Tuesday, October 4

The cracks that make us beautiful

Before I start I'd like you to consider playing this song as you read (I played it as I wrote), and I'd also like to say that I chose these pictures on purpose, because my friend Morgan took them in January of 2015, right before Marty found the lump that changed everything. 
Wow, my friends, I'm so blown away. I've been resting my fingers on the keys for what feels like hours, trying to find the words to pass on the many overwhelming emotions I've felt since my last post. Mostly I just can't believe how much genuine excitement was shared, all the sweet congratulations and well wishes, and the amazing amount of understanding that was conveyed, even after only getting the first tiny sliver of explanation. I feel incredibly blessed that so many of you have such kind and beautiful hearts, and that you choose to share some of that with me and so many others here.

Publishing my last post felt a lot like I was jumping out of an airplane into the dark, not sure if my parachute was going to open, and not knowing how far I was from the ground. There was a lot of relief, but also a lot of nervous apprehension. I know how amazingly unique my situation is, and I knew many of you would have strong feelings about my choice, but I had to jump anyways and hope that those of you who have followed along with me long enough to know my heart (as much as one could across the internet) would continue to trust me and my choices for myself and my children. And you have! What a tribe of beautiful souls that have come together. I truly feel so lucky.
My heart has been so changed in the last year and a half. In every sense it's been broken, battered and crushed, and these days I really feel so much more deeply than I would've ever thought possible. Things like excitement, fear, wonder, sadness, anxiety, love, and gratitude all seem to rush through my body and completely overtake me. I tried to explain it to a friend that it's as if we each have a bubble for our emotions. The capacity of our joy matches the capacity of our sorrow, until something happens that expands that bubble in any direction. When our sadness is so great that our bubble expands (bear with me here), then also increased is our capacity for happiness. Like someone who has been so deep in the darkness, that the sunshine is all the brighter to them. I hope that makes sense:)

One thing that I can't get out of my head through this whole process is a powerful metaphor for life's journey. I first read about it a couple years ago, and lately hearing so many stories from you guys about moments in your life that have forever changed you has made me think about it constantly. It's about the Japanese art Kintsukuroi. I'm sure many of you have heard of it, but essentially when a piece of pottery is broken, it's repaired with a resin that's been laced with gold or sometimes silver. Great care and precision must be used in fitting the pieces back together, but the craftsmen sees the potential and the value of the object even in its damaged state. As well as obviously repairing the pottery and making it useful again, the procedure makes the piece completely unique as well as more beautiful than it was before, having gone through the process of being broken and then mended. The mended cracks become part of the objects design, part of it's character. The golden resin snakes along the sides of the item, symbols of the tragic event that happened in the life of the object, instead of how it was destroyed.

You can see where this is going:) Each of us have our own cracks that have been repaired already. Every time we are faced with a trial and have made it through (which so far has been 100% of the time if you think about it), we're left with another streak of golden resin. Whether it's a single thin crack or a shattering break, we all have them. Experiences with rejection, fear, betrayal, loss, abandonment, pain, abuse, failure, etc. They all leave their mark, and we're never the same. We can accept the damage and move forward towards repair, or we can wallow in our flaws and choose to hide away so no one will see how 'broken' or 'not good enough' we are. We can try to hide from the world by putting up a wall and not letting anyone in, or we can embrace our golden seams and walk out into the sunlight with our heads high. It's completely our choice.

I have chosen to move forward as best as I can. Broken seams and all.
I will never 'move on' from my sweetheart Martin, from what he and our family went through since he was diagnosed. There is no moving on from something like that. From loving and caring for and watching such a warrior-the father of my children slip away after so many many months of pain and suffering, but there is always, always forward. Our lives don't have to be defined by our chips and cracks and our broken moments, but instead, they can empower us if we let them. There is still so much life ahead for me and my five little children, and Richard is very much a part of the golden resin (along with all of you, friends, and kindnesses along the way) that is loving and helping repair me as we all move forward together.

I opened up with my dear friend Kirsten a couple weeks ago on the Marvelous Moms Podcast about some experiences from the last 18 months with Marty that I've not really talked about much, and I'd love to have you check it out here. I feel very honored to be another episode in the long list of moms that have shared their stories through the podcast, and I hope that by hearing some of those details that you are able to get to know me and our situation a little bit better.

I hope that you can think about your own golden seams, and how they play a part in holding you back or empowering you to move forward.

Thank you again, I can't thank you enough.
More coming soon,

54 comments:

  1. I think it's really brave of you to share so much of your life. This is a wonderful thing, and the fact that you're able to give your children someone to love them and protect them like a father is invaluable. Good for all of you :)

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  2. Be blessed and be happy, that's all we ever wanted for you and your family.

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  3. So much love to you and your family from Texas.
    Thanks for sharing your journey with us!

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  4. Just wow.
    You reached my heart many many miles away. Thank you for the generosity of your words and honesty. For finding space among so many emotions to share your journey. Because you do have thousands of followers, but tonight I feel like you wrote a letter to me.

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  5. I fully admit I had a moment of doubt, expecting Richard to be a puppy, or a horse to keep your hands busy while your heart healed... But you are so right about the cracks in all of us, and so true to your children and yourself, that it was only momentary. I wish you nothing but rainbows after the storms, and hope your world shines.💜

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  6. This was rally beautiful. Congratulations on your golden seams. <3

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  7. I love the analogy of the broken pieces. I had heard it somewhere before but love how you applied it to lives like yours ( and ours.) You write beautifully. May your flexibility in handling your suffering be a beacon to many others. Forge on. We need your example as much as you need the friends that bolster you.

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  8. One of our pastors was just preaching this past Sunday about comfort. Not so much about how God comforts you, but how you can comfort others with the comfort that you have been given. I think it was 1 Corinthians 1? You are doing just that. Sharing your comfort with others! The Lord has already blessed you for your sweet, sharing heart, and it comforts me to know you are in His care! Bless you, sweet mama, and your dear little ones. You are in my prayers!

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  9. Any normal person would know that a big decision like that was not taken lightly. I'm sure it was something you felt deep in your heart. I have to tell you though that the emotion bubble analogy may have just helped me with thoughts. I've noticed that the past couple of years, I cry over the dumbest things, sad, happy, exciting, I cry over it all. It has just occurred to me that maybe it started when my dad was killed in a trucking accident 3 years ago. Maybe the emotion bubble thing is real. I certainly can believe it.

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  10. What an amazing person you are. Best wishes for your expanded family. I pray your story helps someone through a difficult time or decision. You are courageous for sharing such raw emotion and I love it. LOts of love from Florida.

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  11. Oh Emily, I have been keeping up with your blog for quite some time now, I lost my husband of 15 years last month, reading your latest post has really helped me! Not only am I having to go through the unbearable grieving process but I'm also having to worry about money as well, my husband had no life insurance and since I was his care taker for so many years I didn't have a job outside the home. Now I find myself trying to jump back into the workforce by putting applications in left and right. I have been literally ate up with grief and depression since my life has changed so dramatically within this past month. Please keep posting because with each of your words typed not only is it helping you but it has been therapeutic for me as I'm sure many others! Thank you Emily for your beautiful words, from the bottom of my heart to yours, Madalyn

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  12. Beautiful post, so happy you and your family are finding the silver lining!

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  13. Thank you for sharing your beautiful words and for inspiring so many around!

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  14. Thank you for saying all of the things my family and I desperately need to hear. In the last 2 years we've lost a dad, an aunt, and gone through some scary moments. We've grown together as a family. We've become stronger through our shared losses but it's hard and crushing some days and you put that feeling into words so beautifully. Thanks for inspiring me to lift my family up and be that rock for them but also thanks for helping me embrace my own cracks. It's ok to break down from time to time. I just found your blog at the beginning of this year during a tough time and I'm so happy I did. So thank you!

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  15. I couldn't help but think of you this past Sunday morning when I listened to the words of President Russell M Nelson during General Conference. He stated that "We can feel joy regardless of what is happening -or not happening- in our lives. ( it such an amazing message)
    You have been through SO much this past year, and if there is anyone out there who deserves to feel a little joy after bearing the burdens you have, it's You and your sweet children.

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  16. Beautiful post, Emily. Wishing you and your family all the best as you grow, change and move forward.

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  17. You're seriously beautiful. This is a great post.

    http://www.castawaycouple.com

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  18. Just found your blog on bloglovin and you're incredibly beautiful!

    https://katryslife.blogspot.com

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  19. This makes me think of one of my favorite quotes by Leonard Cohen

    "So ring the bells that still can ring
    Forget your perfect offering
    There is a crack in everything
    That's how the light gets in"

    So lovely to see you turning your face toward the light.

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  20. I wasn't planning on commenting, but I just finished listening to the podcast (and just about had to force myself not to bawl my eyes out the whole time). You've been through so much, and like your podcast host said, it's like you've emerged as this wondrously strong woman out of it who is just setting the world alight with goodness and hope and faith. I wish your family all the best in the coming months and years, and thank you for your positive energy and outlook---it brings us all up a little higher than we were before.

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  21. My husband actually asked what I was listening to and I why I was so into it. And I didn't wanna tell him that I was listening to your podcast 'cause I knew that I'd start crying as soon as I mentioned it. He said he just wanted to know why I was so into it 'cause I always get on him for listening to people just talk on the radio (sports stuff) haha, anyway I ended up telling him and we both started crying. We are so self centered sometimes that we just don't realize the things that others may be going through. We don't know you but we love you, and i wish one day I can be even half as strong as you are. You talk so positive about everything and that really is something that I wanna start doing. Thank you for inspiring us to be better. We are beyond excited about you and Richard. Btw my husband's name is Richard too, and I got really lucky with him :)

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  22. Thank you for sharing. You have a wonderful and mature way with words. Wishing you the best in your future

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  23. Oh Em if I could only write HALF as beautiful as you do. I'm so incredibly impressed with you and how you are handling all this. You truly are a beautiful, beyond-your-years woman. I listened to the podcast and it was amaazinggggg. So so happy for you and all the good things happening for you!!! You deserve every ounce of happiness and joy coming your way.

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  24. The night you introduced us to Richard (well, night for me in England!) I went to bed breathing in and out "she is married. She is married. She is married." It was such a shock and I was filled with incredible gratitude. "From across the Internet" I know your heart and I know you would only make decisions that are healing. Richard is part of your healing. Part of your future. Part of your beautiful children's future. So happy you have chosen to include us as you continue your journey. I, along with countless others, will continue to be here to listen, to cheer, to cry, to laugh, to learn, and to watch you heal and grow. You are a beautiful soul.
    Love, Anna

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  25. God carried you and will cary you through all ways he has choosen for you. Everything that happend an will happen gives the glory an honour to god above.
    Thank you for sharring all and give much blesses to people in hard situations.
    Lots of greetings from germany :-)
    Tina

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  26. I lost my daughter's father a while back and I'm sure I have a thousand and twenty cracks in me but I found someone who loved me regardless. God works in mysterious ways. I'm glad you found Richard again and I wish you and your family nothing but joy.

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  27. Thank you so much sweet Emily for sharing such a beautiful message of love and hope. You're a magnificient inspiration and I'm glad I discovered your journey and be able to send you positive prayers. Thank you!

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  28. Beautiful Post,U & Ur Family Is In My Prayers��������

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  29. Emily, you have a beautiful soul and such an amazing person, and I haven't
    even met you!. Thank you for sharing your sorrows,struggles, joys and your life with the rest of the world. You should consider writing a book:) You are an inspiration my dear.

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  30. Beautiful, powerful post. What a soul of gold you have.

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  31. What a beautiful soul with wisdom beyond your years. I was profoundly blessed by this post! Sending love to you!

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  32. As I read your post these lyrics came to mind: I come broken to be mended, I come wounded to be healed. I come desperate to be rescued, I come empty to be filled. I come guilty to be pardoned by the blood of Christ the Lamb. And I'm welcomed with open arms, praise God, just as I am!
    The song is called "Just As I Am (I Come Broken To Be Mended)" by Travis Cottrell. Here's the link, hope it shares on here! https://youtu.be/TGXDfxWM2r0
    I'll keep praying for you and your dear ones! ������

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  33. Beautiful words. I admire your strength and courage as you face this new chapter of your life. I am so happy for you!

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  34. You are seriously the most beautiful person, inside and out ❤ your strength is so empowering. It is so good to see the joy you are experiencing among your pain.

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  35. You are an amazing person, sending much love to you and your family

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  36. You are an amazing person, sending love to you and your family

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  37. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful message with us! You inspire me with every post you make. I won't lie- I bawled while listening to you on that podcast. Your golden strands make your heart so beautiful and it is so apparent when listening to you and reading your words. I'm so glad you and your children have Richard in your lives!

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  38. I have thought about you and prayed for you and your children. Thank you for sharing your soul with us. You write as beautifully as you are. I am so happy for you and your family

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  39. You are an incredible example to us all. My 5 year old son was diagnosed with Leukemia back in March. And then 4 months later, my father-in-law suddenly and unexpectedly passed away at 64 and we moved the week of his funeral. It felt like life through everything at us in 4 1/2 months. But through the pain and heartache and confusion, I felt the most intense love, gratitude and blessings. I know that God never leaves us alone. He gives us trials to mold us into who He wants us to be. I never knew I had this much strength to go through anything like this before. I admire and look up to you for sharing your story and for your authenticity. I am so glad to see you moving forward with life while still honoring Martin.

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  40. Wishing you, Richard and the kids the best. XO

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  41. My heart leaps for you in gladness! Congratulations to you Emily and your sweet children. When you talk about the growing bubbles, i'm reminded of a Neal A. Maxwell quote

    "The enlarging of the soul requires not only some remodeling, but some excavating. Hypocrisy, guile, and other imbedded traits do not go gladly or easily, but if we “endure it well” (D&C 121:8), we will not grow testy while being tested.

    Moreover, we find that sorrow can actually enlarge the mind and heart in order to “give place,” expanded space for later joy." 😘❤

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  42. Just listened to your entire podcast and I just feel so relieved for you! I'm so glad you were able to talk through some of those hard things. It's good for people to see what you went through those 15 months so we can better understand and support you today.
    Also, when I first read on Instagram that you had a new special someone in your life, I was shocked and a little skeptical, but then I took the time to read your blog about it and it just all makes sense. I'm really genuinely happy for you and I'm so thankful you have someone at your side to support you and give you a second chance at a happy ending :)
    Much love,
    Randie Megan
    thegraefs.blogspot.com

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  43. I wept tears of joy for you as I read of your Richard. What a beautiful thing. Congratulations and you are all still in my thoughts and prayers often.

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  44. Loved this post. Also, loved that you suggest we play the song that you listened to as we read. It was a first in reading a blog for me and it was simply beautiful.

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  45. Powerful and incredible! That is who you are! Thank you for sharing yourself with us!

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  46. It is so brave of you to be so open with all of us, thank you for sharing your beautiful soul. I wish you all the best and can't wait to read and follow along as you move 'forward' in life <3

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  47. What a lovely and inspirational post. Thank you for sharing. Life can be so hard sometimes, and the golden seams metaphor is beautifully perfect. Wishing you healing and happiness.

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  48. You really inspire me! The way you see life is just so beautiful.. thank you and stay blessed. Sending you prayers and thoughts of happiness.

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  49. My Sweetest Emily ... not only am I totally happy for you and your incredible journey I couldn't be more proud of you for following your heart and sharing your new life. Thank you for following your heart. I know Martin is at peace knowing you and your children will continue to be loved and cherished every day.

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  50. I'm reminded of a quote from one of my favorite books, The Prophet, by Kahlil Gibran- "The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain. Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?"

    Much love to you and prayers for continued healing.

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  51. wow. I did listen to the song as I listened. Beautiful. everything. the song. the story. your heart. you. wow.

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  52. You have forever impacted my life for the better. From one ginger to another - I wish you all the blessings and love life has to offer. You keep doing what you're doing. No matter how little or minuscule it may be. Keep going. You're an inspiration. Thank you for your transparency.

    - whitneydmurphy

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