I sat down several times to write a post over the past week and the words just wouldn’t come. I thought I would have time to reflect and share things with you over the weekend but that still didn’t bring the words I sought.
Sometimes we have those days or weeks (or even longer) when we want so badly to express ourselves but cannot find the words to do so. We are faced with so many different situations and emotions that our spirit seems to swirl like a massive cyclone in which we can only catch glimpses of things as they fly past. I have longed for the eye of the storm over the past few days but instead found the cyclone swirling even faster. It certainly makes it difficult to find words when you can’t even find footing.
It is hard to explain the sensation of feeling alone in the midst of people or trying to let go of the pains we don’t understand. It actually hurts to not be able to find the words to express the depth of our emotions…but what hurts more is to actually have the words and not be able to say them out loud. I think that is one of the greatest pains of all. Those situations bring a unique kind of pain…a hurt on top of hurt…a loneliness wrapped in isolation.
It is not wise to say everything you think, believe or observe, but to feel censored because of the fear of confrontation or being belittled can be challenging. Bullies don’t always use something tangible to attack others, but the injuries are just as deep. Whether real or perceived, these things cause us to “clam up” and curl up into the corners of our soul where words are hard to find. I have found it impossible to try and force words to the surface when the surface is not within reach, and I have found it too painful to reach down into the depths and grab them.
Personally, I struggle to understand why some people think or do the things they think or do. I struggle to understand why some people seem to thrive on controversy, contention or confrontation. I struggle to understand why it hurts so much to not understand. I struggle just like the rest of you with these things and maybe there is comfort in that fact. Maybe it is our collective struggle to live in peace that binds some of us together. And maybe…just maybe that makes a difference.
Since hurt is made bearable by the salve of love, I pray we all feel that love in a way that binds our wounds and helps us heal…
even when there are no words.
Life is full of desires. We are all faced with decisions regarding the things we want. We pray for things – even noble things – and sometimes the answer is “yes” and we are thrilled at the result. Sometimes the answer is “wait” and we struggle with the period of time between what we want and the fulfillment of that desire. Waiting is never easy. Then there are times the answer is “no” and we are disappointed and even discouraged. “No” is an answer we rarely want to hear.
I recently experienced a huge “NO” in my life. My husband and I always wanted to have children but from the beginning of our relationship we knew we would be unable to have them biologically. We researched infertility treatments but believed it was not the path we were to pursue so it left us with adoption. We researched and dabbled in the adoption world but realized we weren’t wired to deal with the many issues that came with it. We tried to accept the fact that being full-time parents was not part of the perfect plan for our lives and thought we had moved on. Over the past ten years or so, there have been several occasions where we thought we were going to be able to adopt a child through situations close to home but every one seemed to fall through for one reason or another. It was devastating each time and we swore we would not open our hearts again. Then recently the subject again surfaced when we found there was a situation where a very young child would need a home. For almost two weeks we prayed and struggled with what we were supposed to do. It was a grueling and gut-wrenching time but we eventually had total clarity on the answer….and it was “No.” It wasn’t just “no” to this situation but “no” to whether or not we are to be full-time parents. It doesn’t mean we won’t take full advantage of the opportunities to still affect the lives of children as God weaves them in and out of our lives; It simply means we have finally accepted the path we are meant be on. I would be lying if I told you we are entirely happy with the answer. We have complete and TOTAL peace with the fact we know what the answer is. We have not yet reached the place of total peace with the answer itself because it did not coincide with our desires, but that will come in time.
Having peace when the answer is “no” is not always easy. In our humanity, we often question why. We get confused. We get discouraged and depressed. We get angry. We struggle to let go of whatever it was we desired because somehow we think we know what is better for us than the One who created us! It isn’t wrong to want things and it isn’t wrong to pursue them with all your heart and energy. But when you come to the place where you have clarity in the finality of an answer, the best reaction is to be thankful for that clarity, regardless of the answer. “Yes” is sometimes just as difficult and scary to accept as “No.” The best place we can ever be with the decisions in our lives is to have CLARITY! The problem most of us have is that when the clarity conflicts with what we want, we begin trying to find ways to make what we want fit the clarity. We search for another angle or another facet that we can use to rationalize going in a direction opposite of the answer instead of accepting it. As a result, we end up with only more confusion in our lives and then wonder why God doesn’t seem to be answering our prayers when the reality is – we aren’t listening to the answers!
So for today, I am thankful. I am thankful for clarity and yes, I am even thankful for the many times the answer has been “No.” You see, when the answer is “no” to one thing, it simply means God has something even more amazing in store for us. The pain of “no” heals in time and it is replaced with a joy and peace that truly does “pass all understanding.” And when that time arrives, we can look back and see just how perfectly everything was worked out ultimately for our good.