Laughter From A Broken Heart –

This post is not Salvation – Part 2. I’m still working on that one. I had planned that to be my next post, but last night found me writing this instead. It was a rough night – it wasn’t just that I couldn’t sleep; I was beyond sad. It’s been a while since I cried that hard and it reminded me of how far I’ve come, because not so many months ago I cried like that every night. And as good as I seem to be with words and sharing what’s on my heart, I never really told any of my friends how sad I really was. Sure, my closest friends knew that I was struggling, but I never opened up and let people know just how much I was suffering. But now it’s all coming back in waves of memory and emotion and I’m reminded that I’m writing here to share the journey of my heart… and this is part of it. And perhaps you won’t really understand what I wrote last night… I might come back in a few months and find that I was rambling. But perhaps there is someone reading this who is broken hearted and in need of these words:

There are times when you wish one could simply die of a broken heart. When the grief is so great and the sorrow so deep that nothing good seems to matter. The blue sky means nothing. Smiles hardly touch your heart. All laughter sounds artificial. Nothing good, nothing special – none of it can penetrate the sadness.

That’s where I’ve been for a while now. Going through the motions of life and striving to remind myself that serving God isn’t about how I feel, but about the truth, and that truth is true no matter what. I’ve learned that lesson. It’s been hard, but it’s finally sinking in.

And now, it seems I am nearing a season of mending my broken heart. But coming away from this sadness, I’m… confused. How can one come away from such grief without losing some of the joy that they had before it? Is it possible to laugh and smile after all this? How can you when you’ve cried so hard? And the many times I cried myself to sleep, I told myself I would never be truly happy again – it just didn’t seem possible. Because somewhere along the way I lost my smile. Somewhere in the pain, it all became fake and I thought it would be that way for the rest of my life.

But suddenly I’m being proven wrong. The Lord is sending me little blessings here and there to teach me to smile again and as I learn, my heart goes back to before. Before my life turned upside down. Before my world got jumbled. My mind probably twists it to seem better than it actually was, but with all I am I just want to go back to that little girl. The one who made a game out of smiling at strangers in the grocery store. Who adored dresses that poofed out when she spun around in circles. Who climbed trees and played in mud puddles and insisted on keeping up with her brothers in everything. Who saw the world through big, brown, simple eyes. Innocent and unaware of how painful life could be. I miss that little girl. She had her flaws – her temper, her arguing – but she had so much vibrance, so much joy, so much wonder and curiosity. I miss her ability to see the best in everyone.

How I wish I had known, as I dreamed of growing up, to just enjoy where I was at. Because life moves forward and for all the wishing we can’t go back.

And the truth is, I can’t expect to be the same person I was before all this came to pass. I can’t expect to experience this without any change. I’ve seen the pain and the bitterness that this world holds and it’s changed the way that I see it all. It’s changed me.

To be honest, it has made me afraid to continue. Fearful of going on. There’s so much more in this world that I don’t understand and I fear it will all be this painful to learn. But then I look at the scar on my hand. A dog bit me there when I was little. It was hard for me to trust dogs after that. I didn’t like to pet them. I was afraid I would experience the same pain. But not all dogs are like the one that bit me. With time, I learned how to carefully approach new dogs. I learned that there are dogs out there who don’t bite – who are fun and loving.

And maybe that’s what I’m dealing with right now. As I recover from my wounds, I’m afraid that every opportunity to learn will yield the same results. But I have to learn that every opportunity is different and it’s all about the way that you approach them.

This pain was deep and I don’t expect to be the same person I was before I experienced it. The truth is, I’ve grown – matured – and I see things from a new perspective. But that doesn’t mean I’m a different person than that innocent little girl. She may have had an easier time of seeing the best in everyone, but I still have that ability. With time and the help of the Lord, I will find that vibrance again and that joy will return.

As I learn how to laugh and smile and joke once more, I still remember the hurt, but it’s beginning to make me cherish the laughter even more and truly appreciated those who share it.


  1. C says:

    This was a beautiful post, Rachel. Thank you for sharing. You are an inspiration. <3 I really liked when you said:

    "And maybe that’s what I’m dealing with right now. As I recover from my wounds, I’m afraid that every opportunity to learn will yield the same results. But I have to learn that every opportunity is different and it’s all about the way that you approach them."

    Very encouraging.

    All the best. xo

  2. alisonhector says:

    You’ve been in the valley, Rachel, but the mountaintop is part of the journey, too. At every step, sad or happy, high or low, we grow and mature and see God in new and more personal ways. There is a blessing even in the tears!

    Beautiful post, my dear.

    • Thank you, Allison. 🙂 How true that is! I have grown so much… this blog is proof of that, because it is where I have written all the things that God has been teaching me through this illness. And it’s so easy to focus my mind on all that has gone wrong and all the pain and bitterness, but the truth is there has been so much good from all this… so many lessons, so much support and encouragment, and most importantly, I have learned to trust God so much more. These are the blessings I see through the tears and I’m sure there are many more I am not even aware of yet.

  3. xanthuskidd says:

    We are molded and shaped by the trials we undergo; they’re not fun when we’re in them, and we’ll often wonder why, but everything happens for a purpose. I’m glad to hear that you’re doing better. 🙂

    Romans 8:28

    • Thank you, Chris. 🙂 This is something that I’m continually learning. It’s so easy to forget that there is a purpose behind all this pain… and I wish it wasn’t, because holding on to that purpose and the knowledge that God will work everything together for good is what gets me through on the hard days. God is good and my perspective is small… I must remember that. 🙂

  4. Julia God'sRanger says:

    This what I feel few days ago…but thank God He helped me thru….but I like ur story, the way u write it..really nice…let’s be brave and strong..let’s face the fact that we are now a grown up lady not a messy lil kid:) tho I missed that too..Godbless u young pretty girl..Jesus loves u.

  5. melodylowes says:

    Ah, brave soul – you WILL come through, and you WILL be different – the tears will wash something new loose that you never knew was there – empathy. Compassion. Tolerance and acceptance of grief as a natural part of life. No, you won’t be the same – I pray that you will not! Because what good are the hard lessons if we cannot apply them to a new reality? I am learning not to ask ‘Why’? Or ‘why me?’ I instead ask, ‘What do You want me to do with this? What can YOU do with this’? And I wait – because what God conceives in that incredibly complex brain is worth every tear, every sigh, every dark moment of despair. Think Good Friday. Think rejection and humiliation and abandonment – with Sunday a’ comin’!

  6. Michele Erdman says:

    Hey there Rachie Cake…I don’t think of this as rambling, but of being more aware of yourself and growing up.
    I’ve been in dark places…maybe not as long, but I do understand the thoughts of depression. When at the age of 18 I held my new born baby and started my life as Mrs. Erdman I battled…battled hard. Looking back, I remember thinking my life as I knew it was over. No more carefree moments, at the time no laughter, struggling to love my new life and not understanding why I didn’t feel like I thought I should feel for my beautiful new little baby. I thought I had to feel a certain way…mainly because I was looking around and what I was missing (or thought I was missing). For years I battled wanting the life that others my age had…now I see for myself I wasn’t truely content. But how do you learn true contentment? It is almost 18 years later and I’m so far removed (or feel that way anyway) from the person I was…I had to learn to love my baby (may be a complete foreign idea…but I now know that I’m not the only person that struggled with that) How did I learn to love my children? By the Grace of God!! When I recognized that everything I had, everything…even the hard things I had to go through, came from God as a tool to help in my refining process…and for my good…it became clear to me. Even though I don’t have a complete answer as to why…I know that God = Good and I can trust him in all things. I can ask why…I can express my thoughts to him, but I don’t see the big picture. I am not God. Looking back now, I didn’t miss a thing!! I have had an amazing journey so far. I’ve come out of a very dark place in the begining and I love my children so very much. God truely blessed Dennis and I with Cassie, she is an amazing creation of his hands! But God had to help me in the begining to be able to experience the joy of having children. I didn’t feel joyful at the time (exact opposite) some of it was biological issues, and some of it, for me, stemmed from selfishness. I see that now. But he doesn’t want me to dwell in the wilderness…He has promised me so much more, it is up to me to trust Him and move forward to him and for him. I can say now I’m thankful and grateful for what he has allowed me to go through. I can praise Him!! God is so very Good!! I’m so thankful for your honesty, it can be a good thing to share, it helps others to see they aren’t “the only ones”. I love you so much, you are an amazing young woman!! I’m thankful to God that he sent you as a blessing/friend to my daughter. God is Good.

    • Thank you so much for your comment, Mrs. Erdman. It was an encouragement to me to read. I am so blessed to have your daughter for a best friend and to have your family as a “second family.” 🙂

      • Marlene says:

        Rachel, I read a few of your writings and I chose this one for the next issue of That’s My Girl magazine. When I read it, I could just feel the pain of so many other girls who are going through the same struggles and many don’t even know how to express their feelings. If I have your permission, please, I know it will impact the lives of many. I pray that the Lord will bless you and keep you and may He make His face shine on you and give you peace. You are such a blessing to everyone, Marlene

        • Certainly, Marlene! 🙂 I appologize that I have not gotten back to you in e-mail yet. Life has been a little crazy around here. But I would be happy for you to share this article with the girls; I hope they will find encouragement in it. Thank you!

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