December 19, 2012 at 10:45 pm (Uncategorized)


i started seeing {S} every week about a month after i moved to chicago.  she came highly recommended and, lucky for me, deals specifically with women who have similar stories as mine.  somehow, months later, she convinced me to commit to a support group.  each wednesday, for 10 weeks, i sat in a room with 6 other women.  it was a battle every week to go.  but i went.  every week.  during the last session, i looked around at the women in the room.  instead of being separate, our stories had intertwined in those weeks.  it felt as though we had gone to battle – for ourselves, for each other, and for everything we had lost.  the war isn’t over, but i find strength in knowing there are others who know my story and who are fighting with me.

in the span of those weeks, {S} gave us a list of emotions.  it was categorized by major emotions (SASHET), with specific emotions listed.  it was 3 pages long.  i filed it away in the back of my book without bothering to do anything more than glance at it.  emotions have never been on my list of priorities…in fact, i have spent 28 years avoiding them.  however, as walls began to fall and as Jesus softened my heart, i found myself full of emotions with no names.  there would be times that i could only describe how i felt, either with word pictures or old memories.  {S} would kindly and quietly name what i was feeling.  that 3 page list somehow became the lifeline that linked me to the rest of humanity.

i may have a list of names for emotions, but that is the extent of the answers i have.  i literally lie awake at night, playing and replaying every question i have.  my mind doesn’t stop thinking.  i struggle to grasp at anything that feels true, at any explanation or justification or even a slight piece of comfort.  i can’t make a connection.  nothing makes sense.  no answer seems good enough.

there are so many pieces to my story that are still so blurry…so many moments that i can’t quite capture.  but i specifically remember one.  sparing us all the unfathomable details, i remember a moment when our eyes met.  i don’t remember crying, but i must have been, as i distinctly remember my bleary eyes as i pleaded with him to stop.

there are so many aspects to my story i don’t understand, many of which i will never understand.  but more than anything, that moment will haunt me likely for the rest of my life.  how can someone look into the eyes of someone else and knowingly do something so cold and violent.  that question has plagued me for 7 months, 3 weeks, and 5 days – but never as strongly as it has since Friday.  how can someone look into the eyes of a child and knowingly do something so cold and violent…not just once, but repeatedly, to 20 children.

in my own story, there was an endgame.  it was an act of selfishness.  taking what he wanted, with no regard for anything else.  but this? murdering children?  what was the endgame there?  what was he after?

i don’t understand.  i don’t understand my story and i certainly don’t understand theirs.  i don’t understand orphans, or hunger, or disease, or the endless violence done to women and children and babies all over the world.  i don’t understand any of it.  my 3 page list can describe what i feel, but it cannot bring understanding.

i had found myself in a place of comfort, of sweetness, resting in Jesus and allowing healing to come at whatever pace it comes.  i took a break from {S} to enjoy the holidays and enjoy my family.  but the last few days have done nothing but stir my anguish and poke at my already open wound.  how does this happen?  why does this happen?  who was glorified in my situation?  who was glorified on Friday?

i can’t find comfort in words or song.  i can’t find comfort in locked doors or nightlights.  i can’t find comfort in cuddling my sweet nephew close or sleeping with the lights on or surrounding myself with people.  i can’t find comfort anywhere.  perhaps there is none.  He warned us that we would have trouble in this world.  He said to “take heart” because He has overcome the world.  i don’t know how to “take heart.”

so i do the only thing i know to do.  i lay in bed, staring at the ceiling, and ask questions.

the same questions i’ve been asking for 7 months, 3 weeks, and 5 days.


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