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  • Alane Stanton

A Beautiful Broken Shell

My doorbell rang on April 1, 2013. When I opened the door, the man asked my name, then ... "You've been served." It was April Fool's Day, but this was no prank. I spent the night shattered, crying, on my bathroom floor.

Two years later as I was eating dinner with my daughter, she says," Mom, we're moving away." My heart broke, again, knowing my daughter was leaving with her father.

An uneasy feeling crept in as I awoke on a Saturday morning in 2016. I ran to the front of the home I shared with my son, only to find him sick on the floor. I helped him to bed, he convulsed, and stopped breathing. Two days later, I stood by a different bed in an ICU unit as nurses gently turned off one machine, then another. My hand was placed over a heart ... his heart ... a heart I would feel beat for it's last time on this earth. At that moment, I felt as if my own heart had shattered for the final time. So broken, I would never be able to put the pieces of my heart and life together again...

As grief threatened to overtake me, I ran away from home. A lot! Driving through town was torture, as I passed by the places shared with my family. Revisiting the memories that were just that now. Memories. I couldn't bear to walk by the room where I attempted CPR on my precious boy. Where I watched him die the first time. Where I could still smell him. See him. Long to hold him. So, I ran.

I tried to outrun grief, hurt, loss, pain, rejection ... everything that seemed to compound over the past few years.

Every time I ran, I ran to the ocean. As soon as my toes hit the water's edge, I could breathe. Just a little at first. Then with each trip, my breathing steadily returned to a normal rhythm.

While in a boutique on one such run away from home trip, I saw some seashells hanging from a Christmas tree. But these shells were different than the ones I found along the shore. My eyes fell on the one pictured here. It was adorned with beautiful beads ~ in colors found in and around the water to which I ran ~ my favorite colors. Woven in and out of the broken parts, the beads filled the holes with beauty, and in the center ~ a cross.

I had spent a year or so running ... from the brokenness that was my life ... feeling completely alone in my brokenness ... BUT Jesus was my constant companion.

He still is! Little by little He is filling the broken places ... the holes in my heart ... with His promises. His love. His grace. His strength, peace, and yes, even joy. Notice I said, "is filling." Present progressive tense, meaning it is a progression. Ongoing. While instant gratification would be lovely, I know God is using this time to teach me more about His provision. His constant presence. His love, grace, strength, peace, and joy.

God has taken this hot broken mess and is making her beautiful again. Whole again. It's a process, and there are still holes. But the broken parts don't hurt quite as badly as they used to. And as God lovingly holds this broken shell in His hands, gently filling the holes with beauty, she is healing.

Yes, I still fall apart at times. I still run away on occasion. I still give into ALL the feels and allow the tears to flow unchecked periodically. And, I give myself grace.

But, I also claim His promises. I know I am fiercely loved by my Father. I am thankful for His grace and forgiveness. I feel His strength on the days when grief takes hold and tries to defeat me. I have a peace in the chaos of the emotions that threaten to overtake me. When I cannot stand on my own, I lift my feet, and He carries me.

And JOY does, indeed, come in the morning!


If you are struggling right now, why not lean into Jesus? Allow Him to help you today!

"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." (Psalm 147:3)

"... Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning." (Psalm 30:5)


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4 commentaires

28 sept. 2021

Beautiful you are so strong love you

Alane Stanton
28 oct. 2021
En réponse à

My strength comes from God above! I love you, sweet girl!


27 sept. 2021

Beautiful. I have known you only through Facebook since before your son passed, your divorce happened and your move. I have watched you progress and find the light you now share. I did not know your entire story only a few moments. Now that I have read this I admire you more for your strength and courage to go on.

I've been feeling broken and lost. My situation does not come close to yours but still broken. I too ran away about a month ago when I just felt I could not take anymore. I didn't want to ever return and yet I didn't get far at all. Instead I faced my situation and now can only pray that there…

Alane Stanton
28 oct. 2021
En réponse à

Thank you for sharing, Cilene! Sometimes running away is all we can do in the moment, and I feel those times also help us to go back and face that from which we ran. I pray God continues to heal your precious heart, and also that He gives you the strength needed to forge ahead. God bless you, sweet friend!


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