It is with hesitation I write this post. I have purposefully not written for a while. It seemed prudent for me to be silent. In that silence the realization of just how weak and flawed I am came. It was good. It is still painful. In silence I have asked this question, is it ever wrong to remain in silence? On the surface there is a simple answer for this as I tend to see things a bit black and white, yes, if God is asking you to speak or go you need to obey. As I ponder this question further there is more that lies in the gray area.
It seems most inconvenient and providential that I am reading the book 1000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp. The possibility that I would have taken the thought about silence any further without the provocation of this book is slim. Since reading the first few chapters of this book I cannot quiet my thoughts in regards to emotional silence. Ann has the courage to name emotions as they are and allow for them to be present and full of just what they are years and years after their birth, no matter of how painful. I was not prepared for this. In the painful moments of life I have almost always to chosen to keep silent. Now I wonder what if I was to break that silence?
After all these years is it weak and pointless to grieve for a shattered family, a lonely little girl, a slew of reckless sins? What about grieving still for those who I still love and miss so very much? Would it be too painful to spell out in words the cries I've moaned to God so many times? Cries to see my sister again in a dream, Lord I miss her face, her words, her laugh. Cries to ask God to give me memories not of a horrific suffering by a child destined to die so young, but of a child healthy and funny and strong. Will I fall into an emotional heap and get lost in the pain of bringing these things from heart to present?
I've been challenged to think that just maybe healing and renewed joy will come if I open myself up. I am not sure I realized that there was still healing to be done. Although, I don't think that you ever heal from the loss of those you love so very much. Longing to see them in heaven is much more appealing then stuffing the feelings down deep where they are not to be dealt with. Can I move onto longing for them if I can move beyond the desire to not deal with the pain?
The future of this revelation is very unclear. The reality of my history is that fear of selfishness gets caught up in my silence too. It has seemed so very inefficient to grieve and share grief. But, I see that there is a place for grief to help others. When Olivia was so sick the one thing that gave me hope was that God would use this trial for His glory and His good. Perhaps part of that will not be me running a race to raise money for cancer research, it may be that I offer a human perspective to someone else.
The funny thing about keeping silent is that I haven't done a marathon to raise money,or talked about my experience or shared deeply with someone who needs to hear they're not alone. Silence has been an enemy to my healing and prevented me from living fully in this world, with a heart for the next. Were it not for Ann Voskamp's example of sharing grief, perhaps I would have remained in silence.
It is only a flawed human like me that would think that 19 years have passed since the divorce of my parents, it's too late to grieve now. It's been 9 years since my sister and Olivia died, it's too late to confess the pain and heart-ache and horror that those losses brought and continue to bring. Grief, loss and pain know no season, no dating system or expiration date. I am just understanding enough to know that they are a part of who I will always be. The bonds of self-preservation have been broken. The road to healing and honesty and I pray greater use for the Lord have begun. So in goes one breath and out another. One foot in front of the next. The wall has had a brick plucked off. There is a moment of peace that has followed. For this I am blessed and thankful.