There are dates that hurt. Dates that are stamped in your memory. Dates that mean something different to you than they mean to anyone else. And, I think, you know you are healing when those dates come around and instead of pain, you simply feel reminded. This small change in emotion is a victory. Four years ago today I found out my ex-husband was having an affair. For the past three years, this date has brought my heart the heavy weight of grief. Today I don’t feel that way. I merely feel reminded. For three years on this date I suffered in silence (ok, maybe not complete silence), but my soul certainly hurt more than I let on. Today, after a full and thorough check on my emotions…I feel ok. I feel hungry (per usual). I feel pressed for time. I feel stressed about finances (also per usual). But mostly I feel ok. September 8 has turned into a date where something bad happened, and although I can still remember every detail about that day…it’s just a day that I lived through. And I’m ok.
The huge problem with the memory of those hurtful dates, is not the reminder that they happened, but the whole “moving forward in faith” after the fact. You have to keep moving. You have to heal yourself. You have to regain control of your life. You have to. You must. You have to face the many new fears you accumulated. Fears you never thought you would have. You have to own them and conquer them. Most people will assume your fears have to do with a new relationship, and while there are MANY fears associated with that whole aspect of my life, that is not my greatest fear. I don’t fear learning how to trust another human again. I have a very open heart. Trust and love and joy come easy to me. It is the best part of who I am. I fear learning how to trust myself. I’m a smart girl. How did I get it SO wrong before? Why didn’t I see the red flags? How was I so blind? Why did I stay so long? Why did I waste so much time? Time that I can never get back. How can I trust myself to make the right decisions for my life when I have failed so miserably in the past?
Re-learning how to trust my gut instincts, my intuition, my “hunches” is a daily struggle. Sometimes my heart says “no”, but then my brain says “that’s just your fear talking…you can do this.” I’m currently back in New York City and every day is terrifying in a different way. Does that mean I don’t belong here? Or is this just a fear I haven’t faced yet. I can justify just about anything (that’s basically what being a non-union musical theatre actress is all about), but which way is right? Or could any choice be right as long as I’m keeping my eyes fixed on the Lord? I don’t lack faith in the Lord. I don’t lack trust in the people in my life. I lack those qualities in myself. That is the conflict. That is the hurdle to cross. That is the mountain to climb.
I’m not throwing myself a pity party, or trying to play the martyr. I’m saying that these thoughts and feelings are normal. I’m saying it because I don’t think it’s said enough. I’m saying it because sometimes you need permission to be uncertain. I’m saying it because hiding behind a brave face can become exhausting. I’m saying it because sometimes it’s the honesty about our fears that unites us. I’m saying it because although I am flawed…I am ok (and hungry). And you are too.
1 Peter 5:10 “And the God of grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”