By Kate Christensen-Martin
Pain has always caused us humans to lock up our hearts and throw away the key. When grief arrives we simply shut the door. We think we’re so cleverly outwitting life’s pesky problem of pain.
The truth is that love and belonging are found in the shared experience of our darkest hours. When we can sit in the sorrow of another and look straight at their grief with them, that’s love. When we can show up to relationship with our shadows in tow and no one runs away, that’s love.
When I was a teenager I watched my mother slowly die of a terrible disease and the pain was too much. I closed up. I’d never allow anyone close enough for me to get hurt. We do this in so many ways. For me it looked like being the rock, the solid foundation supporting everyone else. I’d never need anything myself. I was the strong one.
Three years ago I finally came to the end of my ability to remain closed off. I hit a wall of loneliness and I broke completely down. This was the beginning of everything good in my life. I finally opened the door to my brokenness thus opening the door to love and belonging.
I was bewildered, rattled, and scared, but for the first time I was open. Open is a badass. You can be bewildered, rattled, scared, angry, hurt, lost, but if you can find it in you to be open, open to the breaking, you’ll be okay. Actually you’ll be way more than okay, you’ll soar on the wings of your broken heart and broken life. Brokenness gives us our wings, openness is our navigator, and love is the destination. No matter how broken you are remain open and love will meet you there.
Kate Christensen-Martin lives in San Diego, California where she co-pastors with her husband at Sojourn Grace Collective, a church founded by a group of friends in Kate’s living room. She loves popcorn, red wine, long hikes in the woods, incense and oils, and filling her house with antiques. She’s also a homeschooling mom of four incredible children whom she loves going on adventures with. You can find her at katechristensenmartin.com and sojourngrace.com