"I am fine. Just fine. Everything's okay. It will be all right. We'll be okay."
That has been my response to everyone that bothered to ask in the last few months.
Everything is fine, drop it, let's get past this uncomfortable topic, I would think behind a forced smile and a quick escape.
The truth is, well, the truth is that it has been hard, really, really hard and the harder that I worked to keep everything together and make everything seem like it was okay, the quicker things slipped away and out of my control.
Credit Image: Russ Cribb on Flickr
And there that is again, that control that I thought I had given up almost a year ago when I lost my job? Apparently, somewhere along the way, I had picked it right back up again and started carrying the weight of the world for everyone instead of just leaving it laying on the ground where I left it.
I prayed every day that God take that weight, that He take the burden, that He make things not so uncomfortable for me. And every day it felt as though the weight got heavier, the burden grew, the problems multiplied. My faith was slipping, I began to doubt the things that I had KNOWN such a short time ago.
Until yesterday, when I just could not pretend anymore. When I just could not hold in the everything that has been happening and the stress and the heartache and the 5 million balls that I feel like people just hand me and walk away from. So I started lobbing some balls of my own. And crying. Crying so hard, I felt like I might flood my very tiny office. I just could not stop crying.
I wrote an e-mail detailing how bad things were. I sent it to one community group leader.
The pain, the weight, it lessened but did not subside.
I sent it to another community group leader. A little less weight, a little less burden, a little less pain.
Deafening silence from both ...
"God is using these moments of discomfort to mold you, grow you, ready you for something greater ... "
(A direct quote from my daily devotion ... nice, how much bigger do I need to be?)
A friend texted me and I forwarded her the e-mail.
I kept feeling the nagging, the tugging, the knowledge that these were not the people I needed to contact, that they were not the ones that I needed to talk to.
I rewrote the e-mail. I addressed it. I sobbed with my office door closed as I clicked send, envisioning my sister on the other end of the state divide reading the words that I had written.
I wiped my face and immediately my phone buzzed as e-mails, text messages, and phone calls began to come in -- LITERALLY seconds after I clicked send to my sister!
I blinked in astonishment.
The weight, the burden, the pain is gone. Not just because those financial burdens have been taken care of, not just because the imminent danger of having things turned off or cars repossessed is gone, but because I overcame that burden of embarrassment and shame, because I didn't listen to the voices of the world that encouraged me to borrow more to recover from those debts (never a good idea there kids), because I laid myself bare and I told the truth.
If you are holding something back, be it from family members, your church, your friends because of shame, embarrassment, guilt, anger, etc. - LET IT GO. Be honest, even when it hurts, even when it makes you uncomfortable, even when you are ugly crying in the rain on the phone with your pastor. The pain of suffering in silence will only tell you lies, will feed your self-pity, and make things worse.
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