Shattered. I stood shattered in my disbelief, looking down at my life in a million pieces strewn across the floor. It wasn’t the first time. And it certainly wouldn’t be the last. Isn’t that how life works, anyway? It’s impossible to get through it without the cataclysmic events that we never see coming, but are inevitable, nonetheless.
I’ve had to pick up the pieces before. But this time was different. This time it involved so much more—my marriage, my family, my purpose in life, my future. It’s taken me years to pick up the pieces. In fact, I’m still picking them up today. I’d like to say, I’ve done it all on my own, but I’ve had to look to others for guidance and inspiration. I’ve watched my adopted father survive a horrific accident and persevere through more than most human beings could handle. I’ve observed my adopted mother battle breast cancer and overcome the obstacles that were thrown at her. I’ve watched them both raise eight children in the face of adversity. I’ve seen them build and rebuild their own mosaics, time and time again.
Shattered, I slowly started picking up the pieces of my former life. Carefully, I began arranging them. One by one. Piece by piece. Minutes passed. Hours passed. Days passed. Months passed. Years passed. I look back now on the last five years of my life. Have I gotten everything right? Of course not. Have I become closer to my parents? I have. Have I repaired a broken relationship with my oldest son? I did. Is the relationship with my youngest son still a shard upon the floor? It is. But still, I push forward. I continue picking up the pieces that I can put back into some sort of eye-pleasing arrangement. It’s an arrangement that will never be perfect. In fact, it will always be missing some pieces. But despite those missing pieces, it is still a thing of beauty; at least I think it is. And in the end, is that not what life is really all about? We are each given an assortment of pieces and it is up to each one of us what we do with those pieces. When one mosaic is destroyed, we can stand over it, wringing our hands and do nothing. We can just let the pieces lie there in a vast jumble of confusion and chaos. Or, as hard as it may be, we can pick them up, analyze them closely in our hand, and place them carefully back into a new, bolder, brighter, and even more beautiful mosaic than we had to begin with.