Here is a favorite stained glass window of mine. It is at “The Riverside Mission Inn in Riverside CA. My husband and I were married there. Look at the beautiful detail and time it must have taken to put the glass together. Cutting and soddering the lead together to create such a asterpiece.
When I think of my life and all of the blessings I have today—a loving marriage, healthy children and
grandchildren, a beautiful home, a healthy body, and a fulfilling career—I realize it was all built from a
broken past with many blessings along the way. I have come to a place where I don’t regret a single part
of my life where there was heartache, betrayal, loss, sickness, or pain. It took all of those broken pieces
for God to put together this masterpiece of a life that I am so fortunate to have.
Your Life Can Be a Masterpiece
Have you ever been to a cathedral and seen the light that comes shining through a stained-glass
window? It just stops you in your tracks! You can’t help but look at all the details with appreciation;
what was once broken pieces is now a grand design.
Years ago, I took classes on stained-glass art. My final product would be a 30-inch-by-20-inch abstract
art piece. It took me a long time because I had to draw out the design, then I had to cut the glass, break
the pieces, and put them back together. It was a lot of work and took a lot of patience! After working
with the glass, there would always be tiny cuts on my hands. It was tedious, and I wasn’t sure how it was
all going to turn out, which made me nervous but was very exciting. The result was beautiful! I had the
art piece framed in oak and hung it in my home so.
I think of that creation as a metaphor for my life and the lives of all women who have been able to
reemerge after trauma, piecing the shards of their broken hearts back together to create something
new; something good. I realized how many pieces of glass had to be cut and broken to create a
To me, the different pieces of glass in varying shapes and colors were like the countless times I had my
heart broken in life—when I lost a job that I cared about, when I was betrayed by my partner, when I
endured abuse from the man I loved, when I lost family members due to cancer, when I underwent a
bilateral mastectomy and lost one of the most feminine parts of my body… For a while, these loses
made me feel resentful, but if we hold onto the pain, it’s like holding onto the pieces of glass. It cuts us,
again and again, as we relive our anger and wish things were different. Holding onto this pain can be too
much stress, emotionally and mentally, and can cause physical illness. Imagine the pain of someone
grasping onto shards of glass in their pocket, and then pulling them out, looking at them with
resentment, wishing for things to be different but not believing anything will ever change. Eventually,
we need to do something with all of these little broken pieces. We need to take all of these broken little
pieces of our hearts and allow God to help shape us into a masterpiece. We need to unbreak our hearts.
People admire stained glass windows. We look at all the intricacy in the colors and cuts in the glass. You
can’t help but look at all the details with appreciation. These windows remind me of all the survival
stories from people who have recovered from trauma and illness and have gone on to help others and
inspire them. We look at these people and see their beauty. We see there’s a light shining through all of