a call to those amidst the wars

Posted: March 21, 2016 in Uncategorized

A discussion yesterday with G reminded me how much we are both refugees from a world of bad choices – how deeply experienced we both are in pain, in failure, in emptiness, and in struggle.  Though we didn’t know each other at all during our days in those dark depths and we rarely rehearse or review what happened back then, there is a pool of familiarity from which we are able to draw language that is a sort of conversational shortcut to instant and intimate connection.  Touching truth together in that manner left me profoundly grateful again at how I am seen, heard, and understood in this relationship.

Moments like those confirm for me what I suspected during those drawn-out years of singleness:  that my “Mr. Right” would necessarily have been to the wars and would come with scars similar to my own.  I didn’t dream of finding someone who’d always lived wisely, who’d made a lifetime of good choices and possessed the secret code for right living from the get-go.  I don’t think I could find a safe space with such a person.  My friend the pastor liked to joke during that passage that my Mr. Right was probably in jail or in rehab.  We laughed about it but that seemed like probable truth to me at the time; it turns out that while G was in neither of those locations at the time, he WAS in a rather protracted process of fighting for his healing, just as I was.

As one refugee from the world of bad choices, I call out to others still in the depths:  do the work for your healing.  Fear tells you it’s too hard, laziness says it’s too much, hopelessness chants that you’re not strong enough, confusion repeats the easily digested lie that you don’t have the time.  Knock ’em down.  Do the work.  Get in a fellowship of folks who are where you want to be and soak up everything you can.  Open up your Bible every day and actively battle with connecting what you read there to your own reality.  Talk to the God who created you, and learn how to hear the beautiful things He’s ready to tell you.  Find a 12-step program that fits you.  Practice the discipline of choosing what is best over what is convenient.  Hunt down a counselor if that’s what it takes – some work on an income-based sliding scale, if (like many of us) you can’t afford $100+ per hour.  Do whatever it takes.  Do the work for healing.

You don’t have to stay in the pain forever.  Oh, the route out is expensive.  You’ll have to give up your right to resentments and expectations.  You’ll have to surrender your victim status and put down that accusation super-blaster of blame.  You’ll have to shift from pointing fingers to looking in the mirror.  You’ll have to extend forgiveness to those who want it, and those who don’t.  You’ll have to learn to sit with feelings instead of burying them or letting them drive you.  It’s very, very expensive.

But it’s worth it.  I caught myself walking with a big silly grin again yesterday, undone with wonder that I get to live this life, to know this unrelenting joy.  Come on over to the other side.  From across the abyss, I’m calling out to you.  Do the work.

You won’t regret it.


  1. Cindy Maynard says:

    Doing the work is very difficult for some……they would rather live in defeat and angst. So sad.

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