Yesterday I had the busiest day. Sun up to sun down my schedule was packed tight. But I’ve come to love Mondays and the way it feels like such a beautiful fresh start. And the sun was shining and it was in the 70’s and I had a great outfit on… and at one point in the afternoon I stepped out of my car and there was just something about the green trees and the breeze moving through them and I have all this energy these days. I stood still for a second, looking lost I’m sure.
I took a deep breathe and just thought, I love this.
I love today. I love how I feel so alive. I love it when I have a full day and I manage it well instead of with complaints. I just felt so much grace and peace and it was so good.
I only had the ability or freedom to linger for a second, but it was perfect.
I’ve found so much joy in this stage of my life. In a very intentional way though. I sought it out. I’m making sure to fill my life with things that make me a happier, better person.
When I have such good days or good, small moments, I’m reminded of this quote I read a few weeks ago by Hans Urs Von Balthasar. He says,
Above all we must not wish to cling to our suffering. Suffering surely deepens us and enhances our person, but we must not desire to become a deeper self than God wills. To suffer no longer can be a beautiful, perhaps the ultimate sacrifice.
I suffered greatly last year through two miscarriages. I was traumatized and broken and chose to make space in my life for grief and whatever form it needed to take (read as: lots of anger). Real suffering begs to be felt and it is healthy to feel it and enter in and allow yourself to experience it. To really go through it instead of bury it.
Yet what I’m learning is exactly what is expressed in this quote. It’s okay to stop suffering. There is no need to drag on your suffering when God is inviting you to step into the new person your suffering can enable you to become.
It was so perfect too that this week I listened to this most recent podcast by Rob Bell called “Endless Invitation.” He talks about the same thing…
Trauma, stress, disruption, and change will always have an invitation within them to grow and expand. If in those times you do not say yes to the invitation to grow, expand, unfold, and move beyond… then you will end up regressing, entrenching, digging in your heels, and going in the other direction.
Wow. What truth.
Therefore… if you go through that trauma, allow yourself to be broken open in order to expand and grow and become a better (versus bitter) person… how can you stay in a place of beating your chest and saying “woe is me, I lost a loved a one,” … “woe is me I went through a break up,”… “ woe is me I had to move across the country”
You just don’t. There’s a grace that nudges you to stop suffering and accept how God was inviting you to grow during that time. And then to let go and enjoy life!
On the flip side, you will see people who insist on remaining a victim of their life and nursing their wounds. They will tell you everything happened for their destruction, not for their growth. They will tell you constantly of their sufferings because they have become entrenched in a self-centered view of life. Don’t be that person.
Life will always be filled with moments of trauma, stress, disruption, and change. There will always be suffering.
In my own day to day life, sure most days I am doing great. Of course I have an ache in my heart for my loss. Of course I miss those children I wish were here. But that doesn’t usually derail my joy, or cause me to perpetually be in a state of suffering and grief.
And then I get a bill in the mail from my insurance company saying that we owe $1000 for the “elective abortion” I had. The day that came in the mail, I definitely suffered all over again. I know it was a mistake, that someone coded my necessary MVA wrong. They didn’t mean to hurt my feelings and accuse me of not wanting my child. Because baby I wanted you so badly. I suffered. I suffered as I called and explained to them it was a miscarriage, not an elective abortion.
But then I felt this tug on my heart. It was that invitation from God.
An invitation to grow in that moment of suffering. Grow in compassion for others who may go through this. Grow in sympathy for the worker who was probably tired and had a long day and coded my procedure wrong. Grow in empathy for every woman who does suffer through an abortion and gets that bill in the mail and is reminded of the life that could have been. What does she feel when she opens that mail? Who is reaching out and loving her in that moment?
These are all invitations for me to grow. To allow my suffering to expand my heart.
And then to move on. To stop suffering. To smile again. To laugh. To look up at the trees and the sky and sun and feel alive and love my life. But to do it with a bigger heart that has broken open in order to grow and unfold and move beyond myself.
You Are Enough
Don’t ever forget that okay? You are beautiful and precious and deserve good things — and I can’t tell you that enough! Look I even dedicated a side-bar-box-thing to it. God has a plan and a purpose for your life and He died and rose again because He wants to spend forever with you! Okay, read on. Important reminder over.
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God & Spirituality
“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.” Psalm 23:1-3
If we attach God’s blessing to our fertility and our families it would mean I am more favored by God than the woman next to me who can’t have children. And we know God’s love doesn’t work that way.
And the salt in the wound of my tender millennial christian heart was when the “things” meant more to people than people. When the rosary and the praying of it was more important than looking and seeing your neighbor’s need wasn’t a holy card but a smile and a hug.
So yeah, I’m not the perfect Christian. Not always the loving, well-behaved daughter of God. But He is big enough to handle my big, complicated emotions. He is understanding enough to listen to my angry ranting and raving.