I try to keep my posts to one per day, but after today, I needed to process.
Confession…I don’t like to look weak. I don’t like to lose control or composure. I don’t like my character being attacked in public. AND I am unwilling to harden my heart again so I can stop feeling pain when these things happen to me.
As a young woman, I was hurt deeply by people I loved intensely. The pain was too much for a young heart to bear. I knew, at the age of eleven, that I had two choices. I could keep feeling the pain and eventually go crazy with it, or I could shut down my heart and end the pain. Many of you who have known me for a long time know, I chose the latter. It was just easier folks. I didn’t have the coping skills to handle it. I didn’t have the maturity to understand it. I just did what felt safe.
I continued this process for many years. Pain comes…shut my heart off. Uncomfortable situations…shut my heart off a little more. Conflict, betrayal, attacks, click, click, click….until my heart was completely numb. It felt so good for a while to be so numb to pain. No one could hurt me. No one could make me cry. I actually prided myself on my ability to keep my eyes dry while people did and said amazingly hurtful things. I felt nothing. No one could get to me…wait…no one could get to me.
A few years back, we started to explore the option of foster parenting for our family. It was during a time, that God showed me how numb my heart actually was. No one was able to get to me…not even my husband or kids. The kids were trying to bond to me and I was blocking them. This didn’t make God smile and it actually, for the first time in a long time, the realization made me cry. This began a process of God softening this heart of stone. It was so hard to let it happen. It’s like a bad habit you can’t quit. Pain came…keep my heart on…uncomfortable situations…keep my heart engaged…people yelling at me…don’t you dare flip that switch! It’s a painful process that I chose over and over again, because I don’t want to be unavailable to the people I love and who love me.
So what does that have to do with today? I had a rough day. To say the least, it was not my favorite day. I cried, I hid in a classroom at one point, I shook with frustration, and felt completely betrayed by my emotions. My family prayed for me all day, I felt everyone of them peeps, and God stuck close by, never leaving me never forsaking me. I wanted to shut my heart off so many times today. It was so appetizing. I don’t want my coworkers to think I am weak. I don’t want my coworkers to think I am incapable of doing my job and taking the hits. BUT I am not willing to shut down my heart. So I choose the tears. I choose to feel. I choose to shake with frustration. It means I am alive and engaged. While I prefer the joys, the laughter, the giggles, and smiles…I will choose the tears too.
Until another confession…