Thursday, December 02, 2010
Oh, so beautifully broken
This isn't the first time I have shared this ornament. I have posted pics of him before...But, I have never told his story.
I had one year in my life without a Christmas tree. Without a Christmas. I was living in Virgina, my husband was abusive...Need I really say more about that?
I had begged for a Christmas tree over and over. I wasn't going to get to be with my family and I had no one but Jennie and she was doing stuff with her own family. Most of the base had gone home for Christmas. I was lonely.
I went to the Commissary and bought a pack of Christmas lights and attempted to tape them to the wall in the shape of a Christmas tree. It looked awful, but I was trying with all my might to get them to stay. My husband was laughing over and over as I tried. I sat there just looking at them lay on the floor and cried.
When I cried, it always made him really mad. I can't remember the sequence of events, but he grabbed my baby and made a comment something like "Do you want something to cry over?" He was sitting near the window and made gestures like he was going to throw him out the window.
I got up off the floor and first tried asking for Juan. He was jerking him around and acting like he was going to throw him out the window. Juan (my son) was screaming as he was tossing him around. I tried like hell to get him out of his hands. He kicked me repeatedly and my son was still screaming. I kept going and trying to get my baby from him. He kicked me again, so hard that I felt my arm snap. I was in sooo much pain, but kept trying to get Juan from him. I still see Juan's face, reaching out for me and screaming. He was so scared.
Finally, he threw Juan in my arms and I ran with Anthony out to the hall. I was crying so hard and looked at my arm. It was swollen and I had so many bruises that had already popped up.
Jennie of course watched my kids while I spent my Christmas Eve in the Emergency room. I sat there and made up a thousand different lies as to what happened. I cried for hours.
The Doctors put an air cast on me, put my arm in a sling and sent me home. I had told them that I hit it (on the table) picking something up off the floor...In abusive relationships you get pretty good at making up excuses where the bruises come from. The next day my arm was swollen pretty big, bruised,painful.....But nothing was quite as broken as my spirit.
If you follow frequently, then you know I made it out of that relationship successfully and never went back. Many thanks to the Center For Women and Families here in Louisville =)
I made it a point to celebrate Christmas every single year. No matter what, I would have a Christmas tree.
My second Christmas after all that had happened, I lived in an apartment complex. I was walking to the dumpster and someone had thrown their whole tree in. On the ground below it was this soldier. Wet, paint chipped. Someone had stepped on him and broken his arm off.. But he was precious to me because of what he stood for in my life.
So much beauty in life comes from things that are beautifully broken. I picked him up and told him that every single year, he would have the place of honor on my tree. I also promised him that one year, one year we would have enough money to hang him on a very real Christmas tree.
Years came and went and for this reason or that we could never have a real tree.
I'm proud to announce that this year I hung my beautifully broken soldier on a very real Christmas tree.
It may not seem like a big deal to anyone, but nothing yesterday could've wiped the smile off my face. I went and picked it out, got it home, did everything on my own.
Last night we had a tree decorating party. Me and my family...I took my soldier out of his keeping place and put him in the best spot on the tree.
God did that for me. He took this person so broken inside and out and made me something. Took what people threw out for trash and stepped on..He not only picked me up...He wanted me. Shined me up and I'd like to think if there's a Christmas tree in heaven, He puts me in a very good spot. I know I'm in His hands and that's the best place to be.
What looks like trash to some, is treasure to others.
Til the day I die, I will hang that soldier proudly on my tree. I will never attempt to fix him, because I think he's perfect as he is.
Serves as a reminder to me of what I came from and where God brought me.
Here's a picture of my first ever real tree. Still brings tears to my eyes.
I will enjoy every second of My Saviors birth this year.
God is so awesome!!