Lisa Leonard Designs

By grace alone

August 27th | finding love, jewelry

David wears his brokenness on the outside. He is missing fingers on his left hand, he’s extremely small for his age and he can’t speak with words. When we are out and about, we can’t hide his imperfections. They are obvious.

In the early days when David was an infant, I kept trying to think of a way to fix his brokenness. I wanted to make it okay. I wanted to make it better. But in the end, it is what it is. David has seven fingers, and no matter how hard I try, I can’t make more fingers grow. The only way to make it okay, was to accept it. To accept the brokenness and to let it hurt. To let it be imperfect. To let it be awful and dark and ugly. And then move forward in grace. In accepting the brokenness I have found hope and beauty. I’m learning that it’s by grace alone we face each day.

The amazing thing about wearing your brokenness on the outside is that it breaks down walls. I can’t pretend we are perfect—our imperfections are obvious. Our struggles are known to anyone we encounter. And somehow, I think it makes us more real and approachable.

Last week I was at the grocery store and a woman came over to me.  “He’s adorable”, she said, referring to David, “How old is he?”

“He just turned ten”, I said, with pride and overflowing love.  This conversation isn’t unusual. I love to have people engage in conversation with us when they see David’s differences. But on this particular day, the conversation took a turn I didn’t expect.

She looked at me with tears in her eyes, “My son committed suicide a few years ago.” Her eyes searched deep into mine, hoping that if she looked hard enough she could find understanding. She knew that my mommy heart had been broken too. She wondered if there is some kind of glue or tape or string that could help put it back together again.

26 Responses

  1. Marissa Oliver says:

    That’s just powerful and beautiful…”to let it hurt, let it be imperfect…” Wow, just resonates to the core with me.

  2. Jill says:

    Oh how I love love love this. Thank you for sharing your heart…it made my day!

  3. sheri anderson says:

    Reading this brought tears to my eyes yet again. Lisa, you and your family are such a blessing to so many. God Bless you!

  4. Charmaine says:

    That was a lovely outreach xxxx
    Life is life – we all are who we are –
    Hug David from all of us

  5. melt my heart with your words why dontcha! beautiful, well spoken and just what my heart needed to read today. love you!

  6. What a beautiful moment you two shared even if it was just seconds of understanding each others painful moments. xoxo

  7. Kelley says:

    +That was such a wonderful story! I have had my eye on your jewelry for some time and this beautiful necklace was just what i was looking for to remind me of God’s grace in everyday….Can’t wait to receive it!Thanks so much Lisa!

  8. Jessie says:

    Lisa what a beautiful post! I enjoy reading your blog! Your jewelry is beautiful!

  9. aubrey says:

    Knocked the wind out of me. So true. So beautiful. Grace isn’t always easy. It doesn’t always feel natural. But it is the most powerful way to be.

  10. Susie says:

    I feel so much love and warmth in your writing. A heartfelt thank you – from a fan of your designs and your blog.

  11. Marilyn says:

    Lisa, I would love to purchase a “by grace alone” charm to add to my star necklace. My son weighed 1 lb. 13 ozs. when he was born and is now confined to a wheelchair. It is by grace alone that my days are filled with happiness and joy.

  12. Mary Beth says:

    You are speaking to my heart once again, Lisa. Thank you so much for being who you are and sharing yourself with so many of us. You are a very special lady. I truly hope to meet you one day.

  13. lisa – there really aren’t the right words to describe how beautiful this post is. Your walk is one of amazement. The way you share your heart carries many moms/women thru their day. Thank you for caring enough about so many to share. Letting God speak thru you, opens my eyes in many new ways – beautiful!

  14. Julie frischmeyer says:

    Lisa,
    You just put into words what I have often felt. My son is 14 and also has cornelia-delange syndrome. Trust me when I say I understandand– and thank you for the beautiful words.

    • Lisa Leonard says:

      Hi Julie! Thank you for your sweet words. I hope we get to meet someday. Do you ever attend the Cdls conferences? xo

  15. Carol says:

    Oh, my…what a gift you have given me, a way to start my day that is lovely and lyrical. In very different ways, I have looked at my life with tears of acceptance, and said, “Yes, this too.” As I read your post, I realized I was standing on very holy ground. Thank you, Lisa.

  16. Renae says:

    I lost my brother in the same way as the lady in the store. Sometimes it feels right to open up to someone who understands pain and suffering. It’s as though we see those we know can relate in some small way. She saw that in you. It’s why she was so forthcoming only having known you for moments. I thank God for silly things like coffee and blogs, but it’s so amazing how things like this can make my day and He shows me that there are people whom I can relate to. Even though sometimes it feels like it, it’s good to know that I’m not alone. God bless you and your family.

  17. Angie says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this, Lisa! <3

  18. oh, lisa. thank you for sharing that, such a great post!
    i’m learning new things about grace. and i am even learning to love that life isn’t what i’d planned. god is crazy faithful like that.
    always so grateful for you! xo

  19. Tracy says:

    Our pastor defines Grace as God Reaches out And Changes Everything. I think that is such a great way to remember what Grace means and to carry it with you. This necklace is the one from your new collection that caught my eye when I first looked at it. God is reaching out through your son to change everything, not only for you, but others who connect with your son. You are very inspirational!

  20. Michaela says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. It is a beautiful one. I am struggling with unemployment, and your post reminded me that God has it under control and Grace will get me through. David is a beautiful gift and I love seeing the photos you post.

    Thank you for being a sign of grace and love. It got me throught the day.

  21. Erica says:

    Thank you for your beautiful words. My oldest daughter was born with seven fingers and now has six. My youngest was born with a heart defect and wears the scars of open heart surgery. It took me awhile to find peace. Your words reminded me that we are not alone.

  22. What an overwhelmingly beautiful post. It’s so true that so many of us (me) hide our brokenness on the inside. Thank you for sharing this story.
    xx

  23. Gina says:

    Lisa, what a beautiful post. Thankyou once again for your inspiration and the good cry I obviously needed. My little girl Sophie was born missing all the fingers on her right hand. I would give anything to give them to her but by Grace Alone we look forward to each day & the pure joy she instills in our lives. Your darling David is a shining example to all, as are you and your family. x

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