by Tara Livesay on February 17, 2015

If you are anything like us, this has been a really tough week or two.  Open up your computer and you are likely to read of loss, suffering, and persecution.  Turn on television news and find more of the same. Facing devastating world news on top of the daily challenges of whichever place you have chosen to love, serve, live, and work feels quite heavy and terribly overwhelming.

When wave after wave of bad news comes, it is easy to forget the ways in which we have seen God work. It is easy to lose hope. I pulled an old post from my archives in hopes of encouraging one (maybe two?) of you today. -tara

~           ~            ~            ~

It was given to me when she passed away, carried all the way from Omaha, Nebraska to Port au Prince, Haiti.

The pieces of my grandmothers blue candy dish lay shattered on my bedroom floor.  An important family heirloom ruined. Disappointed and upset about breaking this piece of family history that I had been lucky enough to inherit, I cried over the broken glass. How could I be so careless with something important to so many?

Cracked into so many jagged pieces, repair and restoration seemed unlikely if not impossible. 

~       ~       ~

A few days later it is Christmas morning and the door to my teenage daughter’s room is locked. “What are you doing? Please open up!” I say with my face smashed into the door. Shortly thereafter she appears, pride and triumph evident on her face. She walks toward me to gingerly place the dish, precariously pieced back together, into my hands. I gasp with surprise. It looks so much like it looked before it crashed to the floor.

She beams with joy.

Just as she sets the mainly restored lid of the dish back in its place on top, the entire thing crashes into pieces again in my hands, slicing my thumb open as it shatters. Pieces fall to the floor around our feet.

Knowing the time and painstaking effort she invested into the repair I look at her face, assuming it is now her turn to weep.  She pauses, looks at the pieces both in my hands and on the floor below us. She takes a deep breath and in a matter of fact tone she says, “I’ll fix it again. This is repairable. You just watch.” She bends down to pick up what has fallen a second time and turns to walk away with it.

Cracked again into so many jagged pieces, repair and restoration seemed unlikely if not impossible. 

Several days later, glue dried a second time, a few extra scars and missing pieces evident, she presents me with the dish once more.

I remember vividly the pain of crashing a second time. I was a divorced, single mom.

At twenty-two years old I was trying desperately to piece my life back together after the second shattering.

I said and thought things to myself.
“I cannot be fixed.”
“Once was enough.”
“Who will love you now?”
“This is too much. Give up.”
“You cannot be made whole.”

Cracked into so many jagged pieces, repair and restoration seemed unlikely if not impossible. 

At the time I was carrying in my womb the unplanned little baby girl who would grow up to look me in the eye and say to me with confidence, “This is repairable, you just watch.”

~       ~       ~

I am heavy with the awareness of the shattered, desperate, and broken world we all woke up to this morning … Each of us cracked and in need of repair; each of us loving someone in need of the same, all deeply longing for restoration, peace, and hope.
My prayer this morning is that we find the courage to overcome the pain and shame of whatever piece of us has been shattered. As we face the days ahead may we each hear directly from Him what I know to be true: ‘This is repairable.You just watch.’
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About Tara Livesay

Tara and her family have lived in Haiti since 2006. She resides in Port au Prince, where she serves as a CPM (Midwife) with Heartline Ministries - Maternity Center working in the area orphan prevention, Maternal and Newborn Health. Tara is a the wife of Troy, the mother of seven children ranging in age from 27 to 9 years old and has recently become a grandmother to 3 grandsons. Tara enjoys friends, laughing, sarcasm and spending time with her family.
  • Kristi Lonheim

    Thanks Tara. Such a great reminder of how broken we all are, yet God ALWAYS sees us as repairable. Love the resiliance of your daughter to say ‘I got this’ when you were sure she would crumple. I see the same thing in my daughter, sometimes, and it is so nice to know that there is some grit in her.

    • taralivesay

      daughters with grit – that’s what we hope and pray for! Thanks, Kristi!

  • Tara, this is elegant, and beautiful. Thank you for sharing it.

  • Richelle Wright

    I loved this piece the first time I read it, Tara. Thank you for sharing it again.

  • how did you know?

    I am looking at my second marriage. Ravaged by infidility and porn. I am trying to pick up the pieces. And I keep getting cut. Again and again. I question the calling to another country. I question why I married this guy…I am shattered again. I am not so brave and I dont know how much more. I was questioning in my head this morning…should I stay or should I go? How much more shattering can I take. Where are you God in all of this. Why have you called me to this.
    I dont know how yet
    I dont understand yet
    I dont hope yet
    But I have to believe on some level that
    this is all

    • taralivesay

      This is for sure a shattered dream — I don’t know your answers, but I have a feeling you are going to press hard and lean into God and ask Him to guide your decisions. I am so sorry and I am praying for you today. -tara

    • Choosing to Believe

      So refreshing to see others in ministry who are willing to admit that they struggle. Really struggle. Who hurt. Really, really, hurt. I’ve got some broken pieces of my own right now. Some of those shards are so deep that I wonder if they will ever come out of the tender flesh. Sometimes I wonder whether or not repair is possible. And yet I will trust him. Continue to hope. To believe. To lift my eyes to the heavens and put one foot in front of the other. Even while the wounds are still bleeding and the future is uncertain. Yet will WE trust. And He WILL be faithful. To each of us. The hurting, the struggling, the broken. He will be faithful…

  • Marilyn Gardner

    This is so beautiful and true. That your daughter is the one proclaiming truth to you is such a picture of the redemptive ways of God. I think of the words “Behold I make all things new.” Thanks for speaking truth with such beauty and wisdom. As I think about Egypt, Chapel Hill, and so much more in our broken world I will carry this with me. xox

  • Thank you, Tara. Thank you for being vulnerable and real and living out hope with all of us.

  • Thank you for this Tara! Beautifully true! And all this brokenness is not just repairable … it really is in the process of being repaired, all because of our Saviour broken! I too have shed many tears for the brokenness recently here in Tanzania, and have been encouraged by this HOPE that we have! Rachel

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