Lying in bed waiting to go to sleep and I get this urge, “delete your blog. All of it.” It’s not the first time I have had this thought. Sometimes I want to erase my history as easily as a web browser.
There are a lot of painful stories. The horror of rape, the embarrassment of struggling with mental illness and self harm, missing my little brother every day since he died. Sometimes I think that if I could erase the stories then I could pretend that these things didn’t happen. That I would then have permission to step into my dream life and truly love who I am.
I was thinking about writing a Good Friday post this morning and this was not the intro that I imagined but it fits.
In hindsight we know the story of Easter and the celebration of Resurrection Sunday. We know that there is a happy ending but Jesus’ friends did not know that. I can imagine they felt fear, maybe anger and betrayal even as they felt remorse for their own failures.
My pastor was saying that we don’t know what to do with Saturday. It’s 12:41 now so I guess it is Saturday. The in between day where we try to sit in the shoes of the disciples and the Roman soldier who said “surely this was the son of God” , Jesus’ mother who watched her child be tortured to death, maybe we could even sit in the shoes of the Pharisees who after dealing with the “threat” were not released from their fear and insecurity as they ordered soldiers to barricade and guard the tomb.
It’s so easy to want to say “happy easter” all weekend and jump to the end.
And in some ways I want to do that with my story. I am waiting for more healing and understanding about past pain and current fear and struggles.
I am wondering what greater purpose God has for these stories.
Forest and I just finished watching “I Still Believe”, the story of Jeremy Camp’s life. When his first wife, Melissa, found out that she had terminal cancer she said “if one person’s life is changed by my story then it will all be worth it”. It is an amazing story that is worth seeing. My favourite line is when Jeremy’s dad tells him, “you chose to walk through the fire with her right to the end”. Forest walks through the fire with me every day as I process trauma and he is leaning on Jesus as he does so.
After the movie we watched an interview with Jeremy and his second wife Adrienne and the honest struggles they have in their marriage. Struggles that they are sharing with the hope of giving encouragement that Jesus is with all of us in hard moments and that everyone has them. The situations are different but the pain is the same. The in between time of the here and not yet.
Sometimes I want to delete my blog and emerge as this super popular, in control, can-do mama writer superstar, something like that. And maybe then I would escape the everyday mundane of comparing myself to to others, plucking hairs from my chin and feeling grumpy with those that I love.
But deep down I know how important my stories are for me, for the readers and for my daughter. I want Elaina to know that Mama struggles and that God is faithful. This passage from Israel’s history rocked me to my core a few days ago and gave me insight into the many tragedies of Judges.
And all that generation also were gathered to their fathers. And there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord or the work that he had done for Israel.”
Judges 2:7, 10 ESV
I was sitting on my patio with my parents this afternoon reflecting on my childhood and I have realized that my parents are not perfect. They made choices that both hurt and helped me and my siblings and there has been pain and consequences that I have had to process and will continue to process in my own journey as a parent. Looking back though at the chaotic as well as the good times I see the story of what God has done for my family. I see my parents love for Jesus shine through their brokenness and that has blessed and grounded me and my siblings in more ways than we can fathom. It is the best that I can hope for my children.
My prayer for myself and for you is that we would be able to see our stories with love and hold our brokenness up high to let the light shine through and bring healing.