June 10, 2018

Writing to Mend Broken Vessels by Sharon Espeseth

Free photo with Scripture Verse
I am an earthen vessel. I didn't notice the cracks when they were smaller. . . Right now, the clay pot that is my life feels broken.

Normally, I write about how I am feeling. I write about the joys and sorrows of the day. My writing helps to keep me healthy--mentally, physically and spiritually. I write to mend my soul and spirit. This time I felt so poorly I couldn't write.

For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God's glory displayed in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 2 Corinthians 4:6-7

My writing fingers are becoming untied. The healing process begins, but this time I suspect the journey may be longer. Different symptoms. Other illness(es) so far undiagnosed? I do not know.

Below is some of the writing that got me writing again. I am humbled to publish this, polished or not. The asterisks indicate where parts have been omitted to spare you the reading.

"Hello, Darkness!
my old nemesis.
I should have heard you whisper
in my good, but aching ear:
"I am darkness your old friend,
I've come to bother you again.'

"Humph! I thought you were ignoring me
with your thankful-to-God ways."

"How could I ignore the migraine,
or the pain of skin, scalp and muscles
on the left side crying in pain
from the slightest touch?"

                      * * *

"Six weeks I've been ill.
One day I was well, functioning,
Carrying on with normal tasks.
Then, as if attacked from behind,
I had headache, earache, fatigue,
nausea, dizziness, vomiting."

"I did get your attention!
I am Darkness, your old friend.
I've come to talk with you again."

"You are not my friend!
You, Darkness, are making me sick.
I don't want to talk with you!"

"May I remind you.
Nothing happened "out of the blue."

I've been following you for years.
Downsizing. Selling the home you loved.
Packing moving--not once,
But three times in three years!"

"Landlord #1 wanted too much lordship.
All we wanted was our own space
where we could carve out a comfortable home
for our family and friends.
Instead this became a discomfort zone
Where my husband would become ill.

                     * * *
"Don't you remember?
Life wasn't the same after that.
Yes, you moved again,
But life would never go back to the way it was.
Did you take time to grieve the loss of life
As you had known it?"

                      * * *

"Place #2 and then Place #3 appeared.
We saw an ad in the local paper.

"Would it hurt to look? We actually liked it
It has character. A small raised garden.
Room for the kids and grand ones to stay over.
Our adult kids helped us move. Again.
Pack. Move. Unpack. Settle in. Repeat."

"You sound defensive, my dear.
What about your almost-twin sister, Joan?
Her years of Alzheimer's--you suffered with her.
She moved to a residence.
She was diagnosed with 4th stage lung cancer.
You suffered with her."

                         * * *

"So joyful was I for her that I didn't acknowledge
how much I would miss her. Three years later,
when depression strikes again, I realize her loss
all the more.
Until we meet again, Joan."

My story may help others realize they are not alone in their suffering, be it depression, loss of one kind or another, or pain, but that is not my job. God can work through my physical or mental weakness, my weakness of faith, my sorrow when I share my story and leave it in His hands. If God can use my story for mending one other person, the glory is His. I may never know. Nor do I need to know.

"But God choses the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things--and the things that are not--to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. 1 Corinthians 1:27-29 NIV

For some time, I have appreciated the hymn Earthen Vessels by John Foley, 1975.


Free photo with Scripture verse

This is a good place for me to conclude my story about "writing as mending." I had original planned to write this for May 10th, but I was not ready to write anything at that time. I pray that God will continue to shine His light on my darkness and on any darkness you may have as well, my readers.


  1. This is the line that stood out to me: "I may never know. Nor do I need to know." I am so thankful that we can place it ALL in God's capable hands. This reminds me of Ecclesiastes - not a very uplifting book when taken in small portions, but when one reads it in its entirety there is a flow and a sense of hope and purpose that shines through. I think the writer of that book was also suffering from depression but his honesty gives hope to others that they are not alone, and ultimately, it points to God. thank you and bless you, Sharon. You are actually a light - probably shining brighter than you realize - that must chase that old liar, darkness, away.

    1. Hi Sharon, my dear friend. I've come to be blessed by your post once again. In the darkness we may find each other. We are not alone. The darkness will give way to The Light. If darkness lingers I want you to know you can reach out to me. I know the darkness. I know its grip. At times the more we struggle, the tighter its grip. We are aware of our frailties. You are brave in being so honest with us. Yes, writing is indeed "mending." Oh Sharon, bless you in your mending. "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner." While still in sin you loved us to Yourself. Hugs to you Sharon.

  2. Thank you for being open and vulnerable, Sharon. Blessings upon you!

  3. Thank you, Tracy, Alan, and Marcia, for your understanding, love and encouragement. May you also be blessed. God is good!

  4. Sharon, I want to thank you for your candid post. You share from a deep place inside, and I realize the fortitude and courage it takes to write from that space. I'm whispering a little prayer for grace and asking for His healing words to push away the darkness, for the restoring of your soul as Ps 23 promises. Hugs, Brenda xox

  5. Thank you, Brenda, for your words and your prayer for grace. God's word contains so many healing words. They do push away the darkness and restore the soul. David's Psalm does this so well. Blessings.

  6. Dear Sharon, thank you for your generous sharing of the heart. Your words will help others not feel alone when they face their dark hours. You've given me a glimpse of what a friend of mine must be going through as she battles cancer. Your words will help me pray strategically for her.
    Thank you and hugs ~ Wendy

    1. If God is able to use my sharing in any way, I am thankful. May God bless your strategic prayer for your friend who is dealing with cancer.

  7. Hi Sharon, your honest words really resonated with me because I've been reading the Gospel of John and His references to Jesus as Light have really opened my eyes. It has informed the way I pray for our children. Also, I tend to fall to depression from time to time as well, so I sure appreciate how open you are. It helps me realize I am not alone. Thanks Sharon!

    1. Jesus is the light in our darkness. Jesus' words can shine through the cracks in our earthen vessels. If we hide our earthen vessels and their brokenness, we may also hide the light of Christ that could be shining through. Thanks, Pam, for letting me know that I am not alone either.

  8. Dear Sharon, when ever I have read your posts, (and I've missed them when not here ... but I too am sometimes irregular) I've recognized the pain behind the writing ... Hello darkness my old friend, many times those words have danced in my head ... I agree with you when you speak of writing to heal, to mend mind and soul. And as a nurse I also know that many times God uses the medical system to help heal us as well. Also sending up prayers of grace for you as well. May you experience his Light. Yes the Light shines through the cracks.

  9. Thanks for your response, Jocelyn. Yes, I am thankful for the medical system we have. I am fortunate to have a family doctor, who listens to what is going on with me, sends me for appropriate tests, and encourages me to look after myself. I now have a provisional diagnosis and a medication that I am trying. I am working with other health care professionals in conjunction with my main doctor. Through prayer, God has given me comfort, hope, support, and even directions and ideas of where to seek further help.

    I enjoy reading your blogs too, Jocelyn, and I appreciate your experience and perspective,


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