Sunday, March 22, 2015

yes. this.

I'm reading CS Lewis' "The Problem of Pain" right now, and came across this quote that I LOVE and think is so true and right:

"When pain is to be borne, a little courage helps more than much knowledge, a little human sympathy more than much courage, and the least tincture of the love of God more than all."

We can "know" all about our pain, but facing it, and sharing it, takes courage. 

Even if we're courageous enough to be vulnerable, the sympathy (especially empathy) of another is needed to move ahead in our journey of being broken open.

But to breathe, inhale, exhale ... ? Only by the "least tincture" of God's love can we take the next breath to healing.

This day, let's just breathe.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

broken open ... the prelude

What follows is a synopsis of a larger message that God continues to lay on my heart. I am writing, these days, and while it's mostly stored on my hard drive I thought I would trot out the premise to you, and ask for your honest feedback. Is this a subject that we need to explore? Please do share your thoughts with me.

Thankful for you,

Broken Open

Isn’t it time?

Time to stop pretending we’re ok?

To be brave enough to say, “No. I’m not ok. I hurt. I’m wrecked. I’m broken.”

To be open with our brokenness?

I’m weary of my brave face. It feels frozen and fake. It’s a liar.

The truth is, my brokenness feels like weakness and failure. And haven’t we been taught not to trust our emotion, to find the joy of the Lord despite our circumstances, to believe that God is good, all the time, to trust that He works all things together for good for those who love Him?

Of course we have.

Because all of it is true.

But what happens next is a lie. 
We take all that in, and turn them into dos and don’ts, and we lie. We say, “Oh I’m doing fine! God is good!” Which is a lie followed by the truth. Or “I’m truly thankful for this [horrible thing], because I know that God works all things together for good!” Lie, followed by truth.

Why do we do that?

We are afraid. Afraid that if we’re honest with ourselves, somehow we’re failing at our faith. That we’re not spiritual enough. If only we prayed more, read the Bible more, went to church more … if only, if only, if only … we’d feel better. And perhaps even afraid that God is unhappy with us because we’re in pain and can’t figure out how to live in the light of those truths right now.

Lies, all of it. To our own faces, we lie.

And so, naturally, we lie to everyone around us. After all, if WE think we are failing, we are certainly sure that everyone else will too. So we hold it in, keep a grip, white knuckle it through another day. And we are dying inside.

And we are doubly afraid that if we’re honest with others, they’ll see us as spiritual failures.

Afraid they’ll leave us, emotionally and maybe even physically, if we speak this truth: “I AM A COMPLETE DISASTER RIGHT NOW. And I need you.”

We are TAUGHT truth, but we aren’t given permission to TELL the truth. Even if we have permission, we don’t know how to do it safely. Often, those around us don’t know what to do with us if we do. We need to be taught how to be broken open.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

the shattering of denial

Once upon a time ... I knew who I was.

I could have told you, even. Pretty easily.

I defined myself as a child of God, a wife, a mother, a Nini, a friend, a writer of sorts, an introvert, (a bit) stubborn, a fighter, loved by many, kinda smart, a list-maker, sometimes wise, usually discerning.

These things are still true of me, I think.

But also, I would have told you I was:

... a manager
... logical & rational
... organized
... a perfectionist
... strong
... not beautiful
... not a cry-er

And I was living in this la-la-land:

"I got this."
"Let me help you fix this."

Pretty much none of that is true anymore. For sure I don't live in that particular la-la land anymore.

Here's what I would never have told you that I was:

... the managed one
... the emotional and sometime irrational one
... the messy unorganized one
... the I-don't-care one
... the broken one
... the lovely one
... a cry-a-lot-er [weirdest worst mangled non-word ever but you get the point]

... a griever
... the sad one
... the "I can barely get off the couch today" one

An abuse survivor.

But these things are all true. Even though I didn't realize it. 

And now I'm living in this reality:

"I need you."
"I'm not even gonna try to fix this, I'm only here to cry with you. I might wipe your tears and hold your hand and bring you a Coke from Quik Trip with crushed ice just the way you like it, but that's the best I have to offer you."
"I am fragile and easily triggered and I'm sorry not sorry."
"I don't have time for stuff that doesn't matter."

Because the denial of "I got this" and all that other stuff up there is shattered.

And once it's shattered, there's no getting it back.

And I can't be who I was anymore. More correctly, who I thought I was. When I was living in denial. For the longest time I've been waiting to "get over" this ... whatever this is. And get back to myself. But she's gone. For good, and I do mean it's good, even though it's also terribly hard.

And I don't know who I am becoming, but I do know that God is the one doing the becoming, and I am safe in His hands. And His grace and mercy sing the broken into beautiful.