What a Difference Four Days Make
“2 AM and I’m still awake, writing a song
If I get it all down on paper, its no longer inside of me,
threatening the life it belongs to”
-Anna Nalick “Breathe (2 AM)”
It’s good to purge the ickiness out of our hearts once in a while. I really think that’s what’s happened for me this week. It was really good to get all my emotions out on paper, so that I could own the emotions and then release them. Don’t get me wrong; my circumstances haven’t changed. In fact, in a lovely bit of news, I’m pretty sure that the one really good thing I had going for me is no more. But surprisingly, I’m okay. And I’m going to be okay. Sure, I’ll have moments where I want to rip the heads off of little stuffed animals, but we call that life.
Getting past the emotions is an important part of healing, but ignoring emotion or trying to hurry it along just stymies our ability to heal. We have to allow ourselves time to grieve when things go bad. Ignoring any part of that just gets us stuck. Like Paul said, we don’t grieve the same way others do. We grieve having Hope. And our Hope isn’t just a wishful thought that all will be well. We have a promise that all really will be well. We’re not guaranteed that everything will be hunky dory, but we are guaranteed that God will make a silver lining. Notice that Paul didn’t say that we don’t grieve; we grieve, but it’s a different kind of grief.
I once wrote (many moons ago) that loss points us to God because it reminds us that things weren’t meant to be this way. It’s true. In seeing the imperfect, we are driven to search out perfection and peace. And the only way we’ll ever find that is in Christ.
“God has chosen you and made you his holy people. He loves you. So always do these things: Show mercy to others, be kind, humble, gentle, and patient. Get along with each other, and forgive each other. If someone does wrong to you, forgive that person because the Lord forgave you. Do all these things; but most important, love each other. Love is what holds you all together in perfect unity. Let the peace that Christ gives control your thinking, because you were all called together in one body to have peace. Always be thankful.” (Col 3:12-15 NCV)
That’s really hard to do. Thankfully, we have a God that doesn’t make us try to do it on our own. I’ll be honest. I haven’t wanted to forgive. Forgiveness was second to last on my list of things I want to do. But dead last on the list? Displeasing God. And since it pleases God to forgive, that’s what I’ve been working on; rather, He’s been working on in me. With His help, I’ve been able to forgive those that have hurt me. I’ve been able to pray for them, to release my anger toward them. I think that’s why this week has been better. It’s not so much that I’m a great person (I’m clearly not), but when God calls us to forgive and to love it’s not necessarily for others, but for ourselves. Forgiving others allows us to heal.
I guess the lesson is that we have to just keep moving forward. Standing still makes us stagnant.
“There’s a light at each end of this tunnel, you shout,
‘Cause you’re just as far in as you’ll ever be out
These mistakes you’ve made, you’ll just make them again
If you only try turning around.
‘Cause you can’t jump the track, we’re like cars on a cable,
And life’s like an hourglass, glued to the table
No one can find the rewind button now
Sing it if you understand.
And breathe, just breathe
Woah breathe, just breathe,
Oh breathe, just breathe.”