Wednesday, May 2, 2012

May 2nd

The sink drains have stopped up, I still can't go for a walk, we had to reschedule the appointment with the adoption agency due to Keith's job and I have a horrible case of writer's block.

That's how I'm doing, how are you?


I am just not my usual self. I guess pain will do that to a person. I have skin on both my hands now, so that's good.

I underestimated the amount of damage I did to myself; I scraped off skin and flesh on rough concrete as though it were a grater and I were a piece of soft cheese. So, first the flesh had to grow back, and then the skin.

On my foot, I actually exposed the bone, which is, I think, why it's taking so long to heal. The yellow white surface of bone is slowly being covered by a red layer of flesh. It's fascinating and repulsive at the same time.

When I first stand up in the morning, I can feel the blood surge into my foot and expand out into shocking pain. It just swells up with pain and then it slowly subsides and then I can walk.

I don't think I realized before, how much energy it takes to manage pain. It sheds some light on the energy it must take to manage emotional pain.

No wonder so many people have times in their life when they can barely limp through their day! It's because they're ragged and bleeding and bruised on the inside.

Those kinds of wounds take a lot longer to heal, and they leave scars that never go away. A scarred person just learn to adapt.

I know, because I have lots of them. My entire childhood, I grew up absorbing the ideology that God valued me not intrinsically, but because of how I lived my life for Him and what I believed about Him.

That's a simple sentence to write out, but the effects are profound. I can't go back and rewrite my internal system; it's already been shaped. That is my default thinking.

Perfect case in point: my assumption that getting injured was God wanting to test me, to see if my character had grown.

What a horrific thing to assume! What parent would do that? What parent would see their child running by, stick out their leg, trip them up and then wait to see if they bawled their eyes out or took it on the chin?

But that is the very first and unconscious assumption I made and I operated out of that assumption for a long time.

The reason why, is that I was taught that. I was taught that God tests us with trials to see how we will perform.

Grace is always going to be a radical concept for me. It will always take me by surprise. The sublime art of weakness will always, at first sight and according to my initial religious training, appear like a poor excuse for cheap grace.

It is similar to what I realized in Kentucky; that at a certain level, my sexual abuse history will always shape who I am. I can't, by any future or imagined happiness or perfection of life, cause it not to have happened or become a different person with a different history.

In the same way,  the ideology that I was raised in, the worldview that first shaped my perceptions and understanding of God, will always remain as my default thinking. It's where I will go if I do not consciously remind myself to consider life in another way.

It makes me think of the movie "Soul Surfer." It's a great movie, not because the main character miraculously grows a new arm and everything went back to normal for her. It's a great movie because she grieved her old life, and then had the strength to adapt and make a new life, her stump in full view.

Yesterday I had such an awful morning. I woke up feeling as if there was no reason even to get out of bed, as if the day were already an entire waste of my time. I felt like a pain filled, infertile excuse for a woman.

I dragged myself out of bed and looked at the French doors with the closed blinds; those doors I'd opened so many times before with a sense of joy and anticipation, with such a sense of the presence of God flooding the morning sky and my spirit.

I dreaded the doors now. They stood there, mute testimony to the way things used to be, a place I could not reach anymore.

"I don't remember how to do this," I confessed, miserably.

And I knew Jesus was there, as refreshing as the sweet smell of rain on a hot afternoon, like the first stirring of wind before the rainstorm.

I do, He assured me tenderly.

That morning, the verse on my calendar was this:

"I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night- but even in the darkness I cannot hide from You. To You, the night shines as bright as day."

-Psalm 139:11-12 NLT