Warning: A confession from the depth of my soul
‘Its time for a change.’
This statement’s been reaching deep within today…
As we’re preparing for a new transition it’s been uncovering some unhealed spaces of my heart.
Because although God knows I’ve been begging him to end this season, this change requires a whole lot more than I ever expected it to.
It’s honestly been causing me a lot of anxiety.
It’s so easy to wonder what might be lurking outside the familiar boundaries we’ve been walking through.
It’s easy to long for the daily medical support when you don’t feel entirely better, when your body’s experiencing the after effects of the trauma that came uninvited into your life.
This was the advice being passed out as we walked into the front door of the clinic recently.
It was indirectly said to us while one of the valet workers looked into our eyes.
He then explained the guy who was walking right past us had spent the last 16 years locked up and this kind worker explained these were the words he’d intentionally given him.
‘Its time for a change…after 16 years, its time to change something.’
When he spoke these words to us it was if he was speaking them into our lives as well…
because we too are facing these days of change.
But not only will our schedule be taking a new direction, my heart needed to embrace this change too.
Tomorrow marks the finish line for Joe, as he receives his final day of treatments.
It’s been five and half months since this journey began and tomorrow we’re finished!
We’ve been told he will receive a certificate and a chance to ring the chimes that line the all too familiar hallway where he’s been receiving radiation.
Although it will be a day full of celebrations for us, it is also a day which marks the beginning of our re-entry, our comeback, because it starts our initial ascent from the valley we’ve been walking through to the mountain ahead.
Because on the other side of every valley, there’s an incline we’re required to climb.
And these are the steps we often forget to consider.
Yet after every hard struggle, following the flood of visitors and well-wishers, in the days beyond the funeral or the good byes of life there seems to be an interval of quiet when the busyness of others seems to cease and its in these days we realize there’s another transition coming ahead.
It’s finding our life after trauma when the realization of the magnitude of what we’ve been walking through hits and the reality of it all begins to settle in.
So, when I heard his words this morning, I realized they were divinely spoken over us as well.
Because when a hard & holy thing crashes into our lives we aren’t inclined to stop and consider how we’re going to walk out of it…
Because we merely are trying to catch our breath, nonetheless have what we need to plan our impending departure.
But something happens in these days of isolation, in their quiet we realize our desperate need for God to walk us out the other side.
We see this throughout history with God….
As he split the waters in two for the Israelites to walk through, with Rahab as he allowed her to step over the city’s rubble, as he restored Job’s life doubly following his dire suffering and we even see it as he walked Jesus out of the grave.
There’s a life restored following pain.
A healed life full of so much more to live for. And in these moments our lives may not get put back together as quickly as they fell apart but we know God is with us through it all.
This becomes the sacred place we ask God to hold our heart and walk us out differently than we came in.
It was a Tuesday afternoon when we stood at Joe’s desk, over five months ago when we received Joe’s diagnosis.
We stood there in disbelief and it was in that moment we decided to ask you to come alongside us on this journey.
We asked you to choose worship over worry with us…at that moment a lot changed for us.
Because then we realized how much this message resonated with so many of you as we saw the number of times you all shared our story and continue sharing it,
we were surprised at your response and your willingness to worship alongside us.
Your presence has been fierce.
As we’ve received countless texts, messages, emails and letters from all over the world.
Many of you have bravely cracked open your own brokenness and invited us into your own hard story, thank you for this gift.
Thank you for bringing us along through your days and introducing us to your family and friends, it’s truly been a humbling blessing.
I’ll be honest…your kindness has been entirely nice. But at the same time, its a bit overwhelming too. You’ve not done anything wrong, in fact you’ve been so gracious and real. It’s just that its kind of taken our breath away as you’ve unfolded yourself and we’ve gotten real together.
But there’s something I need to share, because honestly I’ve only been able to type out a very small portion of our story and there’s so much I’d love to tell you, but for the lack of the right words and the shortage of time, I’ve yet to do this very well.
Because how do we say all that we’re holding within our hearts?
Our stories can’t possibly be summed up in this space alone.
Because quite honestly we’re all at a disadvantage as we work our hardest to type out what seems the easiest to those reading our posts.
And those ugly cries and hard things we all battle have a hard time of being translated into our overcrowded feeds.
How could I put into words the long nights we’ve laid awake…or the ptsd I’ve been wrestling with…the many side effects still lingering for Joe that might take a long time to subside…or how do I spell out for you this shocking health scare we’ve been walking through…and the reality that we desperately want to heal from all of this?
Yes, we’re so relieved to be walking out the door of the clinic tomorrow for one last time and so ready for the treatments to stop but if we’re being honest with you we need you now more than ever.
Because it’s here we’re preparing to fight another battle, the long process of healing.
It’s one that’s often overlooked but it’s a necessary step for us all to go forward.
I’ve felt afraid to write this out, because it uncovers what’s laying in the secret spaces of my soul.
I was scared that if I showed up here and showed you the scars I’ve been covering up lately you might push them aside and tell me I’ll be fine, shoving off my need for greater healing.
But the truth is I’ve been really struggling with our reentry lately, because so much of our lives have changed…we’ve changed…our family’s changed and honestly we don’t have the option of going back to what life was before all of this.
And yet there’s something I know for certain; even with the rawness of my heart right now…all the fears I’m battling through…all the unanswered questions running through my mind…none of this makes me any less human or worthy of God’s love.
Because our wounds heal and they become scars which tell just how God helped us survive.
They tell our stories and remind others to choose worship over worry when the storms of life come threatening their peace.
But perhaps life is less about getting back to who we were and more about who we’re becoming.