Recovery, rebuilding from our broken past.

Mourning doesn’t mean we put our past behind us. It’s about learning to live a full and happy life even as you miss and long for what you have lost.

~ anonymous

We All Break

Recovery happens when rebuilding from our broken past.

Sharing a memory from March 18, 2021, Karen.

She inhales her childlike innocence as her wispy blond curls gently graze her nose. Warm tears wash over her face. Her arms wrap around her daughter’s body. Barely able to cradle the young woman she has become.

Softly she weeps in her mother’s strong arms, silent sobs. She needs her mother. Her mother always by her side shouldering her pain. A shield protecting her child. Only a mother can protect their child like no other, until the daughter is forced to be the protector.

He chokes on the perverted scent of the cold metal as he inspects the carnage. His razor-sharp tears of fury sting his face. His head is about to explode as he tries to wrap his head around the destruction caused by the apple of his eye.

The tense atmosphere can be cut with a knife, not a butter knife. Each disgruntled outburst feels like the knife is twisting in the gaping open wound. And then there is the sound of silence. It is the sound of grief. We all grieve differently.

March 18, 2021 was the day, the second time, I broke into large pieces. The grieving I felt that day was so very intense. No woman should experience the pain of her daughter grieving in her arms, while her husband grieves alone. Not allowing herself to grieve, because she will always be a mother and a wife before a broken woman.

Meet Michelle

Michelle, a friend in recovery, rebuilding from a broken past.

Michelle is a mother, a daughter, a friend and a widow. Michelle and I share history. Michelle has seen me at my worst.

Michelle is Loyal.

The first time I broke was in my early twenties. Following a night of binge drinking with friends, I broke. My friend, Michelle, was with me and witnessed my alcohol induced breakdown. Our friendship was fractured, but did not break.

Michelle is Faithful.

We have remained friends and many years later, Michelle’s life broke. On a hot August day in 2012, Michelle broke. She received the news, her husband Joe was diagnosed with ALS, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. For over ten years Joe lived with the disease. Both Joe and Michelle remained faithful to get them through each day.

The years that followed his diagnosis, each day a part of Michelle was chiseled away. Michelle is a mother to three beautiful boys. Children need their parents to be whole, but there are times when we, parents, become fractured, leading us to a breakdown. Even as we break we need to remain strong for our loved ones. Michelle was always a mother and a wife before a woman in need of healing.

Michelle, a mother in recovery, rebuilding from her broken past she needs to rely on the strength received from her Heavenly father.

Michelle is strong.

While Joe was a role model for his sons, he could not always be present. Michelle at times had to be both, mother and father to their boys. To parent our children it helps to have strong parental figures in our own lives. While Joe was ill Michelle was also a caregiver to her mother. Michelle’s parents remained faithful to one and other, but it was Michelle’s mother who was the constant in her life. Michelle’s father was estranged for most of her life. Michelle did not have a strong paternal figure in her life.

To remain strong we don’t need to remain whole but we do need to have coping skills or the family suffers. Coping skills are developed over time, skills which are fostered by our upbringing. If we do not come from a family with strong coping mechanisms we don’t have an example to guide us. Michelle’s earthly father may not have been emotionally present but her Heavenly Father was a constant in her life.

Mothers being strong for their boys

Michelle is judged.

My friend Michelle has been judged. I judged Michelle. It is easy for us to judge another’s situation with little regard of the circumstances that make up their parenting decisions. As her friend I had to remind myself that Michelle was handling a situation the best she could given the hand she was dealt.

Grace needs offered for we are not given the background information which perpetuates how someone else handles a situation. God is the judge and jury.

Michelle is Lost.

Joe passed away November 26, 2022. That was the day Michelle’s life was shattered. Not only did Michelle grieve her husband’s death, she grieved the ten years she lost during the time of his illness.

Michelle is a mother in mourning, not just mourning her husband, but mourning the ten years ALS stole from her life, the life of being Michelle. Mourning doesn’t mean we put our past behind us. It’s about learning to live a full and happy life even as you miss and long for what you have lost.

Michelle slowly lost her identity. She was left as a broken woman. A broken woman embracing the memories made with her boys and husband.

Michelle, a woman in recovery, rebuilding her future from her broken past.

When our lives are being chiseled away it leads to a slow death. But God has a plan for each of us. And we need to feel the pain, go through the hardship to understand His will for our lives.

God will use Michelle for His purpose. It is now time for Michelle to allow God to mold her, shape her into the woman He intends for her to be. The beauty of creation is we are a work in progress.

For viewing sample meditation on Moving Brokenness to Purpose

To read more about Joe & Michelle’s story see When Life Happens,

Behold, I will bring to it health and healing, and I will heal them and reveal to them abundance in prosperity and security.

Jeremiah 33:6


Last week I blogged on recovery and the importance of ongoing recovery. Our lives cycle with hurts, hang-ups and habits. If we do not stay focused on our recovery we are at risk for multiple breakdowns. Personally, I have had two breakdowns in life, both alcohol-induced. Slowly over the course of thirty years I lost sight of my sobriety. During recovery we are given the opportunity for rebuilding from our broken past. God has been very purposeful, using each breakdown to serve a purpose. It is up to each of us to live up to our full God-given potential.

For help with healing from hurts, hang-ups and habits, check out your local Celebrate Recovery

Please see to read more of my story. Karen

More Blogs Below

Please subscribe to receive a weekly blog sharing our struggles.

As an imperfect human my growth has been spurred on by a life catastrophe, because I chose to ignore my struggles. Instead of choosing to look inward and identify the source of the problem, which was ME, I placed blame on the society around me. The end result was to numb my discomfort and quell my anxieties with that one glass of wine. By the grace of God I was able to seek forgiveness and unearth my flaws. Through sharing with others I was able to accept my flawed self and learn I did not need to suffer alone. The result peace, from a loving God, not the spirit in the bottle.

What are your struggles?

Leave a Reply

3 responses to “Recovery, rebuilding from our broken past.”

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: