Monday, April 16, 2012

Love Shines Through a Little Glue

We all have ruffled hearts.

They come in all shapes and sizes with variations of curls and swirls due to the turbulent joys and beautiful sorrows of life.  We all have our own sufferings and we are on the battle field daily.  But each ripple in our heart is a testimony of God's lace trimmed grace weaving itself into indescribable patterns that we ourselves could never fashion.

Having community in my ruffled-heart journey gave me unexpected joy in one of the toughest times of my life.

After surgery there was a lot of pain.  There was the physical pain of a healing sternum, and muscles and nerves  mending themselves together again.  There were creaky bones and ribs out of place.  Suture wounds were healing and a simple deep breath was exercise.

Three or four days post-op.
There was also emotional pain.  I was at the mercy of frailness.  I was experiencing the limitations of humanity.  My brain was foggy from strong pain meds, yet I grew tired of movies and my recliner.

I had the worst birthday ever.  Part self-inflicted, part pressure of having a perfect day, 13 days after surgery doesn't lend oneself to be in a festive party mood.  Andy took my mom and I to a local burger joint poised in an old garage.  I never took my coat off.  I poked around at my hamburger.  I looked longingly into the distance feeling a little sorry for myself.  That was a low day.

First day home.
Despite my uncanny ability to throw a good pity party, special moments of emotional triumph often came to my door or in the mail.  Community.  The precious gift of community.  Delicious meals, where love was a key ingredient, were brought to our home almost daily.  The post man often delivered sweet surprises from my friends and family.  Cookies, flowers, cards with words that fed my soul like chocolate cake appeared at just the right time.  We even got champagne on Valentine's Day from one of Andy's coworkers.

Among some of the gifts were created versions of "A Ruffled Heart" by some of my friends.  These pieces of love blessed me in a unique way.  My friends took a moment to physically create a ruffled heart, communicating my inward struggle in an outward, and lovely way.  They took my suffering and made visual poetry.  I am forever grateful for these precious pieces of grace and wanted to share them with you.
A Ruffled Heart painted, by my friend Juli, from New City Church.  

My best friend, Nicki, sent me A Ruffled Heart for my birthday.

A Ruffled Heart card with sweet Scripture from my friend Cassie.

My friend Christina and Stacey created A Ruffled Heart sternal pillow complete with a pocket for Scripture verse cards.  :)  (Pictured with Big Teddy, of course.)

My friend, Melissa, made A Ruffled Heart headband for me, which I love!

Thank you, my generous, kind, thoughtful prayer warriors.  Thank you for being a part of this ruffled heart.

The journey continues for all of us.  May we continue to press on toward each other, knowing that together, we're part of the healing, the freedoms, the beauty, the kindness, the grace that flows from the endless streams of Jesus.

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