This week, these past few months, this last year, it's been a lot. It seems with every turn it has been constant waves of emotions that we have all had to process, sort through, understand, and grieve, all while attempting to survive and press forward. Our lives seemed to slow down, while simultaneously speeding up in other ways depending on your situation, with new or increased demands. We were forced out of our predictable routines that provide many of us with comfort. The rug was pulled out from under us, and a deck of cards tossed in to the air. We found ourselves lying on the floor trying to make sense of these shuffled cards we have been dealt. Just when we thought we could get the deck in order, more cards were tossed in our face. Over and over. Again and again.
While thinking and praying this week, these thoughts keep being brought to my mind. Sharing for myself, as I need these reminders, and with the hope of sharing these lessons with my boys when the time is right.
We don't deal well with feeling uncomfortable in our society. We don't deal well with disarray. We don't allow our minds the quiet space they need to sort through our thoughts. We seem to be so uneasy with our own feelings that we fill the quiet with noise, and drown our thoughts in any distraction we can find. We avoid the tears, swallow them down, and stop the necessary process of allowing our minds to work through, to learn, to grow, to get a handle on what we are feeling. We just keep swallowing and pressing onward, but eventually that pile buried in our stomachs turns to anger and frustration. This year I have witnessed the displacement of sadness and ache and fear, as it twists and morphs to the spewing of anger. Rage is tossed like confetti in online forems. Violence from those who feel that is their last resort and only answer.
You have to sit with the grief, sadness, and fear - and there is so much of all those things this year. You have to feel it, experience it, cry it out, journal it, civilly talk through it with those close, and process it. Escaping it is only temporary.
Differences of opinions and experiences is beautiful. Differences is what our country has been shaped by, the balance of it needs to be embraced. We have to be grounded in our own deep feelings to not feel enraged by someone else having a differing opinion or belief. That unstable footing at our core is what so quickly tosses so many in to fight or flight.
I am intimately accainted with grief, it cannot be escaped, it will continue to pop up until you slowly work your way through it. To process it, you need to sit with it. Feel it wash over you. It doesn't even have to be a long period of time all at once, that is exhausting and why we tend to run from it altogether, but allow yourself to make time for it.
I am reminded this week that I am called to love God, and to love people. I don't know what the answers are for this year, but feel like healing can only begin to come when we chose to invite God in and to love people. If we all did that in our homes and communities imagine the restoration we would see. And that healing starts within our own hearts, our own lives.
This passage is a letter from Paul to new Christians who were facing dissension and disagreements within the church.
2 Corinthians 3:2-5
The only letter of recommendation we need is you yourselves. Your lives are a letter written in our hearts; everyone can read it and recognize our good work among you. Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This “letter” is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts. We are confident of all this because of our great trust in God through Christ. It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God.
We need to be like Daniel and continue to trust God and stay the course, even in the fire, and he will be with us. As I was sitting with my grief this morning, I walked down to water and saw this freighter. The enormous ship in the distance was staying the course even in the cold and waves and wind.
I am Jackie.