Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Falling Face Down

The pain of going down made me want to scream, but the number and severity of blows kept me silent as I fell. The smell of defeat surrounded me as I tried unsuccessfully to pick myself up off the floor. There I lay bruised and bleeding as the offenders pranced off unscathed, victorious and gloating.

I remember the practice of being facedown that looked much different from the scene that was playing out before me. I was different then, the scars were hidden and the punches came in silence where no one could see. I found solace on the floor. There, prostrate before the Lord I could pour it all out and He would come, He always came.

This time, on my face, there was no prayer laced with praise, only hushed cries from the pain that seared through every fiber of my being. My lips pressed the ground and dirt filled my eyes where tears should be. I would have asked for help up except the overwhelming sense of shame kept me bound, broken and bleeding into the earth.

How desperately I wanted to say, “It hurts,” but I was quickly reminded that there was a protocol for falling and I was breaking every rule.

The truth is, falling hurts. Brene’ Brown

If I even eluded to the fact that I wasn’t okay or might not be able to get up for a while, I was met with religious insight that was like salt in my open wounds. Usually, when falling I was quick to get up, but not this time.

Rarely do we see wounds in the process of healing. I’m not sure if its because we feel too much shame to let anyone see a process as intimate as overcoming hurt or if its because even when we muster the courage to share our still incomplete healing people still reflexively look away. Brene' Brown

This has been a process, one I am fully participating in, but it has been messy and ugly and painful. Brown says, “We much prefer stories about falling and rising to be inspirational and sanitized.” Well, mine is neither!

Our culture likes to avoid pain because many of us have never been given the tools to work through difficulties in life and come out the other end of the process healed, whole and healthy! Or worse, we see having pain as a sign of not trusting God… what a load of crap! - Kris Vallotton

This happened in December and I’m still rising. I told someone yesterday, “I haven’t risen yet, but I’m sitting up now.” This time I’m going to let the pain have its process and allow healing to fully come. Despite the push to be over it already. I will press in, learn, grow and heal. Religion will not rescue me this time, only the hard work here on the floor. The wrestling with who I am and what I believe and sometimes with the One who made me. Despite my anger and wrestling, I found the words of Jesus, “Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted,” to come fully alive. Grief has been a huge part of this process and a vital one. No one likes to grieve, but it’s necessary.

I refuse to be afraid of pain anymore, that has only led to repeating this ugly cycle. I will lay, sit or kneel on the floor as He does His perfect work. For years the process has been started and halted, but there was no lasting freedom in that.

What’s left is a walking zombie, a bandaged-yet-sick heart, and a soul that never prospers! - Kris Vallotton

I won’t go so far as to say I was a walking zombie, but I kept being yanked back into the process and it was hideous. I’d rather have ugly for a while in the process than ugly in the long term because I avoided the process.

Three months ago I couldn't say I was grateful for this season, but today I can tell you it has changed me in important ways. Pain can make or break us and this time I am allowing pain to be the catalyst for necessary change.

If you have gotten this far, thank you. Thank you for not closing this window because my process was less than perfect. This post started two months ago, today as I sit, see, hear and smell spring outside, I know it’s time to release it!

1 comment:

  1. WOW! I am so humbled by your transparency! I have turned my back on religion in my grief and I am slowly healing without the fear religion produced in me. I dontd know how to "do this" religion taght me i have to "do" these things to be and stay ok & accepted. I just want to be accepted - my first love was birthed out of love and invitation to relationship, NOT out of religion!
    Mari, you continue to be a woman I live and respect and learn much from! Thank you for staying in the dirt & being willing to get real!