When Life Hurts

If you’ve lived through abuse or addiction or some type of trauma, then you know how rough the road to healing can be…you have to learn how to live all over again. And you have to take baby steps, and you get so much wrong along the way that at times you doubt your strength. If this is you, remember you are not alone…you are stronger than you know…you are loved…you can do this…you can start over and rewrite the story until you find the happier ending…

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She lowered her head and walked silently up the stairs to a room where she dreaded trying to find peace and to find rest. Not only was her world in turmoil, but now her heart was too. Tears slipped down her cheeks, but she wiped them away and refused to break down and fully cry. This wasn’t the time.

She opted not to turn on the light when she entered the room. Instead of reading, she just held her Bible and her kids’ pictures and two notes—one from a friend and one left by her Nana. She hated this feeling of her heart wrestling with her own mistakes. She wasn’t to blame for the chaos in her life around her, but she had worked so hard to teach her mind and her heart to react differently to it.

She took the right steps—spiritual disciplines of prayer, reflection, and reading. Worship time. Counseling—lots of it. She walked when she was confused or hurting. She walked faster when she was angry. She prayed before responding—or at least always tried to. She thought about how her words would sound to another. She stayed silent at times because she knew that she was struggling—and her silence brought a doubt in her own self because she would know that she had no idea how to find the right words.

With all of her work, at times she still failed. When new voices tossed out demands and questions and new situations confused her already baffled mind—when fear rose up higher than the ground she was trying to stand on—when her children held on tighter than she knew how to handle—when hate was tossed her way and cruel words were shot at her like arrows piercing her very soul—when the chaos kept her out of her safe zones and pulled her deeper into confusion…

…the tears came again. She knew what had happened. Wrong words. She had hurt someone she cared about. Again. And again. And again. She knew. Her mistakes burdened her heart because she knew she truly want to grow…to change…to fit in…to belong…to live up to the name friend…Precious One.

But she also knew that no matter how much forgiveness and grace came her way, with every instance her name was called, a text was sent, she would know…she would remember her own shame…her failing moments…

She had grown out of the shame…reached a new place in life where a text meant a comfortable feeling…it was a feeling of growth and new possibilities for conversations and shared news…a familiar voice brought images of working together in a kitchen, buying flowers, asking about plates, a gift placed nearby for later, shared pictures, prayers of joy and shared concerns…an almost belonging…an almost acceptance that she was a Precious One…she could be a friend…she could belong and be actually missed if too much time passed by without a check in…

…but in one moment that shame returned…she got it wrong…she fell prey to the chaos and her strength faltered and her mind failed her and she lost all sense of what the world was asking from her and confusion reigned and hurt rose up and the hurt spilled over through her words…and her reaction hurt someone… and she was once again ashamed and different…she was not the one who got it right…not the one who would ask the question right…not the one who knew what to do…not the one who would bring a laugh or a joyous feeling…she was the one who failed…who got it wrong…the friend who had to start over again…learn again…be different from all others…the one who would try to send jokes now and good news…try to get it right…try to grow past the shame…but who would always remember every time she failed…

…she let herself cry because she knew in her heart that she was too tired to get up and try…she would close down now…no longer having even the slightest desire to try…she didn’t care anymore really…she didn’t picture the possibilities any more…the “maybe one days”…she had ended with a joke…a question about loved ones…and a question with her child…and she smiled for a moment…

…maybe someone will remember it ended with a laugh and a question out of love about a little one new to life…and a question shared with her “baby” who was too big now to fit that name…

…maybe she could fool herself as she closed her eyes and cried through the moment…maybe it ended well…maybe…maybe…again and again and again…and maybe and maybe…and chaos swirling and looking for hugs and hope and love and a hand and a voice…and again and again…and shame rises…and tears follow…and hope leaves…and love is questioned…and assurance leaves again and again…and failure is known and blood spatters and confusion reigns and minds fail and again and again….without end…

To the ones whose minds don’t process well and whose hearts are broken and have their jagged edges…and whose hands are too rough to hold and whose hopes are way out of line…and who long for hugs…and who know the hurt and chaos all too well…may there be an end….

…rewriting…restarting…rediscovering…relearning…new steps…more hope…love…peace…rest…hugs…an invitation…belonging…being wanted and included at the table…”I can’t wait to see you”…”I missed you”…”Look who I want you to meet”…”Have a seat”…Precious One…

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