Hurry Up And Heal…

Time.

It’s actually on our side.

We have time to Be. Time to change. Time to grow. Time to grieve. Time to feel our pain. Time to acknowledge loss. We often feel hurried to heal. Truth is the days are long, but the years go fast. However, do not feel rushed…. Do not feel rushed by the expectation that we all need to be okay. Sometimes pain and disappointment comes and washes over us. We often respond to the wave and push it away because we think we’ve spent enough time feeling sad or let down or broken and now we have to buck up and be something…. be more than our pain. Be in a better place.

Time doesn’t betray us like that. Time is our friend.

We have to live in each moment come what may.

Time is not a dictator. It’s a gentle breeze. It’s a friendly reminder that we live in a place of forward momentum. It’s a gift to each of us. I think back to the years I’ve spent partnering with my eating disorder and the years of contentment and joy that has been stolen from me. I’m sad about that today. But, the real evil was the disorder…. no the time lost. I’m sad about the thoughts and the habits and the brokenness that has plagued me for so many years. I’m sad about the current repeated knock on my door by this thing to plague me further. But, I decided that rather than mourning the loss of time, hurrying to heal so there’s no more loss, that I would look at time as my friend from here on out. I will receive it as a gift to me rather than perceive it as a thing I’ve squandered. There is no expiration date on our pain, yet we treat ourselves like there is.

I have a precious friend that lost her little boy to a drowning accident. I often think of her and I am overcome with the weight of her grief. I remember her and I think of how every holiday that rolls around, every birthday that comes and goes without her sweet boy must feel. It probably feels like a massive, indescribable loss. A thing to be grieved. A memory to be cherished and held. No one would dare tell her “Too much time has passed…. you can’t feel sad anymore.” No one would expect her tears to be dry by now and her resolve to be strong to be award-winning. We would tell her that there’s all the time in the world for her to feel whatever she needs to feel whenever she needs feels it. We would tell her that her pain still matters. We would tell her that she can spend her entire lifetime healing and yet still grieving.

We may not all have felt a catastrophic loss at that level. But, we must treat ourselves the same way. Some days are just hard. We have to acknowledge the hard and work with time to heal… not against it. We have to let our strong, healing selves tenderly wrap its arms around our broken self and just hold us gently and whisper, “it’s gonna be okay. Feel what you feel.”….

You have time today to feel whatever you need to feel. You have time today to feel broken and still be aiming for wholeness. You have time today to feel stuck, but to still be working on unraveling lies. You have time today to mourn and to feel the weight of the issues at hand.

Hurrying to heal is a pressure we need to brush off. A pressure we have to deny. Sometime waves of grief come and go. They just do. But, rather than ignoring that and pushing it to the back of your mind try honoring it by letting yourself sit in it for a moment. Rather than telling yourself “I’ve got to get over this, I’ve got to move on” trying letting it visit with you instead like a dear friend would. Try letting time and your experiences commingle for a moment, hold hands. Try expecting the strength within you to rise up slowly, wrap its arms around the moment and hold it as long as it needs to be held. Cry a little. Laugh a little. BE just a little. It’s okay to feel whatever you need to feel.

Time is our friend not our adversary to our healing. Be wherever you are today. Feel whatever you feel come what may. Honor your heart. Honor the healing process. Do not rush it into existence. The concept that time waits for no one is an outright lie. Be held by it today.

I believe in us and the power to embrace time…. not to fear the loss of it.

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The Valley Of The Shadow Of Death

This is a road traveled by many. So many that my mind floods with examples…. and empathy. From failed marriages, to the loss of a loved one, paralyzation, disease, miscarriage, loss of a job, and so on. Life can be so cruel and dark and lonely at times. Life can bring great joy, but it also serves us with tear-jerking, soul-wringing, gut-wrenching pain and trauma. We wonder how we survive at all sometimes.

I think of the heartache we encounter. And I can’t help but weep. I think of our response to it all. I think of our process through it all. How do we get from Point A to Point B when the bottom has simply dropped out? I don’t even feel like I have the authority to answer that question. So, I won’t. But, I do know what deep, dark places feel like. I know what the vultures of our joy sound like over head. I know what starvation for saving and a longing for hope’s rescue to come feels like. There’s a crazed desperation inside. A cavern so deep that it simply can’t be filled with one wave of the wand. The valley…. is a valley. It’s a deep dip in life’s surface that carves you out hollow. It’s cold and vacant and void of life at every turn. It’s a dark pace and you long so deeply to see a bright red exit sign. Only, there’s no exit sign, just a dimly lit path ahead. A ┬ápath that must be taken.

The valley of the shadow of death is real. So real. ┬áThere’s an accompanying white knuckle grip that circumstantial change will come. That a miracle will occur and life will begin again… whole and untouched by adversity. Why does a God so great and kind stir such torrential desperate waters in our soul? How does a God so powerful and all-knowing allow such ailments to visit us? Again, I don’t know the full answer to this, but I do know what resilience and hope looks like. It looks hot like a fire in a desert that warms your coldest places. It tastes sweet and bitter simultaneously. And the cry inside for rescue raises an octave or two as we throw our hands in surrender admitting our weakness to prevail. Adversity brings us to our knees, to the end of ourselves.

How do we begin again out of the hollow places where hope has been deferred?

We choose.

We choose to take the next, best, right step forward down that dimly lit path. We choose to believe in our worth and we anchor strong in our destiny. We sometimes get a tattoo or six to remind us who we are. We brand our hearts with truth that no matter how deep the valley we can RISE. In one, small step at a time forward we can find ourselves through the valley and at the base of a mountain ready to climb. We are weakened by tragedy, but ready to climb because we know now what surrender feels like and what slow motion looks like.

We choose.

We choose to believe in the power that resides within us to write our own story. To turn the page when the time is right. To put pen to paper and script our way forward. To write our way out. Hope is a powerful driver for the way forward. Hope in ourselves. Hope in a God that’s orchestrating all things for our good. Hope in our neighbor and friend and even enemy. Hope that the view on the top of that mountain to climb was worth every second in the valley of death.

Hope is the path forward. It’s a cold and broken hallelujah. With HOPE we can choose to rise. Be stirred today. The path may be dimly lit, but take one, small step forward at a time. You are WORTH the rising. The sun is coming for you. The mountain top is waiting for you. There are beautiful things to see just ahead for you. There is a filling of joy and peace and resolve and strength coming to fill the hollow places. Stir your hope today. This world is a better place so long as you are in it.

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life” -Proverbs 13:12

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