I took this picture a few years back. I asked Aaron to pull over off the two lane so I could get the shot.
An abandoned church?
In the middle of no where?
Yeah. I knew all about that.
I believe Elizabeth Gilbert is correct when she writes, "Ruin is a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation." (Eat, Pray, Love)
I have experienced first hand that until something is ruined - and by ruined I mean irrevocably devestated and lost - we think, "I can still make something from this mess!" or "I can fix this! I'll move this here and rearrange that there and I'll sleep less & get up earlier and organize more and be better or be less and try harder and ... "
But when it is gone, all gone, we collapse and maybe cry and say,
"There is nothing left I can do!"
"What do we do now?"
And only when you are lost, Lost!, and at the bottom of yourself, your efforts, your hopes & dreams do you find the space for what you need.
Oh, it's not enjoyable. I realize I risk sounding a bit romantic about ruin but make no mistake I do not, and did not enjoy it. But nonetheless, I've been there. I've lost friends. I've grieved broken relationships. Everything I worked for was gone. My faith was rocked, wrecked and shifted.
Then I discovered, when it was finally stripped down enough that it was all gone and in no possible way in which to be rebuilt, that it was in fact, in a perfect condition to be rebuilt.
Not propped up.
But rebuilt, strongly and securely.
Anne Lamott, "There is freedom in hitting bottom, in seeing that you won't be able to save or rescue your daughter, her spouse, his parents, or your career, relief in admitting you've reachd the place of great unknowing. This is where restoration can begin, because when you're still in the state of trying to fix the unfixable, everything bad is engaged; the chatter of your mind, the tension of your physiology, all the trunks and wheel-ons you carry from the past. It's exhausting, crazy-making. " (Help. Thanks. Wow.) This is true.
And if you are fighting for air,
if you are drowning,
if you are so broken that you think you may never recover
know that you can.
Because as someone who has been ruined,
I can tell you that when you sit in your pile of dust and
you have nothing left to say or do, you'll cry out
or maybe whisper
or perhaps stare silently at the sky
and you'll think "Help!"
And the Divine will.
Yes, now He can.