Monday, March 19, 2012

"He takes no pleasure in making life hard"

-Lamentations 3:33

So I've been blatantly ignoring the pull/urge/need to write this blog.  It has been festering in my mind for over a week and yet I still have resisted.  The reason being is I have been happy.  I didn't want to sit in sadness or loss or pain.  I think that is pretty great reason because I don't actually know many people who enjoy feeling those things.  Honestly though, sometimes I don't mind feeling those things because it makes times where I feel happiness all the greater because I have experienced the other end of the spectrum.  This was not one of those times though.

Here in Atlanta Spring has sprung in its fullness and utter beauty that just makes me grin from ear to ear.  I don't have allergies so I welcome the onslaught of new life and new blooms with very few grumblings (limited to there being an endless supply of pollen on my car at ALL times).  This is, however, a different kind of spring that I do not recall ever having gone through so much all at one time.  I think I am in a sort of season of loss, which juxtaposes quite nicely with the new birth of all the beauty around me.  Hence the lack of desire to write this blog on loss because I am also overcome with joy and love for all that is going on around me and within me.

Maybe this is just a part of getting older, but I have been privy to a lot of people around me dealing with death/loss in one way or another.  I feel the need to compile a list...not because I want to complain, but because I want to actually do the opposite.  I want to name and give 'voice' to what has been bubbling beneath the surface.  So here goes...I lost my computer with all of my memories for the last 4 years on it; I had to put my dog down after 12 years;  had to let go of a situation; a friend's cousin is very ill; a female client lost one of her best friends to a freak hiking accident; a male client lost his father after many years of not speaking; a woman who worked at Sari Bari passed away after a long fight; a friend is getting a divorce; one of the girls from Wellspring left unexpectedly; a friend lost a baby; and another friend lost the hope of adopting a baby.

I could go on, but those are just the major things that are happening to people around me or to me personally.  There is so much hurt going around with the people that I deeply care for and that is just a fact of life, there is nothing that I can do to change those situations.  What I can do is pray, be present, listen, and hope...all things that I am good at (I could be much better at praying, but I'm trying).

In contrast to all of those things that are 'going wrong' though, I really could make a list that was 10 times as long of things that I am thankful for.  I understand, so much better than I used to, the promises God made us, and what he did not promise.  I read about that in Larry Crabb's book The Pressure's Off, and it significantly impacted the way I view 'bad' things and God.  With all that being said, what is a girl to do with all these contrasting feelings and emotions.  Part of me wants to sulk in the sadness of some of the events that have happened, while the other part of me just wants to go on walks in the park with friends and enjoy nature.

You know what I have realized though (through much help from my awesome therapist), is that I feel things very deeply, and it does not take away from my happiness to experience and sit with the sad feelings; just as it does not take away from the pain when I want to be present and live out my joy.  I am able to do both, it is just a matter of navigating and holding those deep emotions at the same time.  My therapist once told me that the ability to 'hold' and 'experience' many deep and contrasting emotions was a sign of maturity (brain wise) because younger people generally cannot juggle such vastly different emotions at the same time.  Well...if that's what getting older looks like, then sign me up.

As much as I run away from my less than awesome emotions, (which doesn't last long, because they find me) I can't imagine a life where I don't feel all the ranges of my emotions.  That is how God made me, and that is a big, huge, splendid thing.  This past year, and more specifically the last 4 months or so has been an unbelievably stretching experience, and yet if someone would have asked me a year ago if I could handle what I am currently juggling I would have said no.  God has filled in that gap and provided in ways that I could never have been prepared for.  "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will but yours be done" Luke 22:42.  This world is drenched with joy and sorrow, and I'd rather have both than neither any day of the week.

So in the spirit of this year, I am surrendering.  Conscious effort daily.

"But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand" Psalm 10:14   


  1. this is my favorite blog yet...

    just so you know!

  2. Beautiful, brought tears to my eyes. And somehow managed to put what I've been feeling the past few weeks into words. Thank you. It was healing for I hope it was for you too. xxxoo

  3. I've had this blog post open for some time now, trying to get other things out of the way so I could sit and read it a few times over and then comment. Tonight was the night.

    Your second to last paragraph really resonates with me. I, too, feel things very deeply. Sometimes people might not realize that because I don't always express my emotions as openly as others. But your paragraph and your whole post really made me feel like there are others out there who might be like me. It's nice to know I'm not alone.

    I'm sorry for all the loss going on around you. That's really hard to take, especially on the scale that you listed. But I'm glad to know you feel able to handle all that you're going through and doing. I hope the rest of spring brings you much happiness and joy!