A sweet woman -- someone I have long looked up to -- sent me this word of encouragement today:
"Part of the reason women are so tired is because we are spending so much energy trying to "keep it together."
"So much energy devoted to suppressing the pain and keeping a good appearance. "I'm gonna harden my heart," sang Rindy Ross. "I'm going to swallow my tears." A terrible, costly way to live your life. Part of this is driven by fear that the pain will overwhelm us. That we will be consumed by our sorrow. It's an understandable fear – but it is no more true than the fear we had of the dark as children.
Grief, dear sisters, is good. Grief helps to heal our hearts. Why, Jesus himself was a "man of sorrows, acquainted with grief." (Isa. 53:3) Let the tears come. Get alone, get to your car or your bedroom or the shower and let the tears come. Let the tears come. It is the only kind thing to do for your woundedness. Allow yourself to feel again. And feel you will – many things. Anger. That's okay. Anger's not a sin (Eph. 4:26). Remorse. Of course you do. Fear. Yes, that makes sense. Jesus can handle the fear as well. In fact, there is no emotion you can bring up that Jesus can't handle. (Look at the Psalms – they are a raging sea of emotions). Let it all out.
"As Augustine wrote in his Confessions, "The tears . . . streamed down, and I let them flow as freely as they would, making of them a pillow for my heart. On them it rested." Grief is a form of validation; it says the wound mattered. It mattered. You mattered. That's not the way life was supposed to go. There are unwept tears down in there – the tears of a little girl who is lost and frightened. The tears of a teenage girl who's been rejected and has no place to turn. No one understands. The tears of a woman whose life has been hard and lonely and nothing close to her dreams. Let them come."
Wow. How profound, and how true.
This week has held one crisis after another. I can hardly believe that as I type this, the clock is racing towards Sunday. Sunday. A week since I was pregnant. A week since I wasn't. A week of recuperation, and a whole week of minutes to think and feel and wonder and, yes, cry.
As most of you blog readers know, it has also been a week to let a parent's crisis overshadow my own. And I don't use the word "overshadow" in a "how dare you, you stole my spotlight" way. Literally, having a parent rushed to what may or may not be the literal "death bed" takes precedence.
I don't know what the next few days hold for our family. Dad is keeping Jim and I as updated as the [incompetent] doctors are keeping him. Which of course, is not to say much. You'd think we are used to living in this limbo. In a way, we are. In a way, we're not. You never really get used to this. This waiting. This feeling a really not wanting to answer the phone. Shoot -- I really don't even want it to ring.
I'm supposed to go -- well, I am going -- back to work on Monday. Ugh. I don't know how I feel about that. I don't know how that's going to go. [An aside: Kim, Susan -- I'll try my best, I promise.] I feel so worn. So weary. Insurance just seems, so ironically, I realize!, so irrelevant.
I know this post is all over the place. I guess I just needed to get it out. To validate, as the title says, not just how I'm feeling about today's reality, but today's reality itself.
Tomorrow is a new day; oh, how I have lived this week for each new day to dawn. Only God knows what it will hold...