Around 2:30 this morning I finished reading Mary DeMuth’s new book, Thin Places, a heart-wrenching memoir of abuse, imperfection, and healing. (More about that in a future blog!) Then after going back to sleep for awhile, I worked in the Mending the Soul workbook by Celestia Tracy (following-up on classes I took last week about helping abuse & trauma survivors.) Later I listen to clients’ angst tinged with hope. Heavy.
Truth is: We’re all wounded–and our pain oozes out in strange ways. We feel squelched sometimes and need AIR. Reminds me a journal entry I shared in my devotional book, It’s a Wonderful (Imperfect) Life.
Journaling reality: “I do what I assume I should while inner and outer bullies dictate how I ought to be: You’re selfish, Joan. Try harder. Get it all done. He’s mad at you. You should do more. You gotta look better. You don’t need rest. I feel confined to a narrow box with little space for developing creativity, intimacy or individuality—all the things I long for.
Get me out!: After years of living this way, I feel raw anguish that I push down–deeper. If I keep busy enough, I don’t have to deal with the disappointment or hurt. Then it backfires and I crash. “Help, Lord,” I cry. “I can’t do it anymore.” And wow, He meets me in my mess. Eventually I read Psalm 31:7-8* and my exhausted heart smiles. I don’t have to stay in the box!
Wide-0pen spaces: Now every time I read His promise to set my feet in a spacious place, I smile—inside and out. I want to tell any woman (or man) who feels trapped that God will open the lid of your box and take you to a wide-open space. It’s a process, yet He wants to release you from the limitations of your pain and misconceptions and set you in a place of expanded joy.
Making It Personal: What’s your spacious place look like to you? Consider gathering your courage and asking God to take you there.
* “I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw. . . the anguish of my soul. You have. . . set my feet in a spacious place.” Ps. 31:7-8
Intentional Get-Away I said I’d do it and I did! For over three weeks, I didn’t blog, Twitter, Facebook, write, work, go on appointments, answer phones, manage or market anything or do any life coaching. In fact, I didn’t even take my laptop on our “intentional get-away” adventures. How sweet it was! I’m grateful. Now, it’s “back to reality.”
Heart Castle Adventure Reminds me of when our daughter (now mommy to our four grand-daughters) was a preschooler and we drove from our home in Bakersfield, CA to the Hearst Castle in San Simeon, CA. After boarding the bus with other tourists, we drove up the winding drive, past all the trees and animals to the massive “house” on the hill.
We saw swimming pools where movie stars and newspaper tycoons splashed; we walked through portions of the 90,800 square feet filled with expensive furniture and exquisite artwork. We heard stories of opulent parties. We did NOT see all 41 fireplaces, 61 bathrooms, and 56 bedrooms.
Guess everyone felt exhausted as we drove back down the hill, because silence filled the bus. Until our tired 3 year-old suddenly stood up on the seat, turned to face the crowd and announced, “WELL, BACK TO REALITY!” Of course, we all cracked up.
Your 2010 Reality & Privilege What’s your reality as you enter 2010? What is good about your life? What concerns you about where you are? And what is missing?
Whatever your answers to these questions, be encouraged. Because:
Joan C. Webb
Writing, teaching, coaching to empower and set free.