Shannon Dittemore

May26th

7 Comments

Random fact about me: I collect Tinkerbell figurines.

I have since I was young. And while I’m very, very careful with them, I’ve had to repair more wings than I’d like. They’re never allowed out of their glass cabinet and whenever I move, I wrap them meticulously in bubble wrap before packing them away.

But, something about the shuffle from one place to another after being continually protected, always has me busting out the superglue.

Another random fact (that may not be so random): I’m a church brat. I grew up teething on the pews and knowing all the great hiding places in the sanctuary. I prayed the “sinner’s prayer” in the backseat of the family Citation when I was five-years-old. We were picking up our traditional after-church Chinese take-out and Sunday school had provoked all the right questions.

My dad preached. My mom played piano. My sisters and I dressed up on Sunday mornings and we napped on Sunday afternoons. We hosted Bible studies at our house. We prayed over every meal. Our nursery rhymes were about Jonah and the Whale and our bedtime stories ended with Dad saying things like, “And that’s the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and to bed you go!”

My dad was the pastor. My best friend was the daughter of an elder. And my first kiss was a guy I met at Bible College.

This is how I grew up.

I’ve always struggled with things like “giving my testimony.” It’s darn-near impossible to come up with an interesting story about forgiveness when the biggest transgression you can think of is stealing that shiny silver dollar from the offering bucket–the one Daddy made you give back.

And yet, as life moves forward, I find myself clinging to this God of my childhood in an entirely different way. Not because Mom and Dad did, or because I asked Him into my heart over a box of chow mein, but because He’s the only one who has the answers when the shuffle of life leaves me shattered.

Like my Tinkerbell figurines, I’ve never been grossly mishandled or abandoned to the elements. And compared to some, my life has been lived within the safety of a china hutch. But, life, even life as a church brat, is enough to clip the wings of a dreamer who believes she was created to fly.

And while my “broken” is sure to be different than your “broken,” it doesn’t really matter, does it?

Cause broken is broken.

And broken must be fixed.

Which is exactly what God has been doing for me over the past year. He’s been healing my heart and mending my wings. Some days I feel more broken than ever and it’s on those days I try to yank the glue from His able fingers.

But, He’s patient with me, and though I hamper the process from time to time, I know my wings are strengthening. He waits on me and teaches me to wait on Him. As I do, I grow more confident my brokenness will be turned into a trophy of His grace and His long-suffering.

This is the first article in a blog series I’m calling “Broken Is Broken.” I don’t pretend to have all the answers, and maybe I’ll get some of my friends to weigh in, but I know how devastating it is to be shattered within the relative safety of a protected life.

Maybe even a church life.

It’s paralyzing to have the world looking in at you through those glass doors pointing at your flaws while you stand ever so still and pretend your wings are just where you left them.

I’d like to break the silence a bit and let you know it’s okay to admit brokenness. It’s okay to acknowledge pain and the need for healing.

Because in some way, we’re all broken. It’s who we get to mend our wings that makes all the difference.

Those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.–Isaiah 40:31

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7 Comments

  • Comment by Maryanne Fantalis — May 26, 2011 @ 2:33 pm

    This is beautifully written and such a personal, courageous topic. I found you via agent Holly Root’s tweet. I don’t know you well yet, so I’m going to refrain from commenting on the subject matter, but I hope that over time, we’ll get to know each other and be able to open a dialogue. Since this is going to be a blog series, I look forward to hearing more about your journey and joining in the conversation.

    You’re opening up to us, and I hope that we will, with grace and respect, do the same for you.

    M

  • Comment by Shan — May 26, 2011 @ 3:22 pm

    Thank you so very much, Maryanne. I, too, look forward to chatting and visiting your site as well. Thanks so much for stopping by. It means more than you know.

  • Comment by Lacey — May 27, 2011 @ 8:30 am

    Love this! Can’t wait for the series. This is definitely something that God is working on with me. He is the only one that can fix it the way it needs to be fixed.

  • Comment by Anne-Mhairi Simpson — May 30, 2011 @ 12:17 pm

    God has many names – I look forward to reading your posts on this subject 🙂

  • Comment by Karen — May 30, 2011 @ 10:01 pm

    Many times broken, sometimes glued back wrong because I wasn’t willing to wait for God’s timing or expertise… broken again so that He could fix correctly the mess my impatience had cause…made stronger because of his love and patience toward me…

  • Comment by Jenny Lundquist — May 31, 2011 @ 11:38 am

    Great post Shannon, really powerful. I guess I always think of being broken as a life-long process of being remade into the person God has created us to be.

    And, I don’t know…stealing a silver dollar from the offering plate? Absolutely huge transgression. :0)

  • Comment by Karen Cook — June 10, 2011 @ 5:00 pm

    Shannon ~ Thanks for being willing to share your experience. Oh how I wish that someone would have told me 20 years ago that “it’s okay to admit brokenness. It’s okay to acknowledge pain and the need for healing.” I had to learn that the hard way over the years, but God has met me every step of the way. Looking forward to this series!

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