A Good Fix

I was born to fix things, problems, people.

As the oldest child, I slipped right into my role as dutiful daughter and older sister. When my mom and dad would fight, I lay in bed strategizing how I could fix it. When my little sister got hit by a neighborhood bully, I was out the door with fire and vengeance . . justice would be had. In school, I loved the tests where the teacher would give you partial credit if you corrected (aka fixed) the problems you got wrong. 

My fixing ways deepened as I grew. When my husband and I fought, I would lay in bed strategizing how I could fix us. When my kids started running into trouble, I fell full force into fixing them too.

Fortunately, I was blessed with many challenges in marriage and all the "troubles" of raising six children. Fixing was becoming a full-time job. Before long it was more than full-time, and I was headed for a life of overwhelmed delusion or the white flag of surrender. Thankfully, I chose surrender.

And I began to learn the value of broken things . . and people.

Now when I am faced with things that previously I would have felt needed fixing, I see opportunity. There's a time for fixing, but a premature fix can be more damaging than a break. The God who was willing to be broken Himself can do amazing things with surrender in broken places. 

As much as we might think we would love to have all our problems fixed, hindsight tends to show us otherwise. So much of our growth, character and deepest treasures have arisen from the broken places. Nobody really wants a quick fix. It is as worthless as it is inauthentic. Aching hearts long for empathy not simple solutions.

Watching a loved one struggle is painful. But how often is my desire to "fix" their problem, really a desire to protect my own heart from their pain. Might real love be willing to simply be with a friend in the breaking? To walk in the dark valley holding up hope and hands until the light dawns.

In the broken places of life encouraging words and the reassurance of constant love may just be the best fix we can offer. 

Joining Holley Gerth at Coffee for Your Heart & Emily Wierenga at Imperfect Prose