by adustyframe ~ June 19th, 2008


A few years ago, when Lee’s incarceration was totally overwhelming, I had the urge to sneak into the garage to break my dishes.

I envisioned myself throwing my plates one by one onto the back wall of the garage. I imagined hearing them crash, shatter, and fall to the floor. I wondered if hurling my dishes toward the garage wall would somehow relieve some of the pain I carried everyday.

I remember the tight band of stress that I could literally feel across my stomach. Maybe shattering dishes would relieve that uncomfortable feeling.

I thought about putting James to bed, waiting until he was asleep, rounding up all my plates, and sneaking out to the garage in the dark. I knew that I would also scream and yell and cry. I knew that if I started I would probably not stop.

My friend Gigi walks this path with me. Her husband is incarcerated. She told me I probably needed to go to the garage and break all my plates. I wanted to I tell you but I feared the aftermath. I wanted to fall to pieces. I wanted to shatter my dishes, but I felt that somehow I had to keep it together. If that meant denying my urge to shatter my dishes, than that’s what I had to do.

Once in awhile when I’ve thought about these days, I’ve felt that shattering dishes would have been a very decadent treat. Maybe I should have let myself go for it. I joke that it would have just been one more mess to clean up anyway.

Imagine my surprise when I read Bring the Rain. She shattered a pitcher after the death of her baby girl. It helped. See I wasn’t crazy after all. It blessed me to read how she related it to her Christian walk.

These days, while I often feel that I could scream, I have no urges to shatter my dishes.
God has healed hurts, filled up empty spots in my heart, and shown me that he is more faithful than I could begin to imagine.

Still I can’t help thinking that maybe I should have given in and taken at least one plate to the garage.

Psalm 34:18

The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.



6 Thoughts Shared to Broken

  1. Liza's Eyeview

    I read that too at Bring The Rain …

  2. Robin in New Jersey

    I’ve been over at Bring the Rain. What an amazing testimony. That broken jar idea is a great idea. I think it would be very theraputic.

  3. Marie

    I’ll have to go back and read the link you posted “Bring the Rain”. But if it involves baby girls dying, it’ll probably make me cry.

    Lizzie-girl, you probably know this already, but it’s better that you didn’t shatter the dishes and it wouldn’t have helped anyway. There are several reasons for this; some practical, others spiritual.

    #1 You would have had to buy new flatware, which at that time you likely could ill afford.

    #2 Garages are not sound-proof, and your neighbors would have heard you. At the very least it would have given them fodder for unnecessary gossip.

    #3 When cleaning up, you might have missed a dish shard which later could have punctured a tire. Flat tires are expensive to replace.

    Now, on a spiritual note, here’s why it wouldn’t have helped. I can’t for the life of me remember where I read this, but it might have been a Christian commentary on those “inner healing” techniques that involve things like breaking dishes, screaming and otherwise venting anger. Venting the rage doesn’t make it go away – it just legitimizes giving free reign to it. It might feel good at the time, but it does not deal with the feelings of hopelessness or roots of the anger AT ALL.

    The only way to deal with those horrible, negative emotions and circumstances is to do what you were doing – keep taking them to God. You have been, and continue to be, unbelievably faithful even in the midst of grossly unfair and painful situations. Crying, venting etc. is okay – but do it in the arms of God; not in the darkness of the garage smashing inanimate objects. It simply wouldn’t have given you peace.

    Right now I’m in the imprectory Psalms, and have often thought of you while reading. We can draw great comfort from knowing from His very Word that He understands the full range of human emotions. As you’ve discovered, Jesus truly IS more than enough. He was, is, and will continue to be your shield and stronghold – a place of refuge.

    Yeah, it’s better you didn’t smash your dishes.

  4. Chel

    When things were so horrible at work and I was afraid I’d lose my job and I was so homesick and missing everyone and feeling so alone… one sunny afternoon, Mike and the kids were outside playing water balloons. I went out to check on them & Mike handed me one… told me to throw it. And I did. I threw it as hard as I could against the side of the house, and it burst, splashing water on me. He kept filling balloons from the tap, and I kept throwing them. And after a while, I was tired. And spent. And a little bit lighter and happier.

    Sometimes a little non-harmful physical release of that pent-up anxiety and anger and resentment and whatever else is a good thing.

    Save the dishes. Throw water balloons.

  5. Tara

    I appreciated your post.. Your honesty and transparency is humbling..

    I hurled a plate at my husband last year, when I was pregnant..never have I done anything like that, nor will I again, in fact I am not even sure what made me become rage like, aside from hormones, but I will say.. After launching the plate across the kitchen, the only thing I felt was more angry that the plate didn’t break.. it just threw my pile of rice into a stick fact.. my husband was so amused by it we ended up laughing.. so perhaps lol it helped.. who is to say. All I know, is that in the end.. only one can give us peace of mind, and heart.. and that’s Jesus..

    Your testimony is quite moving, and it is apparent that God has great plans for your life..

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