Tag Archives: healing

Two Week Follow-up

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My two week hiatus is over. I’m feeling rested and slightly petrified.

After finally calming the crap down around Day Six, I spent lots of time napping, dancing around the living room to “I Will Survive” and “How Do You Mend a Broken Heart” and drinking fizzy fruit sodas. My blood sugar raged but the Inner Emo felt better for the exercise, thanks much.

Then the emails started. The beast tightened the financial screws which makes job-hunting higher priority than before. I’m no longer looking for work in my field and have cast the nets further adrift so to speak. Trying to find work after so long out of the loop is tough. Trying to find something that pays a living wage is worse.

Hate to be so cryptic but keeping identifying details to a minimum while updating is difficult on a good day.

All this sounds pretty rotten and–well, it is. But during the last two weeks, I felt my Father’s joy and His assurance of provision. He assured me that those who trust in Him will not be put to shame. He assured me that He keeps watch over His children and He will repay their enemies. And He assured me that He knew beforehand and made provision accordingly.

Like a Light in a Storm

Three months ago, I had a strange dream. I wrote it down, including all the odd details. At the time, the dream made me feel  better even though it made no sense and knowing it was from the Lord, I tucked it aside with other journal gems, then went on about my business, promptly forgetting the whole thing. It went something like this:

I’m in a store doing ordinary things which I wrote down. These things were quite specific and not the least bit scary and yet I am terrified anyway. I wake, screaming at the top of my tiny lungs for the Lord to come comfort me right-this-minute.

Only I wasn’t actually awake. I’m a little girl, maybe six to eight or so. I’m in a big double bed. The covers are horribly rumpled as I’ve obviously been fighting in my sleep, my head down by the foot of the bed. Beautiful soft light streams in through the window and I am squealing like crazy, crawling up on the pillows and calling for Jesus to come get me.

It’s the middle of the night. I may be awake, but I am little and I am scared.

All of this, I perceive in a bare minute. The colors, the lighting, the perception– much more than a dream. And in the split-second it takes to start squealing, I see my Lord, all warm and drowsy and stumbling over to calm down this wailing child of His heart.

Which wakes me up out of the dream-within-a-dream. I am no longer scared. I realize I’m home, I’m safe, my Lord isn’t the tiniest bit worried and I  have woken Him up for no reason as there is actually nothing wrong– no danger, no imminent threat, no looming destruction. The ordinary items that terrified me are not a threat. I tell the Lord that it’s okay, He can go back to sleep, I’m fine.

I get some loving up anyway.

And then I actually did wake up.

How the Story Plays Out

For several days before the email of financial doom, I felt a need to go back and reread my journals. I remembered things, reread encouragement and replayed some of the sweet moments from time spent in His presence. Pretty nice stuff. I reread answers to prayer given before I knew to ask. Holy moments tucked in between panicky moments of desperation. I got a snapshot of the way the Lord has upheld and sustained me during this transition. Yeah, things stink sometimes. But, there is beauty in His sweet care.

The evening of the email’s arrival started off pretty nice. One of the kidlets had the nerve to get older than allowed for a youngster of my tender years so out we went for a little birthday sushi and a generous helping of family gossip. Afterwards,  dear child invites Mom to their favorite thrift store (some things definitely run in families). Nice surprise and lovely end to a wonderful visit.  We  drive over, park too far away after so much raw fish and part ways near the door as I’m more of a home goods kinda shopper and kidlet loves the clothing section.

Round the corner and there, hidden in the back tastefully arranged with a grouping of tacky ’80’s mauve and blue geese sits a vision from heaven– the most awesome little table to grace a thrift store in ages. A 1930’s, drop leaf office typing table, complete with wheels that raise and lower, a foot operated devise that actually works to lock the table down. The top needs refinishing but all the marvelous, industrial metal goodness is perfect.

The table is mine. I know it. I love it. It loves me back. We are meant to be united in decorating bliss. There’s a great big freshly painted wall back home with an empty slot in need of just such a wonder. I drag my treasure to the cashier, knocking various grandmother-types out of the way as I go. This baby needs to get bought and paid for pronto before some big city high brow sees what I’ve found and tries to wrestle it from my grimy clutches. After all that raw fish, I’m in no shape for a tussle.

Fourteen dollars and twenty minutes later, the table sits near the front door with a lovely sold sign attached. I threaten the cashier with immanent doom if she lets my baby out of her sight for one minute and head back to the book section. I have vowed to quit bringing home anything bigger than a matchbox but a quick perusal yields an armload of HUGE hardbacks meant to melt the  heart of any bibliophile. Someone cleaned off the coffee table. Whatever– they are  mine. I remark to the cashier that I have no place for these boat anchors and quickly calculate the probability of getting both the rolling table/cart and the huge box of books to the car.

At this point, I park myself near the door on a second-hand sofa and look smug. Occasionally the thought crosses my mind that I can’t possibly lift the book box and the cart but decide that God Will Provide and thus, turning religious, move on to more pressing matters like watching other shoppers gawk over my table until they see the sold sign. More smugness ensues.

Trust me, there is a point in here somewhere.

Eventually, my daughter and I get everything loaded with the help of a nice gay man who does, in fact, make a play for my table although my heart is hard to his cries for mercy as he assures me that he, and only he, can properly appreciate it’s wonderfulness. I snicker and head homeward, arrange table in place of honor, grab the laptop for a quick check and bam– the beast strikes again.

Don’t know if anyone else can relate, but the world stopped turning.

I am petrified. Bills loom. The little bit of personal credit in my own name is liable to be ruined. Important things must be paid or put off indefinitely. My kids will do without and there’s not much cuts closer to the bone.  I’ve tried to find work already. I see no answer, no solution, no promise.

Of course, this is not all technically true. I’m not exactly on the street. I haven’t tried Walmart yet and I hear they hire just about anyone. That doesn’t help however. Spiraling commences. I’m not thinking anymore and a big hot wad of Ugly wants to take me under. I see myself living in a box under the bridge, selling plasma and eating radioactive carp from the bayou.

After plenty of this, I head on to bed, get still and hear my Savior.

He reminds me of His promises. He quotes from my journals. The stories just read only nights before replay through my fear-soaked brain.

I can hear and I know– there’s a decision to make. I can chose to trust the One Who brought me this far already or I can head on into this shit-filled pit the beast so kindly dug and stay there for only the Good Lord knows how long.

This time, the good guys win.

Spiritual wrestling makes me hungry. There’s crackers and cheese in the kitchen and as I’m no longer headed for life as a bag lady, I head to the fridge instead for a midnight snack. I may be better but sleep is out of the question so I open up the journal I’ve been reading for days now and scroll down to the next entry on March 10th.

And there’s the dream. I’m munching crackers and reading all this incredible detail from the first section of the dream which I’d forgotten as it made no sense whatsoever. After all, it wasn’t scary and yet I was terrified. The part which I kindly left out earlier to make the story much juicier. . .

. . . the part where I’m in a store. And I’m terrified. And I find a rolling table that might be a cart and I’m trying to get it out of the store. Except that I have a huge box of heavy books. And I can’t figure out why I’d buy these great big books.  I know I can’t carry both the books and the table and everyone wants my table and it makes no sense whatsoever to be frightened of rolling tables and books but I am and . . .

I am Fine.

At that moment, crackers falling out of my open mouth, I know, beyond a doubt that my Father knows everything. I’ve heard this all my life but the reality of experiencing trumps the head knowledge of hearing any day.

Nothing takes Him by surprise. He is watching. He knows. He gives me a dream three months in advance and makes sure I find it again on the day I need to hear from Him so desperately. He knew where I would be, what I’d be doing, how I’d be feeling and that I would squawk like a trembling baby bird in a rumpled nest.

He gave me some loving up ahead of time.

Now isn’t that something?

I’d like to say that everything is all better now but circumstances have not change quite yet. I know they will. Not how or where or when– just that they will. I may panic again tomorrow.  I wish I could say I’m strong enough to remember this little miracle when the crap hits the fan again– which it will– but I am not.

What I can tell you is this.

If I squeal, my Savior will come and pat me until I’m better. And for now, that is plenty good enough.

Day Six-ish: Ida Gets Called on Her Crap

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Well then.

I’m alone in the house for the first time in so many years I can’t begin to recall. Do not know what to do with myself.

So today, I did the only logical thing and went online job hunting, mapped out a three year life plan and scheduled something for every day left in vacation-land. Then I painted a bowl of fruit-like objects.Came out pretty good although the spherical shapes continue giving me fits. Whatever.  They’re in a bowl, I like them. Then I took a bath.

Whereupon the Lord above invaded my space (metaphorically speaking) and poked me with sticks. He said (not so gently either, mind you)  that a) I was suppose to be resting and b) I was not resting one bit and c) I needed to call every single person with which I’d planned all sorts of bone-tiring excursions stretching into the foreseeable future and cancel already.

So I did. But I am not liking this one bit.

I have cleaned the bathroom, done every bit of washable laundry, scrubbed every available surface and painted all the fruit I can stand. Final assessment? I do not know how to be still.

Okay fine. We had some wine and flat crackers on the sofa, I spent some time remembering all the wonderful things He’s done so far and I promised to be good.

Please pray for my sanity folks. It could be a very long week.

Day 2: Happy Place is Loud

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Woke early this morning to joyous quiet which lasted all of twenty-eight minutes before jack hammers started up outside my bedroom window.

Yes indeedy. Jack hammers. I went outside in pj’s for visual verification purposes.

Jack hammering lasted until 2:32 at which time Loud Blowing Noises Made With Unknown Tool Thingies began. LBN’s lasted until five minutes ago.

Much hand waving and lip reading combined with trots back and forth to the front door yielded the following information:

  • A major gas line in the neighborhood is leaking
  • This is not a problem and there is no need to panic
  • Oops
  • The leak is bigger than we thought initially and many more holes must be jack hammered into the concrete right-this-minute
  • No problem, no need for concern
  • Just for funsies we’re turning off your gas. Not because there is a problem or anything.
  • The other guys were suppose to fix this yesterday.
  • We are calling in bigger trucks and more equipment so this might take a teensie bit longer than first mentioned
  • Everything is under control
  • The gas company now needs to inspect the premises. Just for grins as there isn’t any real problem
  • Have you been burning that candle all day? No reason for asking as there is no danger to you or any other citizen within a three block radius
  • Really

On another note,  the tiny bathroom is currently full of plumber. Nothing inside said bathroom works. Not the sink, nor the potty, nor the awesome tub which is my nightly quiet place. The sound of Great Progress goes forth and we are hopeful for a successful outcome.

Mr. Plumber is very nice and keeps telling me how the Lord has blessed him, including a recent successful back surgery which has given him his livelihood back. I like Mr. Plumber very much.

In Summary

No painting, no music, no napping. Only jackhammers, job site foreman on the porch and plumbers who love Jesus. Not a bad day overall.

Did I mention we only have one bathroom?

There is no need to panic.

 

 

 

Burnout: Going to My Happy Place

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A few days ago, I realized I’m just about crispy fried. Hand shaking, nail biting, random crying, nervous edging. Not like those months right after leaving, mind  you. Just enough to know something needs to change pretty dadgum quick.

I wrote a few friends, asked for advice and prayer, then settled in for a nice vacation.  Not actually going anywhere,  but for the next two weeks I’m purposefully disconnecting from the thoughts, worries and activities that litter my days with reasons to freak.

This morning I realized just how often we all struggle with burnout and decided to share. I’ll post a quick update every day or so complete with pictures and a bullet point list of stuff that’s helping along with the crap that most decidedly is not. I’d love to hear your comments and ideas if you’ve got a notion.

Right now, the plan involves extra sleep which may or may not work out so well but I’m going to give it the old college try regardless. I bought a couple of how-to-paint books which look hard enough to engage the mind and easy enough for some instant gratification. My ipod is fully loaded and, I swear, I’ll drug the dog is he barks one more time.

Things not to do:

  • No job hunting
  • No serious blog post writing until vacation is over
  • No worrying over things I can’t control anyway (I am cracking myself up over here)

Thoughts and prayers much appreciated.

Email Address

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I’ve been swimming in the dark here at Thoroughly Christian Divorce. Some have found me due to persistence and dogged determination for which I think you should all get badges in sneakiness. I love writing new friends and I’m not ashamed to tell my story. In fact, nothing I write here is a big secret and when I left, I promised myself and my children to stop covering for the anti-husband.

So while I’m not trying to be all mysterious and stuff, certain circumstances still in play make it needful to blog anonymously or not at all. As a writer, the choice came pretty easy.

All this smoke and mirrors stinks for various reasons. I like connecting with real people. I love email. I want to interact. Some day soon, I hope circumstances change again and I can own my name. Until then, I think I’ve found a solution.

I’m working on a website for work stuff and along with hosting, I get free email addresses (so fun!) so I’ve set one up for this blog.

thoroughlychristian  @ webwrinkles.com

Just remove the spaces.

I remember when first venturing around the internet trying to find help I could not, would not  comment on blog posts for fear of getting busted by the beast. If you’re in that boat, believe me, I understand. Please feel free to email privately if you want to discuss anything.

Hope to hear from you soon!

Screaming in the Basement

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Stephen King talks about the boys in the basement helping out with his writing. Since this is Mr. King, there’s no telling what he really means, but in the context of craft, the idea is to give yourself plenty of information, then let the subconsciousness go to work. When the boys send something up,  write it down before it gets away.

I see dreams this way. Things I can’t quite get my literal mind around squealing like pigs in the dark time. Whatever. I wish they’d shut up already.

Still, I had a doozy last night and spent the eternal sixties between three and four this morning checking under the sofa.

Would You Like to Share With the Class?

Instead of regaling you with my bothersome imagery, I thought we’d play a little. Perhaps we could share and get a little insight from each other.

Here’s one of mine to get you started:

I’m sitting in a nasty swamp. Over to my left, I see the beast playing with another man. They are carrying on big-time and ignoring me completely. I notice that other folks are arriving but they are smart enough to be getting into boats before going out in this murky mess. I start getting anxious and decide to head to shore.

When my feet hit bottom, I feel snakes slithering around in the goo and promptly get bit on the foot but by this point, I don’t care. I’m getting out or I’ll die trying. That’s when I notice the alligators swimming back and forth between me and the shore. I plunge on ahead, expecting to lose an arm or a leg any second.

Once out– appendages still intact– I have no idea what to do next so I go sit in a little changing shed  (down here, that’s an semi-open shed where you shower off and change into your bathing suit or back into clothes.) I sit on the hard wooden bench and watch out the open door. I’m waiting, but don’t know why.

Then the alligators start marching by. They’re walking in line past the door. I tense up, all quiet hoping they don’t spot me but of course, this is a nightmare. The lead gator swings his big ugly head my direction and. . .

. . . they all turn into zombie gators, walking upright on their hind legs and headed right for me. I am trapped inside this stupid shed which is the worst place on earth to be in case of zombie-gator attack.

The End.

Your turn.

Some Thoughts on Remarriage and the Generational Cycle of Abuse

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These days, I don’t shock so easy. Years of informal counseling in a church setting combined with the real world education of an abusive marriage means I’ve heard and/or experienced my share. I’m guessing anyone nearing the mid-century mark can shout amen.

The assumption on the part of friends, family and complete strangers that I long to  reenter the dating game does surprise me, just a touch. After all– I just exited hell, why would I want to go back? The beast you know is preferable to the one licking his chops on e-Harmony, thanks anyway, and no way in a a very hot place am I ever going back.

Unlucky in Love

The girl who went in totally unprepared for a life locked in battle with a raging beast walked out fighting to stay tender in heart and mind. I don’t want to live jaded. I have children, dear to my heart, who long for love and the intimacy of couplehood. They do not need a raging witch proclaiming Doom and Destruction upon a God-created gift meant to bless us here between eternities.

The fact remains, the naive teen that trotted down the aisle doesn’t exist any more. My views on remarriage are  no big secret to those readers who’ve been around awhile  but let me restate for those just arriving:

In my heart of hearts, I believe marriage is a beautiful thing when patterned after God’s design. I believe that most divorced individuals are free to remarry another believer if they chose but I’m also a big fan of Paul when he says its better to remain single.

In my own life (including family and friendships), I’ve witnessed few  healthy partnerships. Marriage equals work under the best of circumstances and if two people love each other and share mutual respect and understanding, the work counts as joy. For those of us exiting the abusive bus, however, we also understand what it means to labor alone, fighting to keep a zombie marriage on its feet and howling. We can dress that puppy up in Sunday best, slap on a little lipstick, force those rotten feet into a pair of Louboutin’s but no way is that monstrosity what God intended when He called it good.

For years, my heart and mind were drawn away from my Savior. I’d like to spend the rest of my days getting to know Him. That doesn’t mean I have no feelings (nudge, nudge, wink, wink.) Despite what I assumed at twenty, my body is not dead at fifty. Still, I fully believe in the gift of celibacy and I’m thankful for my Father’s provision.

Some Thoughts Between Pals

A recent email exchange with a dear friend brought the topic around again and I’d like to open this up to a wider discussion. We touched on the phenomena of abused women remarrying into a second (or third, or fourth) abusive marriage and how, on the surface, things might look totally different this time around.

Here are a couple of quotes from that exchange:

You know how I’m feeling about remarriage. Its not that I’m so jaded I think that every man out there is abusive. That isn’t it at all. And its not that I’m unfeeling and particularly want to live my last years alone. That certainly isn’t it either. It’s more about the fact that however this pattern of abuse of power works, it is *so* pervasive right now and takes so many different forms and frankly, I don’t want to deal with a single one of them.

Somehow, I think we are just starting to understand the scope of this and how deceptive, low down and sneaky these people are at their very core. It’s their nature– it’s what they do and they cannot do otherwise. In other words, we’re at the edge of something huge and the Lord has led us here with eyes open and what we learn is going to be staggering once the monster gets out of the box.

Here’s another:

One other thought– I think those of us who grew up in this pattern (of abuse as children) are at a disadvantage, particularly when this gets more cunning. I think if you grow up healthy with healthy patterns of love and self respect, then you know this right down to your core. You don’t have to *think* about it– you meet someone and you aren’t attracted to them if they are abusive and carrying these qualities and attitudes at *their* core. Doesn’t mean you won’t get fooled, but if you have a healthy family to support you, maybe you don’t stay in this so long if you do get caught.

But we, on the other hand, have to learn. That means head knowledge. We pick up some here, some there. We learn by experience as we get older– like an adult learning to read and it never quite becomes fluent. So what hope is there for us?

I think we are the ones who can *articulate*.

Someone who gets this instinctively can’t tell you why something bugs them, just that it does. That’s all well and fine but doesn’t help those trapped in domestic violence and other forms of abuse. We, however, can *speak* what we learn. We can do our part to break the pattern in our own family and in the lives of those we meet. But I think its the next generation that benefits from our suffering. The pattern breaks, we model health and healing, they learn and move forward into freedom.

Yeah, I know I made some pretty big leaps here and you are more than welcome to call me on them. This isn’t Ida Mae preaching to the kiddies. This is Ida Mae searching for the truth.

The floor is open.

Let us reason together and stuff.

Poem: The Things that Keep Our Hearts Apart

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Digging through some old stuff this morning and found a poem written several years ago. I’m thinking someone might relate.

Folks have called me brave but the scariest thing I ever did was going into the throne room, covered in the mess of my life and staying at the feet of the Holy One who made the stars. 

***

Born for this other place, tucked away inside Your heart.

You pierce the cellophane holding me captive to this narrow

little world and I see— Your eyes, crinkled at the corners.

Bathed in kindness,

backlit with mercy.

Anything, my Lord. Just say the word.

You sit, take my hands and smile that smile I love beyond bearing.

You’re after something.

What will it be this morning?

My humiliation with the oatmeal?

Shame on toast.

I reach inside, toss corruption at Your feet but You aren’t distracted.

Who am I kidding?

You know the particulars that keep my heart insulated from Yours.

You held a penitent sinner, forgave my transgressions with a sigh of negation long time passing.

You cleaned away shame on a couch long ago, holding tight, wiping my mouth while I spit blood and renounced the works of darkness.

So what keeps us apart?

I wanted to do better. I promised You more.

A pledge of faithfulness beneath a bleeding tree—

–Broken on impact.

Your eyes speak forgiveness but this fickle memory spits out data while Your arms caress my back.

Your faithfulness reminds me of my failing.

Wandering eyes. A harlot’s heart.

You deserve better.

Kindness, goodness, virtue.

Not a snarling hellcat with a thousand regrets packed in a suitcase, banging on Your door.

I throw myself at You because I cannot suffer apart from You a moment longer.

This mercy lies beyond understanding. How can You look at me that way? Your eyes full of longing, Your hands more eager than my own?

And so You dig.

You hold out hands scarred by my failures

ask for things Your sacred eyes should never see.

You say You’ll have it all, not one held back.

Because I trust You—

Because every word is Truth—

Because I can’t live apart from You one moment longer.

I’m staying right here, holding this hand, holding You to my heart.

I choose to believe You want this woman.

Mercy beyond reason.

I’ll never understand Your kindness in this lifetime.

So You’re stuck with me, how does that feel?

I’ll throw myself against Your side a million times until

the ugly keeping our hearts apart jars loose, piling

up at Your feet. Until it’s on the floor, out of our way, crushed

beneath heels strengthened with favor.

I’m never going anywhere without You again.

Recommended: Kellie Holly: After Leaving Your Abusive Relationship

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A few weeks after leaving the beast, my car broke down in the Walmart parking lot way after dark. Scary place at the best of times but sitting out there all alone in a new town with no way home, I arrived on the threshold of a full on panic attack.

I had no idea what to do. Years of programming made me think I couldn’t make a move without the husband’s input. My first impulse was to swallow my pride, admit I couldn’t function without him and dial the number. No doubt he awaited just such an opportunity.

Fortunately, better sense prevailed. I sent out a half dozen frantic texts/phone calls to anyone vaguely within driving distance and waited in my car until someone answered. I prayed for wisdom and . . . I. . . waited. I remembered that I now resided in the big city. I could call a cab if all else failed. I could leave the car where it sat until morning at which time, I’d do the same thing anyone else would do– I’d call a mechanic.

Eventually an old friend rode in to the rescue. We tried to jump the car and blew out a fuse. He drove me home and the next day, the mechanic took care of everything including my wounded pride by assuring me I’d handled things just fine. I did not contact the beast, I did not explain what happened, I simply charged his credit card for the bill and kept contact minimized. When he sent an angry email asking for an explanation, I told him the car needed repairs and nothing else.

Once you’re out, you must get free. It takes time, deliberate thought and patience with yourself. Only you understand how many nooks and crannies your jailer claimed inside your thinking and only you can root him out.

Kellie Jo Holly addresses this issue in a new post, After Leaving Your Abusive Relationship:

When I left my ex, my life didn’t change immediately. I obsessed over him and our marriage. I imagined conversations we might have the next time we met. I woke to his voice only to find he was not in the house. My heart raced around the time he would normally return home from work.

I was gone, but I hadn’t left him. My old routines remained. I continued to fear doing something wrong that he would discover. I cleaned the house, bought his favorite foods, and budgeted the money he sent me for four despite having only three of us in the house (our kids and me). When he called, I was afraid not to answer. When he emailed, I emailed right back hoping I met his time schedule for responding.

I continued to behave as if he would come home any second. I lived in chaos, attempting to attend to an abusive husband who no longer lived in our home.

I love Kellie’s writing. Here, she nails it– that semi-sick feeling when you realize your abuser moved into your brain without permission.

You can read the rest here.

Thanks, Kellie!

Sunday Shortie: Learning Communion’s Song

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Sunday Shortie,  written last week and squirreled away. Actually felt a little too naked at that moment to share. Today seems quite appropriate.

 

Thankfulness crops up in the oddest moments.

I spent the last hour trying to dredge up a little dirt. I write best annoyed. I’ve spent most of my adult years annoyed. I’m pretty dadgum funny when I’m annoyed.

Today I am not. Today I have nothing.

Now that is funny.

Never Too Old To Learn

Generally, the writing process goes something like this: I close my eyes and poke around until I find a splinter of a feeling. I probe the area, wince and squeal a little, look to heaven and throw up a few dadgumits at finding I’m not quite so whole as I’d hoped.

The words pour out all on their own, a birthing of sorts, filled with mess and confusion. Some days it feels like swimming  in the septic tank.

I edit and sculpt, then back off a bit. While I may feel completely naked dancing around out here in the light, I’m aware some things need covering just the same. Some stories are best told face to face. Takes time to evaluate just how much light will heal a wound and how much will sear the skin right off. You wouldn’t believe the stuff that hits the trash bin.

A few more moments in prayer, a final adjustment or two, then a confirmed coward hits the publish button.

And We Wait. . .

I agonize, more or less depending on how many layers are lying on the floor. Will anyone understand this mess of my days? Agonizing memories swarm the surface, followed by the litany of former friends passing judgment in the name of God. I hear their words fresh all over.

Night comes and I cry quiet into my pillow so the littles don’t hear, reliving the original pain and wondering if this offering of blood really matters and can I please go back to my box under the bridge now please-and-thank you.

Then the comments come in. I feel the soothing oil pour over these old wounds.  I reread the article once more, just to make sure I truly hear the voice of those gracious enough to share before hitting reply. The pain recedes almost without notice and—

Stops.

Fancy That

I’ve written as long as I can remember.  I do not ever recall this freedom before.  Perhaps the soul grinding work of uncovering the truths my heart wants to hide combines somehow with the corroboration of those who’ve walked this way already and the encouragement of those a few steps behind. I don’t know but I can tell you, something’s different.

So many years of isolation. Such a shame. I’m reminded we need one another. Each one of you, each visitor here brings their gifts to the party

Teachers teach. They head into the wasteland of all the nonsense assaulting our ears and bring meat to the table, words of life that ring with authenticity.

Encouragers encourage. They hit that reply button and type lovely things that make sore hearts sing again and middle age bloggers cry a little.

Storytellers share. A bit of their life, here and there, confirming our shared reality with tales from the frontlines. Our hearts blend together and we recognize truth together.

And those struggling to get through the next day do what we do best. We recognize our weakness. We bring our shattered hearts to the table and seek the Face of God.

Then altogether, we lift our broken bread to heaven and pass it round.

Such a Gift

When I started writing, I thought I’d produce an infinite number of posts. After all, with so many years wallowing, there must be thousands of things to say leading to the production of hundreds of highly annoyed online outbursts. But a strange thing happened on the way to the graveyard.

God is healing me through the process. I think we just may be seeing the Body of Christ functioning as the Good Lord intended. For that, I must thank each one of you. In your comments and emails, I recognize the gifts of God’s Spirit operating.

There’s life in this place.

It’s been a long time coming.