Broken: A Letter to my Heart-Transplanted Daughter

I saw your tiny body quivering, gasping for each bit of life support available in the sterile Intensive Care Unit. Your heart was sick. Broken. Unable to sustain more than the first three months of your life. The unnatural, methodical rising and falling of your chest was unable to comfort my own breaking heart. Sounds of beeping monitors mirrored the chaotic emotions of my own heart as I was fighting to keep you from death’s door. Tears streamed down my face as I watched you suffer, helpless to take away your pain. Although I would’ve given everything I had to do it. 

After your miraculous heart transplant and recovery, I remember the indescribable joy within my heart as we finally walked out of the hospital, closing that pain-filled chapter of our lives. I eagerly anticipated taking you home and protecting you from any more trauma or suffering. 

As our family continued to face one challenge after another, the fear in my heart grew stronger. I became more aware of how fragile life is and how easily I could face yet more loss. I feared brokenness. My fear of brokenness was seeped in the fear of suffering. 

I detest suffering. But I have watched you and your brother suffer in more ways and times than I can begin to recount, and there simply are no sufficient words to describe this kind of intense pain. But I find it breaks my heart a little more each time.

I know you’re no longer this tiny girl laying on the ICU bed, gasping and struggling for your life. The numerous medicine pumps taking up much more space on the bed than your body. But this mama’s heart breaks as I see you again struggling with the chronic health challenges you’re facing. I see you learning how to live in the face of unspoken pain, and trying to cling to the goodness of God all the while confused by His seeming silence. Your body shakes from the intense physical pain, and again, I watch helplessly and wish I could carry the pain for you. But since I can’t, I’m reminded of this: Suffering exposes the greatest heroes…and you are certainly mine. 

My sweet girl, I’ve seen your physical heart healed by God’s grace. Your body received the indescribable gift of another child’s heart. But how does a person live with an emotionally broken heart? How do we cope with suffering? 

As I’ve struggled again to accept this journey in our lives, God reminded me that surrendering my heart and life to Him involves saying, “Lord, use my life in the way You think is best.” Instead of being frustrated about the intense health battles we frequently seem to struggle with, I believe God wants me to accept His grace while continuing to give Him grace. After all, if this is the way God wants to use our lives, who are we to not joyfully allow Him? 

Our compassionate Father never leaves us to suffer alone. Because of our suffering, we can be drawn even closer to the heart of our broken Savior. He desires to be close to the broken-hearted and to bind up and heal our shattered hearts. Our Suffering Jesus weeps when we weep. 

As much as we despise it, suffering is a gift. It is our opportunity to become broken bread to feed the souls of others. When we are personally shattered by our own brokenness, our suffering can more fully reach the hearts of others. Ann Voscamp has said, “Those who have known an unspoken broken can offer the greatest healing.” The best way to make it through our pain is to reach out to others in their pain. God’s grace enables us to push through our ache to become the blessing. 

My dear girl, the gaping wounds around our broken hearts can be the very openings for God’s grace and healing to seep in. Grace is always best seen in our broken places.

I still don’t like the hard, the imperfections. The brokenness. And I’ve fought long and hard to stop the sufferings of my family. But Jesus keeps asking me to embrace my suffering. To simply learn to be okay when life is NOT okay. Instead of attempting to survive the storms, I’m learning to dance in the rain. Finding joy in the midst of pain. Making the most of my imperfect, broken world. Allowing my broken heart to fully feel the pain, but then fully surrendering it to my Heart-Healer.

My daughter, I see my own reflection as I look deeply into your heart. I recognize the ache. The fear, pain and loss. And I understand and care. But don’t fear the brokenness. Or the suffering. And never choose to suffer alone. As we vulnerably share about our suffering and brokenness, it helps to dispel aloneness and fear. But it can be hard to trust others with our wounds. 

Our greatest wounds on earth may become our greatest treasures in heaven. When we vulnerably share of our own brokenness, we can better minister to others. The greatest healing we can offer to the hearts of others is when we give from our own broken hearts. A kind friend recently encouraged me with these words, “Perfect people may entertain, but it’s the broken ones who truly minister.” 

My brave, beautiful girl, you may be broken and may struggle with fear. But you will always be loved. And you are never more whole than when you embrace your brokenness and suffering as a part of life in our broken world. When you choose to focus on God’s grace in the path of suffering rather than your own comfort. Your intimate love for your Father is best demonstrated when you graciously participate in the sufferings He allows in your life. Receiving His grace while returning grace. 

God offers heart transplants to each of us. He takes our hurting, broken hearts and replaces them with His own, and we become conduits of grace. Our hearts can be healed, happy and whole; regardless of our circumstances. God transplants our broken hearts with the scars and beat of His own. A heart rhythmically beating for the hurting around us. 

The solution for not becoming another drowning victim lost in the consuming sea of suffering is to comfort others through our pain. Compassionately reaching out instead of retreating within. We will never find true healing without vulnerably exposing our wounds.  

Let’s allow God’s arms of grace to strip away our grasping hold of perfection. Our hearts may feel battered, and our dreams shattered. But we can fling open wide our hands, giving up our bruised control. Our broken hearts can find the joyous rhythm of a brand new beat; one that methodically praises in the midst of suffering. 

My daughter, I will always be here as we learn and navigate through these struggles together. 

I love you, my Brave Heart. 

~Cindy (For The Mullett Family) 

  • John & Arlene Hurst
    Posted at 07:51h, 20 November

    Love , hugs & prayers!

  • Dwayne Mullet
    Posted at 09:13h, 20 November

    Praying, Dwayne

  • Noah & Clara Nolt
    Posted at 10:08h, 20 November

    Oh, how beautiful and precious (a true love letter)! It is so amazing how pruning brings out the beautiful, glorious colors that brilliantly shine, bringing glory to God through reaching out to touch others!

    Our hearts are touched and blessed by your strength and courage to open your hearts and share your pain! We love you dearly!

    We pray that our dear Heavenly Father will continue to carry each of you through the difficult places and to keep you in His loving embrace! <3

  • Annie smucker
    Posted at 10:59h, 20 November

    Love & prayers! An absolutely beautiful letter! Honestly, Cindy, albeit with different circumstances, this letter spoke directly to my heart in the midst of my own brokenness! It greatly encouraged me! Thank you for sharing with all of us. Perfect people may entertain, but it’s the broken ones who truly minister. I loved that part! So true!

  • Marianne Stoltzfus
    Posted at 14:35h, 20 November

    Cindy, your letter is heart-wrenching, and humbling to read! The incredible, challenges your family has faced and been through these years, and observing how you’ve testified of His goodness and grace through it all, has been a tremendous witness to me and hundreds of others!” Forgive me, Lord for ever complaining about anything!” The raw honesty of your letter to sweet Alicia, compels me to keep crying out and interceding on her behalf! Praying for second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour, grace, strength, and comfort to “do this” and for healing for Alicia! Love you so- Marianne

  • Cheryl Martin
    Posted at 18:26h, 20 November

    Such beautiful, precious words written to dear Alisha!! I’m just so very I’m just so sorry Alisha and your family has to walk this incredibly painful journey.

  • Page Alexanda
    Posted at 18:41h, 20 November

    Dear Cindy
    I am in tears here this is truly a heart wrenching post. I dont know you and your family very well and it has been almost a year but you and your precious family are very dear to me.

    I have seen your struggles as a family especially Alisha and it breaks my heart. I dont know what else to say. You know I am praying for you all.

    With much love and hugs

  • Elmina
    Posted at 22:00h, 20 November

    So beautifully written….you’ve been broken, and yet again you’re experiencing brokenness. So heart wrenching to again face your struggle when I’m sure it feels you’ve just come through this thing of facing challenges with another child. But in your broken places, you speak life to me, encouraging me to find joy in my brokenness, to be ok with suffering, to accept it as the hand of God in my life to be able to make me into who He desires me to be. To let go and let God and embrace His goodness! Praying for you as you take care of Alisha, encourage her in her suffering, experiencing the pain of it all, for her and for you! God bless and keep you!

  • Heidi Hess
    Posted at 22:29h, 20 November

    What a beautiful touching love letter! My heart cries with you as we see dear family members suffering from ‘thorns in the flesh’ and bearing burdens of great pain and distress. Some days my heart hurts till I’m afraid I will collapse with fear and anxiety but it’s in those moments of true brokenness that JESUS is closest to my heart and just waiting to pick us up! You are a testimony of what HIS perfect love can do for all of us if we but choose to reach out and grasp HIS hand and allow HIM to do the healing in me! You are ever in our prayers-keep sharing your journey-the raw and the real; it’s a real encouragement to those of us walking our own journey! May you all feel HIS love as you serve HIM and seek HIS perfect will!

  • Samuel
    Posted at 02:04h, 21 November

    How absolutely true are your words of ministering after going through pain .Tears are a language God understands, I to have been allowed to minister to others after going through suffering and pain and understanding the suffering of Jesus Christ.
    God Bless you all for allowing him to use you to reach out to others. SH

  • Rochelle Kauffman
    Posted at 07:43h, 21 November

    Thanks for these words! Our struggle is dealing with our adult, rebellious son! Your words meant a great deal, I’ll just keep on praying knowing God is in this struggle! God is faithful in bringing us the strength to face this struggle!

  • Loretta Kropf
    Posted at 14:30h, 21 November

    After reading this I had my personal devotions and this verse popped out at me and felt I needed to share. 1 Peter 5:10 After you have suffered a little while, the God of grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. Prayers!

  • Jackie Harden
    Posted at 19:21h, 21 November

    Oh Cindy, how beautifully written this is. Your courage to keep pressing in to God, & embrace the suffering & trial is a beautiful example to others. May you all know His strength, endurance & grace throughout this time.
    God bless you.

  • Ruby Miller
    Posted at 06:12h, 22 November

    This is truly the heart of a faithful Mother! Such a witness of brokenness! Keep pressing on dear friend! ?

  • Cindy
    Posted at 16:58h, 05 December

    Thank you, Ruby. God is faithful!

  • Cindy
    Posted at 17:00h, 05 December

    Thank you, Jackie. We’ve definitely been struggling with weakness, but thank God for the daily strength He gives. Hugs and prayers to you and yours…

  • Cindy
    Posted at 17:02h, 05 December

    We love this! Thank you, Loretta, for sharing it with us. God is so good!

  • Cindy
    Posted at 17:04h, 05 December

    You’re right, Rochelle, God knows and cares about what you’re going through with your son. We’re so sorry you’re facing this. Our prayers are that God would win this battle for you and be glorified in the process.

  • Cindy
    Posted at 17:08h, 05 December

    Samuel, I can tell you understand this journey. God bless you as your life and choices continue to exemplify His grace and joy to a hurting world.

  • Cindy
    Posted at 17:10h, 05 December

    Heidi, your heart of compassion for others is a beautiful reflection of the Father’s heart. God bless you as you continue to comfort and minister to the hurting around you.

  • Cindy
    Posted at 17:14h, 05 December

    Your words wash over me as refreshing streams of comfort and encouragement, Elmina. Thank you for showing the love of Jesus to me. Our family is so grateful for your prayers.

  • Cindy
    Posted at 17:15h, 05 December

    Page, you have been a big blessing and encouragement to our family. Thank you for being “you” and for your beautiful heart of love to others. Your prayers mean so much!

  • Cindy
    Posted at 17:17h, 05 December

    Thank you, Cheryl. We praise the Lord for the slow, but steady improvements we’re seeing.

  • Cindy
    Posted at 17:21h, 05 December

    Marianne, your sweet words are a healing balm to my heart. Thank you for blessing me so many times with your words of life. Our family can’t help but rejoice in the goodness of God, in spite of life’s challenges. He is so incredibly faithful!

  • Cindy
    Posted at 17:24h, 05 December

    Praise the Lord for speaking to you, Annie. I’m so sorry you’re facing the reality of brokenness. But I’m certain you will allow God to be glorified and will minister to others through it.

  • Cindy
    Posted at 17:28h, 05 December

    Thank you so much for your encouraging words, Noah and Clara. Both of you are true reflectors of the loving heart of our Father. Thank you for how you are making a difference to so many around you. We love you.

  • Cindy
    Posted at 17:29h, 05 December

    Thank you, Dwayne. Your prayers mean so much!

  • Cindy
    Posted at 17:30h, 05 December

    Thank you, John & Arlene. This means so much to our family.

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