Ruined, Wrecked, Undone: A Tribute to 2013

In my first post of 2013, I wrote about how maybe it’s best to be undone. I laugh now, not because I’ve changed my mind, but because I should have known the kind of year that would follow a statement such as that.

Stepping out in faith, walking hand-in-hand with tragedy, having my heart broken over and over again… I’m tempted to say that 2013 is a year I could have gone without, but I don’t think that’s true. As much as I feel I would have preferred to skip right over it, I think I needed this year of undoing.

It’s strange to think I didn’t see the theme until I looked back over the last twelve months, but God has been ripping me from my isolation, stripping me of self, forcing me to realize that I am my brother’s keeper and making me realize that maybe, sometimes, it’s okay to let my brother keep me.

I’ve spent years believing I’m strong enough to stand alone, but I’m finding that what I’ve needed most is to be strong enough to say that I need you.

Because I could spend a lifetime alone. I could. It would be easy, even. Much easier than setting my wants and needs aside in favor of another.

But it wouldn’t be right.

Because what is the purpose of a life that is not lived for others? Why am I even on this earth if I was not meant to live for something much bigger than myself?

If I’m only living for me, God can take me home right now. If I don’t have the hope of leaving a mark on the world, I’ve no purpose in this life.

In the last twelve months, I’ve learned to live beyond myself. I don’t have it mastered quite yet, and honestly I don’t hold high hopes of ever doing it exactly right, but I am trying. To live beyond me. To think about how my actions are going to impact the eternal.

To think about you. To live for you. To make every breath I breathe be one that will make the world a more beautiful place for you.

If I were to choose the methods that grow me, I wouldn’t have picked 2013.  Sometimes I think there wasn’t a moment of last year that didn’t feel like a freight train bowling me over.

But, once upon a time, I read a post by Hannah Brencher and made her words my battle cry:

“But if anyone inquires about the humility of a broken heart, I think it is quite worth it at the end of each day. To extend one’s own heart and allow it to be ruined completely, in hope that through the wreckage, someone else’s heart will dance today.”

I’ve been undone in the style of Revolution.
Ruined to the tune of Hannah Brencher.
Finding I’m a soldier in all of this.

But my heart is still dancing. Even through the wreckage, my heart is still dancing.

And that’s why I’m thankful for 2013, trials and tragedy included. That’s why I can look with expectancy to 2014.

Because my Jesus is shaping me, molding me, and sometimes breaking me, until I’m everything I needed to be all along.

I have a long way to go.
I have a most faithful Guide.

Ruined, Wrecked, Undone…

But not abandoned.


A friend of mine was recently talking about his strained relationship with his mother. He laughed because some of the things she said were so ridiculous. Absolutely and utterly horrible, but completely ridiculous. And I was glad he could laugh. Truly. Because sometimes the laughter is the only thing that keeps us from tears.

There are too many broken families in this world. Too many children who don’t know what it is to have both a mother and a father. Too many kids who don’t know what it is to love and be loved in return.

In a world like this, sometimes I find it hard to hold onto hope. I find it hard to believe that happy endings could ever come from the ashes of these relationships. Sometimes I set the fairytales aside and allow my heart to become a little cynical. To stop believing that hope makes its own magic and that we can walk through trials and pain and be better off for it when we finally reach the other side.

The word that echoes in my mind is “Undone.” When I think of love and heartache, a quote from Jennifer Donnelly’s Revolution  pounds in my brain:

“I am not afraid of beatings or blood anymore. I’m not afraid of guards or guillotines.
“There is only one thing I fear now—love.
“For I have seen it and I have felt it and I know that it is love, not death, that undoes us.”

And when I read that quote, I can’t help but think that maybe it is best to be undone. Maybe it’s best to love and receive nothing in response than to allow our hearts to be clouded by hatred, or worse yet, that cold sense of unfeeling.

Maybe it’s best to learn the same lesson that Jennifer Donnelly’s character learns. When confronted with how her actions have led to nothing but her own demise—when reminded that the world has not changed for the better on account of her sacrifice—she responds:

“The world goes on stupid and brutal, but I do not. Can’t you see. I do not.”

Though my world goes on, stupid and brutal as before, I do not. I choose love. I choose to be undone.

Because I’ve always had a penchant for fairytales. I’ve always been fascinated by words like “hope” and “love” and “wonder.” I still choose to believe in beauty from ashes. I think my friend does, too.

And while it breaks my heart to think of how his mother’s words must hurt him, the person I feel most sorry for is his mom. Because she doesn’t know what she’s missing. She can’t know. Or she never would have told him goodbye. She’s the one who is suffering. She’s the one who goes on stupid and brutal. But my friend… he does not. Can’t you see? He does not.

And I hope, when it comes down to it, you would choose to be undone. You would choose not to be stupid and brutal as the world would have you.Becoming Undone

I hope you’ll find that love is always worth it.
And that hope will ring true.
Because we all need something to believe in.
And we all need to be believed in.
And on this day that I come undone…
I choose to believe in you.