May 03, 2012

Being brave makes me cry.

This has been a difficult semester for me outside of school. There are things that happen in life that one can't prepare for, nor would we wish them on our worst enemy, but when bad things happen, we have a choice...make lemonade or turn into a lemon and become bitter. Thanks be to God (and God alone) I haven't chosen the latter, but I am trying for the first time in my life to deal with my emotions.

My nature is to smooth things over, trying my very best to not upset anyone or anything around me, and just put on a smile and walk in a forward direction. I grew into this method of dealing with difficulty from being a child of an alcoholic. Every day was a time bomb, almost every day brought tears, but the next day we would wake up and no one would talk much about the explosion of anger, or the sadness from the day before. My dad was real good at telling us to look at the positive side, no dwelling on the past, look to the future. That certainly served him well, as he was the one that was inflicting the pain. I have allowed fear and habit to paralyze me well into my adult life to a place of avoiding conflict, if I do enter into conflict, I normally start to cry. And because I don't want to cry all the time, I just put on a happy face and run from conflict. This type of behavior does have it's good points, positive people are generally more resilient than negative people. One can look at a glass and decide it is half full, even if there is a slow leak. There are always people around you enduring circumstances of greater pain than your own. When Jack was sick, these were certainly coping mechanisms that I relied heavily on. Someone at church once called me the Jolly Green Christian, always smiling, always positive. I am glad to be happy, I am glad to be positive, and I have thought in my older years that even though I learned these things through dysfunction, they have made me resilient in many ways, and for that I am grateful.

But I think there are times when the rose colored glasses must come off and one must give oneself a serious reality check, and face struggles and pain head on,... knowing that with conflict, healthy conflict, tears will fall. I must be brave enough to cry and let my heart show. I must be brave enough to lament. I must be brave enough to not smile if it means hiding what is broken. I must be brave enough to let truth rise to the surface. I must be brave enough to look deeply into myself and see what hurts.

Bravery is not acting without fear, it is acting in spite of it. I am no great mountain of strength, I have however come to trust that God is. I trust that He has my back, and if I face difficulties and allow myself to feel pain and speak truth, that He will protect me from my invisible fears. These fears are self-inflicted. These invisible fears, have built invisible walls, that I totally convinced myself are real. This is new territory for me. In many ways it feels selfish, but it's not. It definitely hurts, a lot. But God tells us that He brings beauty from the ashes, and I believe Him. I lift my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? It comes from the Maker of Heaven and Earth. He is my Reward. On earth my reward will be learning to stand strong on truth, no matter how hard it is.


Aleisha said...

I ran across your blog and it touched me as I'm sure it's already touched thousands. My own mother has a brain tumor and I can empathize what what you write about. We are still in the very middle of her battle (our battle) but I am hoping for what you've experienced -- a full healing of the tumor so Mom will be able to enjoy her future grandchildren.
Our website it

Thank you!