Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Don't Doubt in the Dark What God Has Shown You In the Light
Do not assume that he who seeks to comfort you now lives untroubled among the simple and quiet words that sometimes do you good. His life may also have much sadness and difficulty…Were it otherwise he would never have been able to find these words. – Rilke
It is so important to understand, in the midst of our darkness, that the one who brings comfort through their words and assistance may be bearing wounds far beyond what we ourselves are experiencing. I have been (and am still) on both sides of that equation, both giving and receiving comfort.
As I approach the second anniversary of my first husband's suicide, the grief is waning and overwhelming waves that blindside me are less frequent. Some parts of my life are happier now than I can ever remember being in my entire life. My new husband not only loves me well in every possible way, he makes me laugh, leans into the hard conversations, teaches me new things, helps in practical ways, coaches me to sleep, dries my tears and leads me to Jesus. And that is just the first 11 weeks.
Now that I’m in a safe place, growing stronger in this season of life thanks to a loving and stable environment, other parts of my life are beginning to require attention. Parts that have lived in shadow and shame. Parts I am just beginning to name. As others have said, we cannot heal what we do not acknowledge and it is in naming a thing that we take away its power. This is more than disconcerting.
She could never go back and make some of the details pretty. All she could do was move forward and make the whole beautiful. – Terri St. Cloud
One of these places feels like an unmarked grave in the forest. Dark. Quiet. Frightening. If I begin to dig, not only will it be difficult work, I do not know in what condition the remains will be or if I’ll even be digging in the right place. While my impulsive, impatient, perfectionist self wants to pave this place over and put up an amusement park, my heart knows the offenses of another against my much younger self are hidden there and will undermine the foundation of anything I try to construct over it.
The worst form of censorship is when we edit our story to make it acceptable to others.
– People of the Second Chance
So I hold tight to that comforting, yet somehow disturbing portion of Psalm 23: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me.”
Even better, how Eugene Peterson puts it into context in The Message:
God, my shepherd!
I don’t need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
you find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to your word,
you let me catch my breath
and send me in the right direction.
Even when the way goes through
I’m not afraid
when you walk at my side.
Recently, God told me to “Rest!” and to wait on him, watching where he goes and he invites me to walk alongside. I’m not digging up these old bones alone. He’s let me sleep in lush meadows and drink from quiet pools while I catch my breath. He’s given me the GPS coordinates and even though the way is going through Death Valley, he’s with me and for me, so I don’t have to be afraid.
Now, where is that backhoe?