I’m sort of at an impasse (inside mine own head, which is the worst place for that sort of thing), because I have other things to say that are not related (at least not directly) to the abortion/prolife series. And I really didn’t want to do this, I wanted to continue along nicely with my beautiful outline (That I haven’t even looked at in over a month.) and actually do a proper series for once.
But, alas, it’s just not happening. Sorry folks. I promise I will write all of that, though. It may be a little book. And I may show it to you sometime. Not sure. (Why did I suddenly think of the quote that nothing is certain in this world except for death and taxes? Besides, that isn’t even true. God is more certain that either. Ahem. Anyways.)
So. Now to try to talk about the Other Stuff. There’s a lot of it, this Other Stuff.
(And if you didn’t already notice, this is going to be a rambly post. It may very well make no sense at all. Or maybe different bits will make sense to different folks. One can hope…)
My personality (whatever that is) is INTP: which is also known as the Thinker. I live up to that quite well, I think. (Seriously, I didn’t mean to do that. I thought of saying it before I realized, and then when I realized I said it anyway.) INTPs are also known as “The Warmest Machine”–which may or may not make sense. But the gist of it is that my natural tendency is to think a great deal and feel very little. Which is a very queer way to be, at least if you’re female. I remember even very early on, when my sister Hannah was being praised for being so compassionate (She would cry when other people cried, even if she had no idea why they were crying.) and I’m just there like, “Why on earth are they crying, and why are you crying too, and that doesn’t make any sense, and how is this a good thing?”
It went along like that quite nicely (Sort of) for a long, long time. Sure, I cried–once a month. Nearly literally. Sometimes twice, or sometimes none. Mostly over stupid things and mostly when I was really out of it. It wasn’t heart-crying.
Until. Until… I loved someone. A boy. And he–he loved me. It was really, really confusing. I still don’t get it. I don’t even know what love is. I only really started understanding it when this happened. And he was on the other side of the ocean, and there were other complications, and–I finally cried. I cried for a lot of reasons. But it was the first time in a very, very, very long time that I had cried because I hurt inside. (*wonders if I ever had before that time* *decides I probably had*)
It opened up this terrifying new world of feeling. I suppose it scary for anyone, but it is especially frighting if you have very little prior experience in that department. From that point on, I would actually cry about stuff. I realized, through him and through this experience, that crying was actually–actually okay. It was even… good. Which was very hard to wrap my head around. But I got it. I learned that pain was good. I learned that God teaches us through it. I learned that He is very near the brokenhearted. I learned that weakness is—is Good. Because then God can be strong in you and for you.
This went on quite some time. There were many ups and downs, many tears, many smiles. Things done right and things done wrong. Finally–he was going to come and visit us, for a month.
And then–and then there was… lightening. Cut right clean through our paths. In one moment, everything, everything, was different. He was……arrested. (Very long, complicated story that isn’t mine to tell.) We never even met.
That night in the airport–well, I will just quote something I wrote before.
Shocked, stunned. Cold flooding through me, my heart racing. Stiff. Still. Trying to comprehend. Matthew started wailing. Emily did too. I tried to calm her down.
Papa handed me his phone and told me to tell [his mom]. I couldn’t figure it out at all and I was shaking too hard anyway. I gave it to Emily and said I need to pray.
I looked around hurriedly… there was a place. I am still amazed that it was there… just an odd little area out of the way, with a plant in front of it. I went in there and got down on my knees.
I prayed so hard it was out loud. I couldn’t help it.
I prayed for him, for peace and safety. I prayed that God would be glorified in this. I told God that He was good even in this, that He knew. I tried to pray Psalm 20 for him. I prayed that… that they’d let him go. I looked up, wishing, hoping against hope, that I’d see him. He wasn’t there.
I thought how strange it was that we were in the same building and yet… I couldn’t see him. He was there, but he wasn’t.
That was the beginning of a strange, wonderful and dark journey. I realized eventually that it was called “grieving”. Very odd thing. Don’t recommend it. 😛 (Just kidding… mostly.)
It’s been a year and almost 7 months. He’s still in prison. Away from his family, his home, nearly everything he held dear. Including me. I have barely been in contact with him over the past year and 4 months or so. I can’t–can’t explain how many layers of hard there have been. How utterly dark the path has grown. How hard it has been sometimes to simply be–alive. How sometimes (like day before yesterday) you feel like maybe, just maybe, you’re beginning to be more… normal again–like maybe, just maybe, the storm has really subsided. And then… not too much later, and you’re crying again, and you cry out to God and He helps you, but it’s–hard.
And all this is so confusing, so strange, so… deeply personal, that I am loathe to speak of it. I don’t even know why I am right now. And even to those who know, I don’t… don’t like that I STILL have such a hard time. That I STILL don’t know what to do, don’t know what’s right, don’t know what really happened. Because I like things to MAKE SENSE. And this just plain doesn’t. Not in human terms, anyhow. And I suppose that’s what has kept me sane: looking above the human. In fact, I KNOW it is what has done it.
I look back on all that has happened in the past few years, and I see God’s incredible grace and goodness. He lovingly prepared me in countless small ways for this trial–something that you really can’t be prepared for. And yet… He did it. And even in the stripping away of everything, He was so kind. It all went away so gradually, one thing at a time. Oh, it was awful, believe me. But at least He didn’t take everything in that one night. And I saw–see–His wisdom in it all.
There have been an enormous number of ups and downs and wildly confused turns. I haven’t, by any means, handled this perfectly. There were a great many things I could’ve, should’ve done differently.
I never SAID that I didn’t trust God, but I learned it. At first, I think, I trusted Him. But wave after wave after wave after wave after–and eventually, I wore down. Or, at least, I saw where I was lacking in trust. It was–has been–awful. Fear crept in and took a very deep hold on my heart.
And I still haven’t completely beaten it. I still am afraid. I still doubt, sometimes. I still have moments of–“I just don’t get it!!!!” But God is working. *smiles* He is so good…
I am learning to trust Him, more than ever. I am learning to rest in the greatness of who He is, of His love.
Well, this post has gone rather differently than I expected.
I was really going to write about the sorrow I know of in other’s hearts. I suppose… I am, in a way, because without my sorrow I would not understand (quite literally) the pain of others.
It my wonderful and terrible privilege to know the pain of so many who read this blog. The broken families. The loved ones gone in one way or another. The trafficking. The physical weakness. The broken hearts. The self-harm. The infertility. And so many other things. It makes me think much harder over what I say and don’t say.
I guess… I guess I just want to say… that… I am so glad.
God has given me an amazing gift in all of my tangled sorrow. The gift of compassion. Oh, what a terrible cost. But it is worth it.
*grins a bit* I’m still awful at showing it, though. So thank you to those who I try to comfort for your patience with my awkward hugs and my attempts at just listening and not fixing (which very often fail. :P).
But know this–my heart hurts so badly for your pain.
Especially when I pray. And that’s the thing. This is such a God-gift. I have long moaned (inwardly) over my lack of ability to feel other’s pain and comfort them appropriately–my natural lack of love, basically. But I realized that it’s actually a blessing–because now when I am able to be like that, I know that it’s God working in me. I still get in the way sometimes though. 😛
For those readers whose pain I know, and for those whose pain I don’t–hold on. God is really, truly good. And He really, truly does know what He’s doing. And He really, truly can make beauty out of your ashes. I know it’s impossible. But this is God we are talking about.