Thursday, September 4, 2014

when you just want to get better

Earlier this week I closed my head in the car door.
You read that head.
Not my finger or my arm or my HEAD.
For the record, this is not something that often happens to me.  In fact, of all the hundreds of times that I have gotten into a car this is the first time my head was injured in the process.

The kids and I had been at the pool for 4 hours so maybe the heat had gotten to me.  
In any case, I got them situated in the back of the van, placed a towel on my seat, since I was still dripping wet, and proceeded to hop in like I always do.  At the last second, as I was pulling the door closed, the towel slipped and I lifted myself up to grab for it and BAM! hit my head on the door frame.  Then, as if that wasn't bad enough, I felt the weight of the door slam into the other side of my head too.

It hurt.  I cried.  I felt disoriented.
The kids passed me their stuffed animals as an offer of comfort.  It took me a couple of minutes to compose myself and then despite the pain I realized, I'm ok.  I'm not great, but I'm ok and I'm going to make it.

There is a knot and bruise on my forehead.  Fortunately it's on the side of my head that is covered in bangs.  No one else can see it, but I know it's there.
It's tender.
It still hurts.
I go on about my daily life because really...I'm ok...but it still hurts.
The pain serves as a reminder that something went wrong.

Last week my friend lost a baby she had been carrying in her womb for four months.  I can barely see to type these words because even now I am crying about it.  It broke my heart.
It shattered hers.

I don't know why it happened.

She went in for a routine prenatal visit, something she had done dozens of times before between this baby and the three others she has already birthed.
I don't know why this time a weight much heavier than a car door came out of nowhere crashing into her
bringing pain
bringing tears
bringing a sense of disorientation.

Sometimes within the most normal ordinary rhythms of our life something happens that we didn't anticipate and it hurts so terribly bad...worse than any physical pain we've endured.

Has that ever happened to you?
Maybe you are carrying that kind of pain right now from a recent injury to your soul.

It's been a week since the initial blow of the news, but I know my friend is still in pain.  She goes about her daily life but there is tenderness to this injury of her soul that is still throbbing with grief...even if no one around can see.  I hugged her at preschool drop-off this morning and wished that I could squeeze the pain right out of her, but I can't.  What I can do is help her carry it, as she has helped me carry my own suffering.  

Through word and deed I can remind her that she is ok...even though it doesn't feel like it right now.  I can carry the hope of mourning turned to gladness for her until she can experience it for herself.

We get injured in this world.
Some heavy object comes out of no where and presses pain deep into our souls...
the death of a loved one
job loss
public failure
an unfaithful spouse
a diagnosis
a miscarriage
...have any of those come slamming hard into you?  Or maybe it's something else.

Tears come, but eventually, so does the healing.

And so we go on with carpooling and mowing the grass and cooking dinner and paying the bills...all the while still carrying that tenderness inside of us.

The injuries in this life can lead you back to healing - a Healer - every single time if you let them.
And this kind of healing offers more than an ice pack and a bandaid.
This kind of healing goes deep, restoring places in your spirit that you didn't even know were sick or broken.
With this kind of healing, the prognosis isn't that you will be 'back to normal' again soon but that you will be anything but 'normal' because of the depth of work that has been done inside of you.  It's scary, and yet beautiful all at the same time.

You may always carry the pain, but you don't have to carry it alone.
Your heart may always bear a scar but the tissue that grows back will be stronger than what was there before.

Whether in our own lives, or the lives of those around us, we are all called into the healing places...
to carry or be carried.

For today let's give each other permission
to cry and grieve
to hug and hope
to offer up our current life for the promise of something better
no matter how painful the process of healing might be.

Healing isn't just about getting better than you are's about getting even better than you were yesterday.