A Mid Year Restart

Perhaps it's spring. The scent of lilacs. All the green everywhere. The bluest of blue skies. The sun staying up until almost 9pm now over here in the Eastern time zone. But, as my mom and I were talking about the other day, this new season feels like we're emerging out of a cocoon. Anyone else feel like that after a long winter and finally glorious spring time?

I think this is a season of healing.
Now you probably know (if you've been following along here for any length of time...) that last year would've been more aptly named a healing year. But it wasn't entirely for me despite getting new hips. It was a heartbreaking year. To say it was a hard year would be an understatement. And I know it's just now May, but that means it's six weeks away until the year anniversary of my last surgery (hopefully please oh please God, ever), and my grandfather's passing. Three days apart.

We're a solid third of the way through 2017. And only now does this word creep up and knock the wind out of me with how much I need it. Healing
I wrote a line in Wrapped in Red where the hero prays to God, "Lord, heal her heart." And what's funny is that when I wrote it? I didn't think my heart needed healed. I thought enough time had passed and enough good, no, great had happened that I had to be invincible. I had a new lease on life. Keep the smile on. Press through. Prove it. I was healed and beauty had been brought from the ashes of deferred hopes/heartache.
But I think now this is when intensive heart healing has been meant to happen. Because more and more I'm finding I desperately need time in the midst of the hustle that is my really good life, to breathe. Quiet my soul. Lean in and ride out the anxieties, the twinges of heart scar tissue that quake when I hear a certain worship song or see Facebook memories of where I was last year or the year before.
This time last year was rough. But it was good. And bad. I took many good things that did help, but turned them into coping tools to suppress much of what I was feeling. Trying to get through the surgeries that were fairly miracles in and of themselves. And I thought I was so brave even as my heart felt like someone was wringing it out like a sopping wet rag. Ever been there? In the midst of crises, deaths, major life shifts, losses, deferred hopes/dreams? When it feels like the rug's been ripped to shreds from beneath your feet.

Sucking it up and pressing on may seem brave, but when it's eating at you, weakening your spirit? It's harmful. And, another thing I'm learning afresh is that God does want the very best for us and cares so deeply, and feels our hurts. But we have a responsibility here:
Get real. Be vulnerable. With a journal. With trusted friends who won't try and fix you. With a counselor even. Rail, ask the hard "Why" questions of God. Allow yourself to move through whatever stage of grief is closest. It's not a Five Step process and you're done. I was recently encouraged that oftentimes stages repeat themselves in random order, and that IS normal. Healthy even!
Just be sure to quiet after a while and listen for God's loving response.

Here is a safe space for me, and a place I pray daily that someone, somewhere, some time, will read rambling posts like this and breathe easier. Feel seen, because someone else's walked a tough road and still needs time to process, and heal.
And what better time than spring?
When all things are new. When resurrection is celebrated. Because by His wounds we are healed. Not only from the bloody red of our sins. But our heart aches, our heart scars, our grief.
By HIS wounds, we are healed.
And that's what I'm going into this week leaning into.

Words, history, and grace color my days here in The Burgh where I seek out the perfect coffee and red lipstick.

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