One of my favorite ceramic coffee cups has a crack in it. It’s visibly stained with coffee which sticks out on the white surface. My parents have tried to dispose of my cup on more than one occasion. They point out the crack, like it’s no longer useful, as if it’s purpose has come to an end. Each time I tell them to leave it alone and to place it back in the cabinet. Although the cup has changed, it does not mean it no longer serves a purpose.

In 2017, I found myself amidst major life changes. My marriage of 15 years was coming to an end. I was preparing to enter a period of transition. Moving myself from a wife and mother, to a single working mother of two. I had brought these changes upon myself. I accepted my path and moved forward.

Throughout that time, I kept thinking back to a book I had read, Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow by Elizabeth Lesser. One thing that stuck with me was the idea that some times we have to fall apart in order to put our pieces back together. When we rebuild ourselves, we aren’t the same, our cracks are growth, not permanent damage. Although I had essentially broken my life into pieces, I was giving myself the opportunity to rebuild in a new way. (A process that I am still working on in 2019.)

My ceramic coffee cup still holds coffee despite its crack. It has become a reminder of my journey. A reminder that my cracks are actually a part of my growth. I gave myself permission to break. I learned that my cracks were beautiful. I know I still serve a purpose.