kind words.

  • Reply summercoleyward September 4, 2013 at 11:50 PM

    Thank you, Michaela, for sharing your truth, your gift and your pain. It was Bev’s Facebook post that lead me here – to your beautiful words that comfort my heart in the midst of my own pain. I’ve learned to hide my pain, to conceal it under a shiny exterior and my desire to take on everyone else’s problems except my own. I’ve witnessed other people’s struggles and I’ve also witnessed other people’s cruelty and the labels they’ve created and glued to all those whom they misunderstood. This made me feel protective of all those misunderstood souls, but made me fear being vulnerable at the same time. I agree with you and I share your dream – to create a place/space where we can all be real and shed the adult superhero costumes we wear to appear strong, to appear independent and less imperfect. As for God, Christ… part of my deepest pain is in building my faith and really getting to know Him. I wish faith didn’t have to be so blind! I accept that I may not get the ‘supernatural’ experience I’ve been praying for, but maybe I already have and I don’t even know it yet. I don’t know much about God, but I do know that my darkest moments were when I failed to believe in Him and His love. Consider me on this path with you. I’ll carry the bandages and iodine. You keep on writing! Love & light, my friend.

  • Reply Princess Gina Child of the Kings of Kings!! July 14, 2013 at 9:29 AM

    Gleaming, raw, vulnerable, glorious faith right there folx.

  • Reply Nanny July 13, 2013 at 7:30 PM

    Like the phoenix Mic sweetheart, you rise above it all and dance in the light of our Lord

  • Reply Kelcy Snyckers July 13, 2013 at 7:23 PM

    Michaela….your writing is so RAW…so REAL….so TRUE….you absolutely amaze me. I don’t really stop to read much nowadays as we just seem so bombarded with stuff, but your blog is different. It brings me back to the TRUTH of who we are. It’s not pretty and it’s not easy but it’s REAL and that’s what makes me stop and take note. I’m encouraged every time I read what you write as I see in your words the fragrance of God making all things beautiful in His time. I believe he’s doing that with each one of us…in His way….in His time. Your journey is one beyond any kind of pain I can imagine, but not one beyond HOPE and I think that’s what keeps us all mesmerized and hanging on, like you, to the HOPE that is in your heart and that spills out so effortlessly into the words you pen (or type shall I say :)). I soooo believe there is going to be the most incredible ending to your and Florence’s story….I can’t wait to see it unfold…..you’re an inspiration, a true WARRIOR and I am absolutely honoured to know you and sweet, little FLO.

    • Reply Pa Nash July 14, 2013 at 10:21 AM

      Wonderful Kelcy…

    • Reply Michaela. July 14, 2013 at 2:44 PM

      Yeah! thanks Kelcy!! This just made my heart so happy. I know the story will unfold in hope too…

  • Reply Ben Appenheimer July 12, 2013 at 12:44 AM

    This is beautiful. Thank you for using your gift with words. It’s so amazing.

  • Reply Sophie July 11, 2013 at 9:55 PM

    I will try with you! As we press home to Zion.

  • Reply Sonya July 11, 2013 at 7:25 PM

    Such a good post Michaela, you are an encouragement to me and to many. We will keep praying for you and your family, for joy in the midst of everything you are living through.

  • Reply G July 11, 2013 at 3:39 PM

    H God always answers, just sometimes the answer is no, or not now, or not yet. Be encouraged as you encourage others. Bless you for standing with Michaela

  • Reply H July 11, 2013 at 1:34 PM

    I struggle greatly with my faith. Though I am not broken, I have had periods in my life where I felt the cracks. I have a chronic illness to which there is no cure, and have suffered and continue to suffer daily. I have struggled to conceive a child so desperately wanted with my husband while watching all of my friends have children so easily. I have watched family members go through terrible trauma with illness and hospitalization. As such, I have a hard time because I feel like God hasn’t answered my prayers directly, though of course, I am blessed in so many other ways, that perhaps this is His gift to me. I am constantly having to remind myself of this, but in the last few years I have felt so disconnected from God because I can’t wrap my head around all the badness and sadness in this world.

    I read your blog and cry for you and your family. Your strength is wonderful and I am envious of your faith. My mother has this kind of faith, and I often wonder how she remains so steadfast when her prayers are not always answered. I wish I had it, but I don’t.

    Please keep writing and sharing. And when I pray, I will pray for you and yours.

    • Reply Michaela. July 11, 2013 at 4:13 PM

      Thanks for sharing so much with me H. Brokenness is actually a kind of freedom. It took me a while and I definitely don’t believe in the mindset that God breaks us, but rather he mends us and allows the stretching. Thank you for your prayers. All I can say is seek Him with all your heart and train your heart to go after Him. He’s always there but we have to go after him. It’s part of growing up in the faith. But it can be hard. Much love to you.

      • Reply H July 12, 2013 at 12:31 PM

        Thank you 🙂

  • Reply Brie July 11, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    Oh Michaela, I stumbled upon your blog randomly, but I so love to read it. I am not broken on your level, I do not know such great pain, I can only imagine it. I don’t envy your pain and I surely pray a miracle for you, but there is something so beautiful in the brokenness you describe, I love when I hear from people who are just clinging to God, who are beyond the day to day normal American stuff, who are actually living this life so close to him, past all the fluff and down to the nitty gritty, really living for Him when it’s the very hardest. You’re right, He is the same, we have changed. I am encouraged by your thoughts today and I will go pray for you now. I just picture God smiling down on you, crying with you, loving you. You my dear are beautiful and so is your baby girl.

    • Reply Michaela. July 11, 2013 at 4:08 PM

      Thank you for this Brie. I was thinking after I posted this that people may not understand this post…too radical or what not. But then I thought of the people I know, radical people of community and faith, and I knew they’d understand. And it seems you too understand, and I’m blessed by that. Brokenness leads us into another world, where the things that used to matter don’t…where its only Jesus. I guess I just want to know people deeper & have richer relationships….

      • Reply briemarie14 July 11, 2013 at 9:07 PM

        I understand completely. I wish to be so free with my brokenness with someone as you are with us.

        • Reply Michaela. July 14, 2013 at 2:42 PM

          Thanks for sharing this Brie.

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