I went to visit my parents recently. And maybe visit isn’t the right word. More like, escape.
My life had taken an unexpected turn, and I didn’t know where else to go.
After a cancelled Southwest flight and extended stay in Portland, the kids and I finally made it to Kansas City. The humidity greeted us at the gate. It was sticky hot and oh-so-familiar. But, as soon as I heaved my suitcase off the baggage carrousel, I noticed something. There, plastered in the center of my suitcase, was a sticker that read, “Received Damaged.”
Really?!? Was my suitcase that beaten up and run-down? So the stitching may be coming undone, and the corners smashed in. But, “damaged”? It sounded so morbid and final and well, shameful.
I realized that it wasn’t just my bag that was received damaged. It was me. I came home with all kinds of devastation. I was a jumbled mess of tears and doubts. And my family listened. They heard The Story. They surrounded me with love and understanding and encouragement. They received me. Damaged.
I don’t think I could have made it without them. Because, we can’t do it alone. We need people in our lives who will take us – damaged and all. We need friends who will hold our hands in the darkness. We need family who will pray us through the desert. We need each other.
I wish my suitcase, and life, were all put back together by the time I flew home.
The truth is, I’m still broken.
But, I also know that I’ll be okay.