The daughter of a woman who lives daily with a mental illness….
The child who was picked last during gymn class….
The older sister who took care of her younger sister growing up….
The college bound young lady who barely made it through her first official job interview; looking at the floor almost the entire time….
The young woman who was hired to work at Bible camp; later learning the camp director only hired her thinking he would take her as long as she would last. Then he couldn’t get rid of her…..
The woman who failed and failed and failed systematic theology…
The woman who yearns deeply to be a wife and mom….
The woman who finally almost conquered the summit of a mountain in Colorado…
Each of these stories tell the story of who I am as a beloved child of God. They also tell many of the tales of my life’s awfulness; of my life’s brokenness. It is because of each of these experiences that I truly have experienced jagged grace. A grace that shapes each of us back into whole beings. Whole again but a little more fragile than we were before the “next hard thing.”
If you are not familiar with kintsugi, kintsugi is “the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum.” Kintsugi treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object rather than something to disguise.
Being the daughter of a woman who lives daily with a mental illness is a huge part of my own story. (You can read more about this story in my 2014 Write 31 Days series Living as a Daughter: 31 Days of Mental Illness Landing Page or find it in my self-published book Living as a Daughter)
It took me a really long time to tell this part of my story. In fact, 18 years to be exact. I remember standing outside talking on the payphone at Camp of the Cross as my sister called to tell me that Mom was once again in the hospital. As I saw my co-counselors walking by, I turned my face because I wanted to hide the tears that were streaming down my face. Little did I know that they still saw and went to get the camp director.
Before I knew it, the camp director was knocking on the door of my room. He asked what was wrong. Almost immediately the words began pouring out of my mouth as I shared my families journey with mental illness. Since that day, I have come to realize how much of this is part of who I am as a beloved child of God. I cannot not tell my story now! I am once again reminded of the words of Brene Brown “The bravest thing you’ll ever do is tell your story.”
I’ll admit that this is part of my story that I tried to run from for a long time. And oh how often do we all want to run when we experience awfulness. Yet it is jagged grace that calls us back to trust in the one who continually calls and claims us as God’s own. The truth is that we are called to be storytellers of jagged grace; storytellers who have been shaped by kintsugi.
Today I am linking up with these ladies: Holley and Coffee for your Heart and Kristin and Porch Stories!