Writing about my wounds has been difficult, like walking through a thick sludge that happens to be filling the trench someone else dug, located just next to the beautiful and straight path. Like Christian in John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, I have written my way through the “slough of despond.”
I have lamented one question:
“When do I get to write about the Joy?”
The Joy seemed promised but not attainable. Yes, Joy comes in the morning but it seems a far-off-dream when the weeping of night is so long.
I was emcee at a retreat last fall and led the women through a personal prayer walk. I quietly returned them to the group, like gently waking someone from a long and deep sleep. I saw many eyes filled with tears.
I shared with them that I have shed many tears from the pain of life but my aim is this:
“In the end, may my tears of joy outnumber my tears of sorrow.”
I have spent a year in lament. Agonizing all that I lost as a child and subsequently what I did not become as an adult. Realizing that God had called me to write in my twenties and I set it aside because I just couldn’t believe that it could happen for me.
Grief is a process that seems to bury us. We all feel that if we really give in to the weeping, the mourning, the sorrow, the despair ~ We will NEVER get out again. In our human-ness we strive to cover and overcome by positive-thinking and name-it-and-claim-it theology, which only serves to keep the grief alive in the recesses of who we are.
My lesson this year was to be present with myself before God. I began to feel a lift when I finally awoke with each day and listened to the condition of my heart.
“Ah, today is a day to mourn!” and I would be gentle with myself through that day. Allowing the time for my heart to pour out what had been stored for 40 years.
And then there were days when “I feel alright” and I would be able to love and live with my husband and kids at peace and with happiness.
It wasn’t until I journeyed through a chapter on SHAME in Mending the Soul Workbook when I realized how I had robbed myself of JOY!
SHAME causes deadness.
The pain of life has been so great that I learned to “control the pain” and one way to control the future pain is to not express JOY. The fall from JOY might be too great to handle the next time, right?
So my deadness killed the pain but it also killed the JOY.
After this lesson and a time of confessing my sin of control, a time of giving the shame I had owned for 35 years back to my perpetrators I “awoke” with JOY!
The journey through mourning is painful, long and feels like you will never surface for air again, but I can promise you –
WEEPING ENDURES FOR THE NIGHT ~ BUT JOY DOES COME IN THE MORNING/MOURNING!