For so long, I thought my sadness such a perpetual thing.
There wasn’t any one particular thing that broke my heart; my heart seemingly broke voluntarily. I carried this deep sadness, so heavy and weighted with grief I could hardly stand to breathe and function under its weight.
I knew I had to do something but I was afraid; I had lost all hope of ever becoming the type of person that could be free from the things that caused such deep-rooted self-hatred.
One day I remember lying on the floor sobbing, begging God or whomever was listening to please save me from myself, my situation, and to fix my broken heart. When the heaving and bawling had subsided, I was filled with a calm I had not experienced before. In that instant, I knew that God, in his infinite mercy, had heard my cry. He was going to heal my heart and my life.
“But how?” I asked.
He responded to me with Psalms 143:3, “He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.”
I went to bed that night, exhausted from the emotional chaos that had controlled my life, but calm and finally at peace. I tried for a few days to evoke an answer from God; I needed the specifics. But he didn’t provide the clarity I so desperately longed for.
In desperation, I sat down and I wrote him a letter. I told him all the things I hated about my life, all the things I had done, the things that brought me much shame. I told him of my disappointments, my fears, and my hurts. When I finished my letter, I set down my pen and closed my eyes as I deeply exhaled.
He spoke. Finally. “I have loved you with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3).” In that moment, I received more healing, more confirmation; I felt a freedom in my spirit like I had never before experienced.
Sometimes my sadness still seeps into the present, but I’m not longer pressed inside it. And occasionally I don’t recognize my life, my face, my voice, but it’s for better reasons.
God used writing and journaling as a way to communicate his abounding love and grace to me, and I was able to sort out my life and myself and really begin to understand how to be whole, happy, and healthy. The greatest benefit, I’m learning how to embrace love again.
Maryleigh Joy Turner currently resides in the Deep South and is working on a degree in History and Literature & Publishing. She and her silky terrier, Moxie, enjoy reading, photography, and helping to heal others lives.