I wish I could tell you I am always strong, but that would be a lie. I wish I could say that I never have doubts, or tears, or fear, but that would be untrue. I wish I could say my heart is whole and healthy, but it’s not. It has been pummeled more times than I can count. Crushed beyond what I can bear and it has left me a pile of shattered pieces. Shards that are painfully deep, like splinters which, if not removed, turn into a festering mess of bitterness and resentment. My attempts to glue it all back together are woefully inadequate. Instead of creating art, I cut myself and bleed. Instead of molding wholeness, I simply keep rearranging the same old pieces into forms which highlight just how broken I am. Until now my faith has held me together through the unending traumas of life, but this time I am not even sure there is a mustard seed left. Brokenness is exhausting. Trying to muster up belief that overshadows the depth of my pain is not possible.
So here is the truth, I am NOT a strong woman. I am NOT full of faith. Sometimes I don’t want to pray because it doesn’t seem to do any good. Sometimes I just want to quit. This is a raw place I am in, but it is also a real place. A place in which my weaknesses are front and center. A place where God is silent and I am so very tired. I know the clichés. I can quote the scripture, but sometimes sackcloth and ashes is more appropriate. Sometimes grief and loss are companions that will not let me go. They sing me to sleep, only to wake me in the night. They whisper to me what could have been, and abandonment chimes in to remind me that whatever I do, I do it alone. The weight of such thoughts banishes sleep and pumps my heart in crazy rhythms. My palms sweat and my breathing becomes shallow. I find myself back where I have always been, holding on for dear life. It is not pretty. I am not holding it together very well. I am searching for my secret place to no avail. I am lost to it, groping in the dark, trying to find peace that eludes me. Dare I pen such a place? Dare I speak it aloud? Should I put it on paper? It is easier to pretend all is well and all will be well. It is easier to say what I want to hear, that everything will be fine. It will all somehow work out like it always does. But underneath those pretentious thoughts I wonder if it is true. Will it ever be true?
Hard places. Deep waters. Struggling to breathe. Just to breathe. Sinking beneath the waves. I cannot even cry out. I am silent with my tears…which are the only prayers I have at the moment. No words. Pressure that has been my companion for years rises in my throat and sits on my shoulders. This is my lament. It is my burden. I know the sun will come up eventually. I have lived long enough to know it is true. Light always follows darkness. I simply have to hold on until it does, but this time I am not holding on…I am letting go.