Received Damaged

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.

 

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And yet, I decided to leave the sticker.  The meaning behind it grew some legs.

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.

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