It’s been a dark, dark year.

I don’t mean to be dramatic. It just really has been.

A year
from hell.

A year
ago today—
when I got
the call.

You know the one. The one that buckles your knees. Steals your breath. Twists your world. Leaves you reeling.

Gasping for air.

Suddenly, as happens to so many of us, with the ring of a phone, I had a new story. A new journey. One I could barely believe. One I didn’t want.

One I still don’t want.

But I am 365 days further into my journey than I was before.
Amen, hallelujah.

And I’ll never have to do those 365 days again.
Thank the Lord in heaven.

And I’m still here.
Yes. Yes. Yes, I am. I am!

Bruised, but standing.
Broken, but stronger.
Confused, but determined.
Exhausted, but breathing.

And I’m not giving up.

I will grieve as I need to grieve, for now I know how.
I will protect as I need to protect, and soothe as I need to soothe, and love as I need to love…myself.
I will take the time I need.
And I will risk as I need to risk.

Because that is what has gotten me through every day of this past year. And if I have made it this far, I can keep going.

I spent most of this past year feeling many things I hope I never have to feel again. One of the worst was feeling abandoned and betrayed by the One whom I had believed loved me most. How could he… How?

But today, I am remembering a story. A true one…

On March 3, one year ago, in the wee hours of the morning, I emailed myself two verses from my iPhone. Little did I know that just a few hours later all hell would break lose in my life. It was months before I found the messages I had sent to myself. This is what one verse said. This is the other.

I was wrong.
What if
I was not abandoned?
I was never alone,
not for a moment.

I would like to believe it. I’m not sure my heart can trust that just yet.
But I’m not stopping until I know
for sure.

by julie rybarczyk


Both images are taken from the best and final scene of Christina Perri’s gut-wrenching video, Jar of Hearts. She got her heart back.