There have been very few truly traumatic moments in my life, I can name them on one hand as a matter of fact. This is something I don’t take for granted, as the unfortunate truth is, that’s not everyone’s reality. Perhaps, after living in a Disney rated vacuum for the majority of my life, this past season of dealing with the grief of a tubal pregnancy and inevitable miscarriage has perhaps left deeper marks than it would for someone who’s life comparably would categorize this as not as bad and I’m ok with that. As I tell the many people I sit down with over coffee, working through moments of trauma in their lives, – if it hurt you, it matters.
I’ve taken a bit of a conscious break from blogging over the last month just getting life back on track and this has been a season of physical and emotional healing as well as spiritual strengthening. My faith has meant more to me in this moment in time than perhaps ever before. The day my body betrayed me, took away a little life and for a moment, put the fear in me that it may be self destructing from the inside in an attempt to get rid of the threat to my health, was a very sobering reminder that as much as we often believe we are invincible, we aren’t. It was a reminder that life is precious, feeble and that my hope and strength do not come from my own hands, but from a source that is so much greater.
Next to my faith, my biggest source of healing has been community. It’s been the text messages of concern, Facebook conversations that echo “me too” and the people who’ve taken a moment to check in. They’ve provided nourishment to my wounded self and our family, they’ve been a reminder why we aren’t meant to do life alone and walk through tough times by ourselves.
But they’ve also highlighted the pain of misunderstanding.
Before I explain this a bit more, I want to add – ALL of the words that have been spoken to me out of concern during this season have been taken with an appreciation and understanding. I truly believe all of the well-meaning people have had the best intentions of encouragement, empathy and perhaps trying to find reason and the sliver lining in a challenging time. I promise that when I say I truly am thankful that people have taken the time to comfort me (us) and if you feel at all worried you may have said the wrong thing, don’t. I’m just glad you took the time to say something.
I also want to highlight something that I believe to be potentially damaging in the healing process. It’s the feeling or the potential pressure of having to find a reason for your situation. It’s the good intentions of people trying to bring you comfort through the words of everything happens for a reason.
No. It doesn’t.
At least, not in my mind. Not the way we think it does.
Do I believe that everything happens and God is aware? Yes. The Bible says that God knows the goings on of all things, even the tiniest things: What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows. Matthew 10:29-31 NLT
Without getting too theological, I believe that we do live in a world that isn’t set quite right, actually the word I would use is broken. There is pain, there is grief, there are horrors beyond what we can imagine, and it hurts the heart of God to see us suffer, from our littlest wounds to world catastrophes. My belief is – pain happens, it is the inevitable consequence of our broken world, thankfully God has given us the gift of Hope in Jesus. The Bible promises the world will be set right one day, there will be no more suffering and every tear will be wiped away.
There isn’t always a reason behind pain, sometimes pain comes at the hands of a freak accident, a terrible diagnosis, world events, life choices we made and are now cleaning up the pieces that might have gotten a little broken as a result and perhaps worst of all, when someone intentionally inflicts pain up you in a malicious or betraying way. BUT…BUT if I trust God with the brokeness in my life (both my own personal flaws and in the hurt I experience in life), God can BRING good from those things. We can learn from them, we can gain perspective, it will shape our thinking, it will bring us greater compassion and open our hearts to love more because we can now relate on an even greater level to our fellow humanity. Even admits the greatest of tragedy.
Did this most recent event happen in my life because God wanted me to suffer? No. All things aren’t right in our world, including our bodies. They fail us all the time and things happen like losing babies. I am thankful that someday I will get to meet that beautiful little soul in Heaven. Am I wounded deeply? Yes. Is it a traumatic time? Yes. Yes I’ve questioned God, but I still trust him.
Everything happens for a reason.
Perhaps. Maybe that will be something I will learn someday when I meet Jesus face to face I can ask Him if that’s true, but for now, I want you to hear me as you walk through that storm in your life that seems painful and endless – you don’t have to know the reason. You don’t have to try and make sense of it. You can keep walking and wonder why. It’s ok to ask, it’s ok to cry, it’s ok to grieve the things that have been stolen from you without your permission. You don’t have to justify them or find a reason. You can be in pain and take the time you need, but like all living things, I encourage you to continue to step forward, to continue to grow, to allow yourself to crumble, but then rebuild with a tender heart darling, stay soft, stay warm, have greater compassion for those whose wounds hurt like your hurt, because there is an extra layer of comfort from those that can walk with you and say “me too”.
I am healing. Life has a new normal, with a new edge. A new cautiousness, a new fragility that was never there before. But there’s a softening, an understanding and a deeper compassion than I’ve ever known. As a wound heals ever so gradually and eventually fades into a scar, the sting gives way to a mark, the mark will always be there but the hope is, eventually it won’t hurt to touch it. Someday, but not yet.