Saturday, August 25, 2012

Searching for "me" in the midst of this rubble...

As time goes by, and I try to resume some semblance of a normal life after the turmoil of the past while, I am  realizing just how much is, stolen from us when we are betrayed, slandered, lied to and abandoned.   In relationships that are supposed to breed confidence, security and trust, with people that we are meant to feel safe with, we instead learn to doubt, to fear, to feel inadequate and insecure, and to shy away from the hope of ever being able to relax in our relationships again. 

My group of people that I trust is small.  Very small. I trust these friends absolutely, and know full well how privileged I am to have them.  Still, making new friends is terrifying.  Reaching out involves fear that leaves me exhausted and often ill.  The battle to control my thoughts, to fight back lies of insecurity and rejection, is constant and also exhausting.  In my mind, the part that is sane anyway, I know full well that my insecurity belongs to me and to no other.  There is nothing particularily scary about the people that God is putting in my life as potential friends.  People have been generally very nice and accepting.  This is my battle.  My fear. But man alive, is it a battle!

Ten years ago, if you were to ask me what I fear most, my answer would have been rejection.  Hands down.  The past ten years have been filled with rejection, not just of lovers, but of close friends, of a community that I had based my life upon.  I have seen that rejection, while soul crushingly painful, is not deadly.  But it still frightens me.  Maybe it's not number one anymore, but it's up there.  And that's a problem.  It sinks me, leaving me either curled up in a ball of weepy insecurity or tense, clench-jawed and frowning, determined to stop even trying.  After all, who needs this crap? 

Apparently, I do.

When I was pregnant with Grace, our home was broken into and robbed. Twice.  Once, early in the pregnancy and again at about seven months.  We lost my jewelry box, my wedding ring, our television and a few other things.  The most important thing that I almost lost was my sense of security in my own home.  Both break-ins happened when I was out, but we lived in the country, I was alone at home much of the time, our neighbours weren't close and I was soon to have a vulnerable newborn to take care of.  I knew that I was in danger of becoming fearful about being alone at home, especially when the baby came. 

When I prayed about it, God showed me that the key to not being overtaken by fear lay in love and forgiveness.  I needed to forgive the people who had broken in, who had violated my sense of safety and comfort in my own home.  At first, my forgiveness was simply a mental exercise.  As I prayed about forgiving them, though, I found myself beginning to pray for them.  And as I prayed for them, I began to care about them.  And as I began to care about them, my anxiety about being at home alone disappeared.  In fact, this process happened so quickly that the fear never even got a chance to blossom.  It died before it became an issue. 

I think maybe that principle applies here, too.  The key to not being overtaken by fear lies in love and forgiveness.  Let's be honest here.  There is a lot more to forgive now than the loss of a few trinkets and the thought of someone ruffling through my undie drawer.  And I know that I am not alone.  Many of us are carrying scars. Big ones. Red, lumpy, sensitive, aching scars.  We have memories of horrible events, searing words, hate-filled glares.  We have had gut wrenching moments that left us achingly alone in our homes, on our lawns, in our cars, at our jobs, while the pain of abandonment, humiliation, lies, and hate tore at our insides and made us wonder how we would make it through the day.  We've been confused, afraid, and so angry that we did and said thing that make us cringe, even today.  We have laid awake at night, weeping, aching, worrying, wondering, trying to comprehend the uncomprehendable and longing to wake up from the nightmare that our lives have become.  We have heard the words, "It gets better", and have tried to believe them.  And we have said the same words to others, hoping and praying that they would be able to believe that it is true, it does get better.

Ultimately, though, the fact remains.  Forgiveness and love banish fear.  Wholeness comes in the awareness that justice belongs to God.  It's not easy.  In fact, for me, it is impossible.  I wrote before about patience coming in the Spirit of Jesus within me. I'm thinking that this is the same thing.  If the God of the Universe, the Lord of creation, the Alpha and the Omega is dwelling inside of me and loving me to bits, where is there room for insecurity?  It all keeps coming back to God, to practicing His Presence, to living in His wonder and love, to belonging to Him. 

I think of dealing with the aftermath of rejection as a battle, and it is.  But maybe it's not my battle.  Maybe this battle, like so many, belongs to the Lord.  Maybe if I focus, instead, on Him and what He is doing and showing me, He will take care of the rest.  Which is not to say that I won't have more "crumpled into balls of incoherent despair" moments.  I am, after all, wounded.  But there is healing.  And in healing, there is hope.  And in hope, there is life.

Thank God.


debra brault said...

Kelly, it is amazing ,how did you get in my head? Or view my wounded heart? It is helpful to know that I am not crazy or the only person who can identify with these feelings. I saw the movie Hope Springs and at a very poignant place in the movie,they play the song "Why" by Annie Lennox. I so related with the pain in this song ,of course the tears couldn't be helped. Thank you for verbalizing so honestly the emotions an individual goes through after they've split or have gone through loss.

Kelly said...

Oh Debra, I am so glad! Thank you for your comment! Sometimes, pushing the "publish" button on some of these posts is pretty scary. This was one of those posts. Your comment made it worth it. No, we are not crazy, any more than a person with a broken leg who walks with a limp is crazy for not walking "right".


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