Have you ever gone to the beach and taken time to truly examine the seashells that wash onto the beach? Some people are avid shell hunters and spend countless hours searching for the perfect ones. They are looking for beautiful coloration and formation. They don’t even contemplate collecting the broken ones, after all who wants a broken shell sitting on their coffee table?
But then you have people like me who enjoy going to the beach and stumbling across incredible little treasures along the shore. I pick up each shell that stands out to me as the waters ebb and flow over the sand. Some of the shells at first glance look like a perfect creation, yet once I bend down to pick them up, I find them to be a broken treasure instead. Those are my favorite kind and the ones I place in my pocket to take home.
I have a bowl full of broken shells that I have proudly displayed for anyone who comes over to see. Some of those shells are beautiful pieces that could be made into an exquisite piece of jewelry, but most of them are fragile and broken from years of life in rough waters. Some have lost their vibrant color, others have lost their outward beauty, and still others have allowed deposits from the ocean environment to leave a lasting mark on their surface. Each one is broken and yet each one is amazingly beautiful.
Just like those shells, some say that I’m broken. They look at me – at my past mistakes, burdens, heartaches, and even at the fact that I’m living with Multiple Sclerosis – and all they see are my cracks, scars and the shattered fragments of my life. But the most amazing thing happens when you hold me up to the light. Not only will you see my imperfections, but you will also see what makes me beautiful. It’s because of being broken that I am who I am today…a battle weary warrior who has overcome much with unimaginable strength, determination and a refusal to give up.
You have cracks, scars and broken areas of your life too. The ups and downs you have experienced are real. Just because you are imperfect and living with a chronic disease doesn’t mean you are worthless. Each one of those things make you uniquely you. You are not broken…you are a beautiful example of how someone can push through all the junk life throws their way and rise above it all shinning bright. You are not broken…you are beautiful.