Yesterday, was a no-good very hard day.  It was a day that re-birthed in me the memories of  horrible things. Some days you want to bottle up and carry with you, so that you can uncork the beauty and the wonder of it and experience it all over again. Then there are the days you want to bury in a cement coffin, in a deep, deep trench in the very depths of the cold, dark ocean and try to forget that you buried something there at all. Some things you don't "Get over" you just crawl along, weeping and gasping and somehow get through it. One day you turn around and realize how much beautiful, wonderful life has passed since that very bad day and you feel very,very grateful.  You begin to release your death grip on your shattered soul and let the light shine in a little bit again.  The darkness begins to roll away, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly, but it does roll away, and you pray that  your hope isn't broken, and that your smile will reach your eyes again.  Then one day you find it isn't and it does.  Maybe just maybe, you will be as blessed as I have been and you will run and even fly away from that day and only very very infrequently ever look back; and only to see how far you have come, never ever ever to re-examine the thing that you've buried.

Unfortunately, buried things don't always stay buried. And they have a very long reach.

I had a conversation yesterday that I don't think anyone should ever have to have, ever, for any reason.  I'm still mad at God about it. We are wrestling hard today, or maybe I'm just running.  If there was ever anything I never wanted to do, it was to unearth and relive one of the darkest days of my life. The day I lay inside the entrance of my empty apartment, the place where my knees finally collapsed and I could no longer stand, or move, or breath. The day my bald, wasted, angry, hopeless self tried to bury itself in the filthy carpet and simply. stop. breathing so I could stop hurting, so cancer would stop taking. every.thing. I. ever. wanted. or. hoped. for.

That day.
That awful, awful, awful day.

It is small comfort to me now, though I it doesn't lessen my gratitude, that the days and years following that day would restore what the locusts had eaten, would breathe life into dry wasted bones, because I cannot promise that blessing will be reproduced for anyone, ever.  Sometimes it is, but not always. Not often. Not in the way I want it to be reproduced.  The agonizingly guilty fact is, on days when I can feel my toes and remember your name, it's like cancer never happened to me. I have not one long term effect that is beyond a minor annoyance. I have lived on to have kids, and adventures, and a beautiful marriage and love and life.

But it doesn't happen that way for everyone.
It doesn't happen that way for most people.
It has never happened that way for those I love most.

I can't make any sense of any of it at all. Not even by dissecting the rotted corpse of that day.

I'm reciting all the promises I know are True, but I'm angry because I can't make them work the way I want them to work.  I can empathize, weep, and speak words of love, but I cannot cure or make promises. I feel like I am a mockery of all the comfort I want to give because I did walk away almost clean, barely scarred so why would I offer anything but  hopeful words and belief in a beautiful future. I am powerless to do anything but hurt and pray and weep today.  I am not seeking answers; I am seeking God.


Aisling Beatha said...


Maria Summers said...


There were words I wanted to say yesterday, words that I knew would have a hollow ring, not only because of the inexperience that birthed them, but for the same reasons you listed here. Because we can't make promises work they way we want them too, because healing takes different forms for different people, lots of becauses. Just know I am praying for you as you seek, praying for you as you minister in these next days and weeks. Just be assured that sometimes the ministry of just being there does far, far more than any words you can or can't say, any promises you can or can't make, or any miracles you may or may not see.

Pattie said...

When you seek Him, you will find Him with all your heart---and not just the fulfilled and grateful parts of your heart, but the scarred and broken parts too. The valley of the shadow is awful, and it is painful, BUT...He is there.

Building on what Maria said, I do think your ministry yesterday as you described it to me was absolutely the ministry of presence. It's real. It's personal. It feels like you are doing nothing--but it is so, so necessary.

I am grateful to be here to hold up your arms as best I can from 2 million miles away.