If there’s anything that’s a given in life, it’s that struggle is guaranteed.
In some capacity, we know that we we’ll face hardship, pain, and loss. That things won’t always be easy, happy or sunny. We’ll likely experience what it’s like to feel lonely in a crowded room. Or frustrated with a lack of understanding.
Throughout these last few years of my life I have struggled in ways I can’t fully put words to. And in the midst of the ache for normalcy or relief, I have had to fight hard for survival. Literally. Doing whatever I can to stay alive as a disease makes it’s brutal, destructive way through my body.
Illness has been the label I’ve commonly used to describe my greatest struggle. But it’s so much more than that. I’m not only fighting sickness, but I’ve been fighting for light. Reaching and stretching for any gift of beauty to carry me to the next day or week or year.
My wrestling has also been with grief. Grief over the loss of normalcy sickness has stripped me of and grief over the loss of our unborn babe. Sadness over relationships that not-so-subtly vanished.
The truth behind struggles of any kind? It’s that there’s a process to healing that is uniquely our own. A reality that our pain is not a fleeting feeling. That it’s valid and real. One person’s timeline may be far different than the next’s.
For healing isn’t a linear process.
There isn’t a one-and-done formula that will get every one of us from point A to point B. Which is what we tend to want or idolize in our culture, right? To just “get this healing over with already.” Microwave healing, if you will.
Or at least that’s what we sense from the outside. Those watching our struggle, pain or grief can often get uncomfortable with the process. Or, better yet, the timeline of our healing.
But you know what I want to say to you today, my friend?
I want to say this: their discomfort is not your problem. And their need for you to rush things or pretend the brokenness or pain isn’t there? Also not your problem or responsibility.
Your job in healing, your only job, is to care for your weary soul.
This is something that has been stirring deep in the achy corners of my heart since the worst of Lyme hit. This truth that there are three essential graces I NEED to give myself in this process of healing.
Because life doesn’t pause.
Suffering continues. Some people show up while others step out. New challenges arise. Expectations are spoken over us telling us we’re “doing it all wrong.”
Sweet friend, can we take a beat to sit on my virtual couch for a minute and just breathe?
Listen, if you’re hurting, I want you to know your pain is valid. If you’ve been holding back tears, perhaps it’s time to let them fall.
Healing is not a switch to be flipped. Rather, it’s a process. And it’s not easy. So I want to share with you these three gifts I’ve learned to embrace, to give myself, in these last few years of struggle.
They’re simple, yet powerful reminders that I’ve learned along the way and I believe they’re essential tools for facing tough times. It’s my gift to you, in the spirit of thanks and giving.
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