These are the days ….Of healing, of reentry and learning how to live following a crisis.
And these are the words I penned following the most recent episode of my favorite podcast…’The Next Right Thing’ with Emily P. Freeman.
Emily, the host of this podcast described what she does when she feels ‘stuck’ in her journaling or needs grounding in her daily rhythms.
She said she simply bullet points what’s happening in her daily life and names them.
So, I took her suggestion and begin writing my happenings right now and these are the ones I came up with…
Healing, re-entry and learning how to live following a crisis.
You see, we are better off when we say the hard words that we sometimes cringe in speaking.
There was a time I wouldn’t say them.
I’d hide from them and try anything but name them.
Because I thought if I pretended they weren’t a part of my life I could distance them from being a part of me.
You see, I was so afraid to let it out that I was struggling and working through things. Because if I did that it might somehow give an opening for another’s opinion and that was just plain debilitating for me to consider.
Because I feared the pain that comes from critics, especially the one that’s lives inside of me.
I struggled to be honest in this way, because I believed if I showed all the broken places I held it would somehow make me less valuable, unlovable and unable to fight the battles ahead.
Perhaps it’s because we get too accustomed to seeing our brokenness, rather than seeing ourselves healed.
And maybe this is truly why we all need truth tellers in our lives who will love us enough to lead us toward the healing we’re needing.
Because truth truly matters.
And friend, this was the beginning of how I stumbled upon living vulnerable and I am learning to love myself.
It was early one Thursday morning, when I sat in front of this screen and decided to do it. I decided it was worth more than hiding, I was done covering up and preserving myself.
It was time to be completely real…
I could feel a sense of letting go as my hands were shaking and the words wouldn’t stop coming out.
Because this friend, is where art is created.
It’s when our real lives hit a canvas.
It would be the first time these stories would get read outside of the pages of my journal.
And honestly, it was scary.
So, I counted the cost.
But what I found was, I had to do it.
Because I knew it was time…time for me to heal and time for you to read about my healing.
Because writing from the middle of grief, from the midst of healing is what connects us to one another and gathers souls.
I had to believe there was something way better to come.
And what I’ve found is, there’s a better way of ‘living’ than covering up and pretending.
And I’ll be the first to admit, it’s scary, to live life uncovered and real…
but I’ve only just begun.
Because it’s one brave step at a time, as I’m learning to walk again…and as I’m truly feeling alive these days.
One thing I’m learning about all of this is… I can’t make everyone happy.
In fact there’s many who will fall away along the way.
But it’s okay because in the end those who are left beside me are the ones who will travel this road for a lifetime beside me.
That first week Joe and I tried to accept his Cancer and receive all we were hearing, it was here I began seeing the purpose my vulnerability was going to have.
I had just begun this new journey of writing when it happened.
And I had no idea the true purpose it would have until this Cancer arrived.
I remember it so vividly, as I was staring into the mirror in my bathroom that first Sunday Joe’s lump appeared.
By this time it had already doubled or tripled in size over the weekend and I was scared, I knew it wasn’t good.
My initial reaction was to tell him to hide.
You see, after each service he usually goes into a room where he greets and prays with people following his sermon.
But this day I was struck with fear and thought we need to keep this struggle private.
Because this is what fear does, it isolates you.
It tells you you’ll be better alone.
But God spoke louder than my fear and he told me this was his story to tell.
He told me Joe was already prepared to live this thing out loud and it was time for me to be okay with it too.
So, as this thing crashed into our lives with its ferocity God permeated us with greater capacity.
I felt his Spirit empowering us along the way.
And this is how it is.
We walk through when life is steady and still faithfully pouring over his word so we can make it through the valley encouraged by his word.
I had no idea that first blog that I pressed enter would be shared over thousands and thousands of times.
But it did.
And only moments after I pressed ‘publish’ your messages of love and support began pouring in. People telling us of their big prayers being offered for us.
You shared stories of your own brave battles being fought.
And honestly we are so grateful for you all of you showing up for us.
Every word was received and prayed over.
As we made our way through all of your messages and as I read them to Joe, tears fell and our hearts were filled with deep felt love.
And as we walk through this thing now,
as we continue to heal, as we begin our road of re-entry and as we learn to live through the healing of PTSD, there’s still stories continuing to come in.
Which is such a gift, because there’s still some deep fear which lingers which calls us daily to trust in God more.
Friends, our journey is far from over and yours is too.
And this is why I truly believe, in order to stay on this path of vulnerability and healing we need each other.
Whether we’re out there working in the craziness of the corporate world or designing art for others to view, we all need one another to heal.
And for Joe and I, we truly need this space here with you, we need you cheering us on because friend this is a huge part of healing.
Because coming to this place right now, is what God has called us to.
And honestly, it’s not always received well and it’s sometimes it can be terribly hard, but as we lie in bed each night, there’s something beautiful about knowing there’s a gathering of souls who dearly love us and are praying us through this.
So, thank you friends for traveling with us and not stopping here, but walking us toward what lies ahead.
Because there’s a priceless beauty in living our lives unashamedly in front of one another…
And these my friends truly are the days of healing, re-entry and learning how to live again. 🖤