There is a crack in everything – that’s how the light gets in
Some days I feel broken. Life gets overwhelming or the depression starts to take to over and I lose part of myself. I am a perfectionist and tend to have very high expectations, but often end up disappointed and angry because I fall short. I feel like I just have to try harder, but I have nothing left inside.
At one point, my despair was so great that I began to lose all hope. I had tried, and tried, and tried and felt like I would never be okay. Thankfully, I sought professional help at that point. After medication and counseling, I began to feel a glimmer of hope that things would get better, but I was still struggling. One day a friend gave me a journal and on the inside of the journal, he had written the following:
It was his gentle reminder that I don’t have to be perfect. I can’t be perfect. I am mortal and I come with weaknesses and limited endurance. But those weaknesses, those imperfections (or “cracks”) serve a purpose – they humble me. If I didn’t have weaknesses and challenges, I would forget to rely on my Savior. I rely too much on my own strength and wisdom. My cracks give me opportunities to turn to the Lord and let His grace work in me. I can’t be perfect – but He is!
Our Savior & Healer
Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd. He seeks out the lost sheep, He binds up the wounds of those that are hurt and He gave His life for His flock.
The Savior is a healer. In Mark 2:17, Jesus says:
They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
This concept is put another way in the Old Testament:
I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick — Ezekiel 34:16
One of my favorite general conference talks was given by Jeffrey R. Holland in April 2006. In his talk called, “Broken Things to Mend” he said that he spoke to:
those who are facing personal trials and family struggles, those who endure conflicts fought in the lonely foxholes of the heart, those trying to hold back floodwaters of despair that sometimes wash over us like a tsunami of the soul. I wish to speak particularly to you who feel your lives are broken, seemingly beyond repair.
Elder Holland continued to say that we should heed the Savior’s call to come unto Him. Elder Holland said that Jesus tells us:
Trust me, learn of me, do what I do. Then, when you walk where I am going, we can talk about where you are going, and the problems you face and the troubles you have. If you will follow me, I will lead you out of darkness. I will give you answers to your prayers. I will give you rest to your souls.
A Broken Heart
God asks us to offer a broken heart and contrite spirit. He wants us to come to Him broken. If we come broken, then He can remake us in His way.
Elder Bruce D. Porter, in the October 2007 general conference, said:
When our hearts are broken, we are completely open to the Spirit of God and recognize our dependence on Him for all that we have and all that we are. The sacrifice so entailed is a sacrifice of pride in all its forms. Like malleable clay in the hands of a skilled potter, the brokenhearted can be molded and shaped in the hands of the Master.
I am still a work in progress. I like to think that as I turn my broken life, broken mind and broken heart over to the Savior and follow Him more fully, that He is shaping me into something truly amazing. I am less inclined to judge others and more inclined to serve. My heart is much more compassionate. I have felt the reality of the atonement and the sweetness of forgiveness.
I still have a lot of cracks. Some days and some months are a real struggle for me. But I am learning to be grateful for these weaknesses and the reminder they are to me to be humble, to be teachable, and to turn to my Savior.