Everything is Broken, But Not Forever

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

~John 16:33

As I write this, I can hear the metallic ping of water falling one drop at a time from my kitchen ceiling into the iron pot on my kitchen counter. We had the roof fixed two weeks ago, but the problems are back and worse than before. I begrudgingly agreed with my husband last night that at least we hadn't had a chance to fix the dry wall in the ceiling and repaint the dinner-plate sized area before it started leaking again, but that didn't cheer me up for long.

See, July 5 was my brother Gavin's birthday. He was killed in a car accident almost 8 years ago, and every year on his birthday and the anniversary of the accident I brace myself for a wave of difficult emotions. Some years the surrounding days of remembrance pass without tears, but not this year.

A month after Gavin died, I joined a grief group that helped me navigate the constant stream of sorrow, anger, despair and confusion that surround such a great and unexpected loss. One of the things they told us in group was to expect to have days where it felt like everything was broken. Days when we were sure that nothing would ever be right again, that literally everything in our life seemed to be broken--from the ceiling on down.

I felt that way often back then, but I've also felt it acutely over the last few days. We came home from a wonderful week in Breckenridge to a rainy, dreary 55 degree July day. A gift box of New York Strips had been delivered to my porch in our absence and the meat had gone bad when the dry ice they were packed in disappeared. My roof that was supposedly fixed two weeks ago after three rescheduled appointments is leaking again. The sun hasn't shone for more than 20 minutes over the last three days and it's been so cold that my kids can't even have an outdoor swim practice in July. My husband is working so much he can't hang the curtains in Macy's room, so she has no window coverings. (I could go on, but I think I've made my point.)

When I get stuck in these cycles of negativity, I am reminded of Jesus' acknowledgement that this world is broken, but it won't always be like this. Yes, the roofing contractor is coming back tomorrow, 90-degree weather is on the way, and Mike will finally have time this weekend to hang the curtains, but eventually a new wave of things will break and new circumstances will disappoint. The challenge is to hold out hope when all seems broken, believing that someday it will all be made new.