O Lord, this holy season of Lent is passing quickly. I entered into it with fear, but also with great expectations. I hoped for a great breakthrough, a powerful conversion, a real change of heart; I wanted Easter to be a day so full of light that not even a trace of darkness would be left in my soul. But I know that you do not come to your people with thunder and lightning. Even St. Paul and St. Francis journeyed through much darkness before they could see your light. Let me be thankful for your gentle way. I know you are at work. I know you will not leave me alone. I know you are quickening me for Easter - but in a way fitting to my own history and my own temperament.
- Henri Nouwen A Cry For Mercy: Prayers from the Genesee
This was a timely reminder in my email this weekend. Too often I want to skip the process, to not have to journey through the darkness. Healing is a process, one that is uniquely tailored to the pain and horrors that have happened to me. It's itchy and I hate it...
...and I love it. I love how it is perfectly timed and ordered, even though I can only see that order in hindsight. I know, that it took time for me to get to where I am. The healing that I've already done has taken time. I can't heal from all of it all at once. That's just not the way that it works. The times I tried to rush the process were overwhelming.
Years ago in one of my "why-wont-You-hurry-up-and-heal-me" phases I remember clearly for the first time seeing the extent of my pain. Every time I want to hurry this up I flashback to that moment. It was the moment that it became real. Real that this was going to take years of hard work and that it would forever alter me. It was a major crack in my minimizing what had been done to me as "not-a-big-deal", "normal" and "my fault".
Now in my racing ahead, trying to stop being "broken girl" I know I am avoiding. Of all the stages of work that I go through in healing, this stage of grieving not only for what happened, but for all the losses and the continued fallout - this is the stage I will avoid, run from, and try to rush through. I hate grieving. I hate the sadness that works it way up for the core of my body. I hate the crying, the migraine, the puking, the sinus headaches, the curled up in a fetal position screaming through sobs. I hate how spent I am, that this takes every scrap of energy that I have. I hate that there is no room for anything else and yet I need those other pieces to keep me from spinning out and losing everything I've gained over the years.
I want redemption NOW. I want the other side of this to be here now. I am weary and my heart is grieving. Whether or not I choose to acknowledge it doesn't change that it's happening. I find myself doing the next right thing and begging for mercy.