Having three boys I knew the day would come, I was just hoping it would be delayed.
This weekend, my three-year-old son, Matthew, who I will affectionately call MJ, fell from the couch and broke his left arm just above the elbow.
The experience was traumatic as it was the first time I had really seen him hurt. We’d dealt with bumps, bruises, viruses, and the occasional tantrum of an emotional overload, but never this.
His response was one of fear as he was confused as to why it hurt like it did and why the pain wasn’t stopping. And to further add to his pain, he was upset that he couldn’t go to a friend’s birthday party later that afternoon! Of course he was weeping, “I want to go to the birthday party,” through his tears as we loaded up for the doctor’s office.
Needless to say, I was a wreck feeling somehow responsible for his pain.
As his father, I just wanted to fix what was broken.
Learning From Brokenness
In the midst of today’s event, I’m learning that it is only the condition of being broken that allows something to heal. It is only through adversity that we can grow.
It is true that the hottest fire forges the strongest steel!
Great things are only accomplished through great adversity.
This brought to mind one of the toughest days in my young professional career.
My first sales job out of college was in the real estate field. My wife, Liz, and I had just gotten married, unwisely purchased a home, were unfortunately relocated, and were unaware of life on a commission based income. To add to our already insecure environment, we thought buying a new car would help.
You can see where this is going.
Within two months we had exhausted every resource we had. We were broke. There were impending bills and yet there was no money to pay for them. Although there was no physical wound, the pain was real.
Curiously, the fear that rushed over me then was similar to that of my son, MJ. We were both, broken.
How long is it going to hurt like this?
Why is it hurting like this?
I want to go to the birthday party!
I learned a huge lesson in that process and I continue to learn from it today. It was only through my brokenness that I really learned:
- How to manage money
- How to make better decisions
- Great things only come through great adversity
Had that experience not derailed the ‘Little Engine That Could’ I would have continued down the track of brokenness.
In short, don’t focus on the brokenness, embrace it. Great things await when you do.
In MJ’s case, a lollipop.