“How are you?” he asked.
“I’m fine,” I said immediately.
“And off the record?” he asked through a kind smile.
“I haven’t really given that much thought lately. I have to be fine, to keep going.” I stare intently at my feet, simultaneously hoping for, and dreading, a follow-up question.
“Who are you being fine for?”
The question hovers in the silence between us. If I grab it and search my mind and heart for an answer, I may find myself staring into an abyss that will not hesitate to stare back.
“I don’t know… That’s just the way I should be, that we all should… I have to take responsibility for being OK for me, but also for the people around me.”
“But what if life breaks you or your heart? What do you do then?”
“Ideally, I process it ASAP and, to use the popular turn of phrase, get over it.”
“How is that working out for you?”
Tears sting my eyes as countless heartbreaks and disappointments, that have hovered beneath the surface, enter stage right throwing my brand of OK off entirely.
“It’s OK to be weak sometimes. To admit that life breaks you. I can assure you that in days to come you will be stronger in all of the broken places than you could ever imagine.”
I’m lost in a heatwave of tears and flashbacks to all the moments where I told myself, “It’s fine. You’re fine. Just keep going.”
I hear His voice clearly: “My strength is perfected in your weakness. Will you let me put you back together?”