My head said, "Look around at all the beautiful Quebec scenery." But my heart was too sad, and my body seemed to let it take over, and so I stayed slumped into my bus seat, unable to stop the tears that rolled interminably down my cheeks...
I generally take pride in saying that I like to keep it real - open and honest... Yet, for the past few weeks, I have kept silent. "They" say social media only portrays the glorious side of our lives, and gives people wrong impressions, false pictures... makes us feel like we are failures when our lives are imperfect. Truthfully? That is exactly where I have been -- too afraid to write because my heart was heavy and my thoughts dark. And frankly, I do not want pity... only to know that there is a light at the end of this tunnel, and maybe you have been here and made it through.
That IS what we are taught -- we go through struggles or trials so we can help someone else through theirs. It's called empathy - the ability to feel someone else's pain because you've been there yourself. So, why keep silent? I cannot judge you...I would be a hypocrite.
What have I been learning through these hard times? Sometimes, the hurts we think were healed, didn't in fact heal the right way, and in turn, there may be occasions when an old wound needs to be broken or opened up, so as to mend properly. Perhaps we have built up walls where they shouldn't be, and suddenly those walls are crumbling - they weren't built right. Or perhaps we rebuilt our life with a wide path around the painful area - just left the ruin and got used to living that way...in avoidance. Either way, I or someone I love, is going to trip over that mess and cause more issues, deeper ones.
If I can't fix it myself, at times, I want to run away. I chuckle as I write this...true story: In my overwhelmed state, I said to my husband, "That's it! I'm packing some stuff and running away where no one can find me!" (And like a pre-teen, I did pack a bag or two.) He watched me, grabbed the car keys, walked out and drove off. I thought, Well, isn't that ironic. Only a few minutes later, he came back -- the car had gotten stuck in the mud on our rugged road. HA! Now THAT is irony! No running away for either one of us! And I am grateful that God wants us to face our troubles together and let HIM mend our brokenness.
I am reminded of these words from God's Word, in Isaiah 61,“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion -- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendour. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated..”
These are words I count on... Small signs of healing, rebuilding, one step at a time, one stone at a time, with time, with bouts of praise interspersed... Praise, because I know the One who created and loves me, has the ability to make me better than before, and wants to! He said so! Only thing is, I have to be willing. At times, the rubble around me is overwhelming, insurmountable...but I have God on my side!
"He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." (Isaiah 40: 29-31) I can rise up from the ashes and let God make something beautiful of all the broken pieces.
I have been sitting in the rubble, and while I was just overtaken with the mess and how I couldn't possibly see a way out, I could have just looked up - A few short years ago, weeks after our family was in shock from a tragic event, I was beyond bending - almost ready to break - and I prayed, "God, I can't take one more thing!" I heard in my heart, "Look up..." And I knew it wasn't one of those pert little sayings, but that I was literally to lift my head. So I did. And right in front of me was a sign that said, "HOPE. Caution: Do not lose!" I cried, but in joy that God knew I needed a sign! A real life sign! That's the kind of Father He is... He knows us, knows what we need, and wants to give us GOOD!
So, eat your heart out, social media! This IS the glorious side of life! The pain that makes us know that something needs to be fixed, the sadness that makes us look back at the beautiful moments and forces us to hope in more to come...and knowing that God can and will use the rubble of our lives, and build something so much better!
I always appreciate prayers on my behalf. I don`t have too much trouble admitting that I am weak. This warrior princess needs her Father! I lean unashamedly on the King! If you need prayer, feel free to ask. We also need each other.