To be honest, I am tired. After three different surgeries in the last six months for different kids for various reasons, and helping my son heal from PANS (strep of the brain in a nutshell), I am pretty weary. Just as one of my most faith-filled kids was honest with his questions about “why did this happen?” I want to be honest with myself, with God, and with you. I do not wish to portray that I am numb or above life’s circumstances. I believe God is a God who has a full heart- a full heart of emotion.
For many years, I would quote Scripture over myself as a way to cover up my emotions. If I felt the emotions, it meant I didn’t have enough trust in God. If I felt angry, I would try to snuff it out. If I felt sadness, I would quote “The joy of the Lord is my strength.” If I felt anxious, I would turn my thoughts to the verse, “Do not be anxious about anything.” The problem is I learned to shut down my emotions. Quoting Scripture is great; however, as my great friend Jeff Comeaux says- we can even use Scripture to disassociate.
The reality is when we skip over being human, we skip over the opportunity to allow the Savior to be our Savior. Here in the mess- the humanness of our hearts is exactly where we meet our closest friend. We invite Jesus into the mess. I have to be honest with myself and with Jesus about those deep rooted emotions and worries and places of exhaustion. It’s a process. If I skip the step of process, I only pretend to have a wholeheart. It’s like if my son’s surgeon left Ryker’s bone exposed and put gauze over it just to say it’s all better. That would be a nasty festering wound. It would be bloody, messy, and getting all over his clothes and possibly other people. With this analogy, if my bleeding heart is just covered with gauze it doesn’t stop the bleeding. It only pretends to be whole. I will “leak” over everyone else. (Sorry for the gross analogy.)
I think there are definitely healthy people who can handle the rawness of our wholehearted selves. And I think most importantly, as I get older, I see the weightiness of letting my heart open fully to the festering questions, longings, hurts, and weariness to my Heavenly Father. Allowing the Great Surgeon inside of my heart is what is most needed. And like the last few days, it has been hard to tap in. I tend to process after the “crisis.” What I have learned is that I need time to journal, to write out what my heart has trouble speaking. But I get to choose to allow Him in. This is the intimacy key. This is where my disassociation is not a viable option. I lean in. I allow Him to see me, know me, and hear me. From this place is where the transformation of mourning into dancing ensues. I have to experience the grief to feel the joy. You cannot have one side without the other.
I share this because this is my current processing. I am learning to become a more wholehearted person- one who feels the whole gamut. As a follower of Jesus I believe He was fully human and fully God himself. I believe Jesus was the example and embodiment of wholeheartedness. He wept of his friend Lazarus dying, though he knew the Truth of him raising from the dead. He was angered in the temple over the injustice. He was funny and asked amazing questions. He spoke to the heart of people who were numb, lost, and going through the motions and spoke life. This intrigues me. This invitation to notice and attend to my heart is an offering in itself to the One who created me. I want to increase my capacity of love. Jesus said, “To love myself is to love others.” God is Love. So if I choose to let love into the hardest places, I actively choose to increase my capacity to love others as well.
For now, I will end it here. I am in process. As I know you are too. I don’t pretend to be fine. I choose to be held and seen in my Father’s arms. I’m not pretending the hurricane amidst this summer season is not real. It is very much real. I see it. I acknowledge it. And I offer my process to whomever is reading this. Your heart matters. My heart matters. And I pray for tears to unleash so I can cry some good ugly tears soon. Love to you. I see you.