Lately, pain has been my constant companion. It has crippled me in ways that I am unable to explain. Just the thought of putting myself out there again is in some ways unbearable. I’m not writing this for your sympathy or attention but I have been searching and seeking some respite in the form of courage.
Have you ever had a season where pain has found you like a long lost friend?
Google has been my doctor. I’ve sat in his waiting room seeking guidance and comfort. Friends have become my refuge. With heaviness sitting awkwardly between us. My thoughts have been laced with cynicism and finding the discipline to reframe their weightedness has been harder than ever before.
Late last year I remembered my state of confusion when it seemed I had lost the capacity to feel. I had numbed myself to the pain, but in doing so I lost the human vehicle designed to feel the heights and beauty of a life lived sown.
Twenty Seventeen began as my season of learning to feel again. Rather than escaping the pain that had followed my previous year, I found safe spaces to process the pain, through to a space of feeling again.
At the beginning of the year, I gave found one word that I was seeking focus and intention around for the year. This word was “Strength”.
Strength. What God you want me to find strength this year?
Strength. What in a season that I feel the weakest ever?
Strength, how? When all I can do is keep myself from going under?
Strength, I am.
Strength, I seek.
Strength, Beyond my own capacity.
Just recently in the midst of this saunter through self-discovery and grace, I realised that maybe all those angry feelings that had been exploding out, all over my life. Maybe those feelings were the expression of things I had held captive in a season of pain. Maybe when I was told I should be quiet and not to cause strife. When I wanted to focus on the right things rather than the wrong and discover myself again.
Anger expressed made me feel weak. But strength was uncovered when it was directed at the right cause.
Cynicism and disappointment discovered made me feel shameful. But they were placated when the true source of their hindrance was uncovered.
Confusion and frustration snuck up from behind and tapped me on the shoulder. But a counsellors couch clarified that my feelings of betrayal and isolation were in fact very valid and my voice mattered.
Just as muscles need to rip to swell into their place of strength and breadth, maybe the recovery of my true voice and calling again needed to be found at the bottom of a pit of vulnerability. In a place where I felt so unable, that I reached out for help again.
Growth is awkwardly uncomfortable and I have realised that learning to feel again is a place of discovery.
We never arrive.
Vulnerability asks that we are honest.
The secret place of wisdom asks us, however, that we find safe spaces to learn to dream again.
Oh Pain, I am learning that I need to face you and hold your hands.
Because growth is accompanied by pain and I never want to stop learning.
Twenty Seventeen you will not be my undoing, in fact, you could possibly be my finest hour.
Growth, I will embrace you and find forgiveness in the depth of your arms.