Saturday, October 23, 2010

ugliness is part of the journey

the butterflies in my stomach began to flutter, and i had this feeling of "oh, crap" come over me. i knew i had to speak up. the leader had asked at least three times if anyone else had something to say. i tried to talk myself out of it, but it was no use. i waited as long as i could. i cleared my throat, swallowed my fear, and began to share my story.

i know how it feels to be hurt, to hate, to feel worthless, to be lonely and depressed, to want to end it all. i've been there. i was broken.

but i'm not broken anymore. and i had something to say.

the discussion was about spiritual healing and wholeness. i am no therapist. i hold no credentials in psychology. but life has taught me well. my heart found comfort that we were discussing such matters. these discussions were way overdue.

for years, i struggled, mostly in silence. i was hurt by organized religion, but because i still worked in it, i "sucked it up" and trudged along. i carried so much emotional baggage that i almost physically ached. one difficult day, i had what i think was an anxiety attack. i knew that something had to change. the stress was becoming overwhelming.

i began to write. i thought i would explode if i kept all these feelings bottled up much longer. i made my journey to wholeness available to anyone who wanted to read by starting a blog, my online journal...journey of hope.

it was an ugly journey. it was long. it was painful. i had good days and bad. sometimes i felt sick like i'd ridden a roller coaster non-stop for hours. and one day, it happened. i erupted. the pain and hurt that i released was incredible...and so very ugly. i let GOD have it. more accurately, i cussed him out. i hated him for everything he allowed to happen to me. he could have struck me down, could have allowed the earth to swallow me up. instead, he quieted my spirit and spoke these words to my heart, "finally. now we can get somewhere."

some people get offended when i share that. that's okay. i know GOD's big enough to handle it. his kindness and mercy that day brought freedom, forgiveness and peace to my life. the ugliness is gone today because GOD was my safe place. he allowed me to hate and be venomous, and he loved me through it.

we need to take off the masks, face the ugliness, and let GOD make something beautiful out of our brokenness. GOD is our safe place. and once we've dealt with the reality that we are broken, we need to be that safe place for others.

i think a lot of us are unprepared for how ugly the journey to wholeness is. but it's time: time for transparency and time for honesty. GOD will be there to pick up the pieces, and he will make something beautiful out of them. we will smile again, a real smile. we won't take others' woundedness so personally because we have dealt with our own. and peace will be ours.

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