Sometimes I wander in that place where I feel completely and totally alone. My pain is like a cancer that is eating me whole. I cannot find the words to ask for help. The smiling happy faces of those who praise Jesus for answering their prayers and helping them to win the head cheerleader position is salt in my open wounds. I am not lifted or encouraged by their sharing. Instead, I consider that I am that unworthy that my pain is not as important as someone else’s cheerleading.
I cry so hard sometimes I am afraid I will never be able to stop and when I do stop … exhausted and gulping for air in staccatoed gasps I am still alone and the silence is like a roar that never ends. Does anyone love me?
I know these are my demons, gifts from a childhood where I was delivered into the hands of people who at best never wanted me and at worst … well, I leave those stories untold…
I cannot be inspired by cheerleaders who won or even others who survived their own journey of dark. Don’t hand me sayings, or scriptures, or words that people say when they need to go and have to say something that makes them feel better. “If you ever need anything, just call,” when I am standing right there in front of them. My knees are sore from praying, my hands are raw, I am just so …. incredibly …exhausted. My tears have soaked my bed, my mouth is dry. All my words have been spoken … and screamed … and whispered. I have asked, I have pleaded, I have reasoned and argued. I have listened. I have taken tattered pieces of nothing and tried to make them into something. I have held profound meanings in my hand and felt the wind pick them up and scatter them across the night. I need there to be answers. I need to know why. I need to find the sense of all this pain. Just show me a door, a window, a crack. I will claw my way through it, I will do all the work. I promise I will. I am not asking for miracles or special favour. I just cannot see anything … but dark. If this is MY journey then do not ask me to lean to the understanding or the experiences of others. Do not ask me to look at all the happiness they have because I am not sure I will have any courage left if I have to see one more reminder that I have failed. Please help me.
I hold onto something that I think is hope. It is not the hope I have seen others hold. Others have something that shines in the dark and warms their ice cold hands. It is pretty and sits on a shelf next to the other pretty things collected through the years. My hope is worn and tattered, bits have broken off and fallen on the road of my life, left behind in the dust, lost in the distance that I have travelled. Sometimes it has felt more like a weight than a gift but the part of me that seems to see some meaning, some purpose in all of this, will not let me throw it away. So I hold it now and sit in my darkness and wait.
This is my journey. In the silence, I lay myself down. I have nothing left to give. There is nothing more that I can do. I feel a quietness that stills my mind and bathes me in calm. I unclench my fists and breathe. I surrender the pains. I surrender it all. I feel the stirring from within and receive the gift so freely given. It is the bridge between this place of darkness and tomorrow. . .
(I am not special, nor more loved than any one of us. I offer my journey with humility. I acknowledge that so many suffer, in ways that are unbearable to them. Hope is a personal thing that is a treasure to each of us, regardless of how we understand it. Our personal journeys are our own and our spiritual efforts are not part of some big competition. God is, with you. I pray that my sharing honours you where you are, that it gives voice to the self-doubts we all have and the pain we suffer. Don’t give up. This life is not about winning. Our mistakes are not strikes against us, they are opportunities to learn. The darkness often reminds us of who we are … and maybe more importantly … who we are not. Don’t believe the lies that are whispered by those in our lives who are in such pain they strike out at everyone around them. We are all loved. There is always hope.)