The Pain In Healing

This hasn't been my "Best Week Ever" :(((

I cruised through my 43rd birthday on Tuesday...Like. A. Boss. Then, I, in breathtaking fashion, slowly started to unwind (or as Jen Hatmaker calls it, "idling high" :( Ugh.).

I am so behind on personal to dos, professional to dos, community development/board to dos, project to dos, unpacking my new home, unpacking my new office, picking up my clean rugs, picking up my repaired shoes, correspondence (from the simple text replies, responding to VMS, to cards and packages piled up in a corner that I need to mail to friends and loved ones), and it goes on and on and on.

My favorite employee (and yes I know you are not supposed to have those...I already feel guilty over that too) not only had her last day with us this week, but due to chaos with her movers, ended up leaving a half day early (I know God had a reason for that, but good grief the pain...I was ill-equipped emotionally to deal...even though I had had six weeks of prep. Bless her.).

I want to say that the "unwinding" started with the "Happy Birthday guilt trip from hell" phone call I got at dawn the morning of my birthday, and that I subsequently buried, with the beauty of a day where I felt so much love....but who knows. {Sigh.}

I might be 43 years of age, but I find that emotionally I struggle like a child with my own personal failings, the disappointment of others (both of me and me of them), good-byes, loss, transition (i.e., change (even though I love change too; I am a walking paradox), anniversaries of painful events in my past, guilt trips of others placed on my life that I don't live perfectly according to their standards (even when I know they are crazy, and I am human), and a litany of other "isms" that the majority of time I deal with well....and on other occasions simply cripple me emotionally...until I painfully, slowly unwrap them, deal with them again (me and God), and step forward again in the faith and love I know is real for him, and in those that love me...just as I am.

I have known for the past two months that I was spiraling out a little....ever since my last return from Haiti in March. It has not been my best eight weeks (give or take). I am quick-tempered, weepy (All.The.Time.), easily distracted, overwhelmed (emotionally and physically), exhausted (even when I get a lot of sleep), incredibly empathetic (read that as TOO much), no patience, and that is just the short list.

This morning my Sis started a private Pinterest board just for the two of us to share stuff only we needed to see...a little space for us to share our "crazy"...:))))  As embarrassed as I am to write this, that silly board has already had me laughing and crying this morning (read that as released some built up ick).

Suddenly I realized the connection in all of this roller coaster of emotions I have been on...Sis.

Don't Judge. The Language Is What It Is.
I don't think you can go through something like Haiti with someone you love and not be changed in some dramatic way. My third trip, her first. I am completely in love and obsessed with Haiti; now she is too. It wrecked her as it did me, and we got to share that. Plus, eight days together, just the two of us...we haven't had that since I was a teenager. I mean...shit. {Ugly Crying. Give. Me. A. Minute.}

Deep. Breath.

God has healed a great deal in me, but just when I am (ignorantly) confident that I have turned a corner, conquered the mountain....he reveals a deeper wound(s), a deeper level of (painful) emotional confrontation, and a deeper (needed) level of healing.

....and then I went searching for this....Isaiah 43...

43 1-4 But now, God’s Message,
the God who made you in the first place, Jacob,
the One who got you started, Israel:
“Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you.
I’ve called your name. You’re mine.
When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you.
When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down.
When you’re between a rock and a hard place,
it won’t be a dead end—
Because I am God, your personal God,
The Holy of Israel, your Savior.
I paid a huge price for you:

all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in!
That’s how much you mean to me!
That’s how much I love you!
I’d sell off the whole world to get you back,
trade the creation just for you.
5-7 “So don’t be afraid: I’m with you.
I’ll round up all your scattered children,
pull them in from east and west.

I’ll send orders north and south:
‘Send them back.
Return my sons from distant lands,
my daughters from faraway places.
I want them back, every last one who bears my name,
every man, woman, and child
Whom I created for my glory,
yes, personally formed and made each one.’”
8-13 Get the blind and deaf out here and ready—
the blind (though there’s nothing wrong with their eyes)
and the deaf (though there’s nothing wrong with their ears).
Then get the other nations out here and ready.
Let’s see what they have to say about this,
how they account for what’s happened.
Let them present their expert witnesses
and make their case;
let them try to convince us what they say is true.
“But you are my witnesses.” God’s Decree.
“You’re my handpicked servant
So that you’ll come to know and trust me,
understand both that I am and who I am.

Previous to me there was no such thing as a god,
nor will there be after me.
I, yes I, am God.
I’m the only Savior there is.
I spoke, I saved, I told you what existed
long before these upstart gods appeared on the scene.
And you know it, you’re my witnesses,
you’re the evidence.” God’s Decree.
“Yes, I am God.
I’ve always been God
and I always will be God.

No one can take anything from me.
I make; who can unmake it?”

I both love and loathe what God is doing in me. I can't imagine that anyone else who is undergoing healing and transformation would say any differently...if they were honest. I want SO much to lash out and express to people how much they are hurting me, have hurt me....let the pain dictate my words and actions, but afterwards what would be different??? Them? Me? Well, certainly not the reality of the situation. Bestowing grace on others when they have pained me deeply is the hardest thing I have, or will ever, do. Yet....then I start trying to bestow grace on myself....and I realize...again...that if I don't learn how to give grace to myself, I am never, ever, ever going to become a better grace-giver to others. {Deep. Sigh.}

I have deep and resounding issues with good-byes. Whether it is to my Sis after a heart-wrecking trip to Haiti or a deeply needed and loved employee or a dear friend or a board of directors or an old house or old wounds or whatever is that I am having to say good-bye to...

I want to say that I am getting better, but even as I type with fists clenched, tears streaming down my face, and a tightening jaw....I know that I have miles to go to unwind years of burying this particular wound.

I don't know that this is a post full of hope...but there is...because what God reminds me of in Isaiah is that He is God...always has been....always will be. It isn't about me, but him. He is holding my flawed hand through this struggle too....until we get to the end of the road. I love the promise of that. I love the promise of Jesus.

I am not perfect. Not. Even. Close. I am beautifully flawed and trusting that the wounds I have spent a lifetime hiding (and not well I might add) are and will be healed if I continue to do the work. Painful work.

Now....I am going to go enjoy this gorgeous Saturday...get pampered (physically and emotionally) a little, work on some to dos that will clear out the clutter and cobwebs from between my ears, and soak up some healing sunshine.

Whatever the battle you are waging...Whatever the path you are on...There is love and healing and hope all along the way, but we have to be willing to lift our head and allow our hearts to see it, to feel it, to accept it. Love is all around us.

Love...Is all around us.

Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :)