As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. -- Isaiah 55:10-11

Friday, December 30, 2011

The Truth about Why

In the last few hours since I posted that I will be removing my blog from public view, I have received texts and emails asking why.

As a writer, I have tried to keep one simple goal before me--to offer something positive and hopeful to the reader. I always wanted the reader to "leave" in a better state than when he or she arrived.

In the last year and a half I have often wondered if any such thing was being offered, and I was often humbled by how even in my pain, God gave something, usually a place to feel safe, to feel understood. And beautiful people left me messages and sent me emails and shared their hearts and humbled me with the honor of showing me the scars and wounds, the vulnerable places, the places raw from life's battering, and I tried to touch gently, to be a balm in those places that hurt beyond words, to speak word healing where healing seemed beyond fathoming, and I prayed to never inflict more pain or to dismiss a scar or a wound as superficial when it was heart deep.

God knows I understand heart deep pain.

But now I wonder what I really have to offer.

When I wanted to pull down my blogs before, the Lord told me they were His words for His glory, that His word would not return to Him void. When I told Him I felt I had nothing to say, He simply said, "Tell the truth."

But the truth is ugly.

The truth is I am hurt and angry about Rob's parents who acted like I was dead for 10 1/2 months suddenly calling Christmas as though all were good and fine, and then having the audacity to tell me they love me when they openly chose to embrace Rob's other life. A bit of a slap in the face, I think. I was having a great day until they called, and honestly, I wish they would go back to acting like I was dead, too.

But I am trying desperately to take the high road, whatever that is, and really, I just want to tell them to fall of the planet (how is that for a non-four-letter word euphemism?). However, very godly people have made it a point to tell me that is not what a Christian does. Christians forgive and love anyway.

Yeah...and long exhale...

The truth is I wish I had not seen the card from Rob's mom in the mail today. On one hand it is very thoughtful of her, and I confess I am impressed because I have sent no birthday cards this year. On the other hand, it is no secret in Rob's family that she has never liked me, and seeing her name only reminds me I didn't...don't...belong. I am acutely aware that I don't belong anywhere. I really didn't need that as an exclamation mark.

BUT, I'm a Christian. I should give thanks in all things, and besides it was a nice gesture on her part. I should just be thankful.

It feels like being grateful for someone pouring alcohol on a gaping wound.

And the truth is I have received more than one lecture about how ungodly my attitude is and how I need to repent for my anger before I go to hell, and I have tried to take those slaps with grace, but I don't have any more grace. I would just as soon shut down my blogs and my Facebook page and disappear.

The truth is I am tired of cyberhugs and "thinking of you" and "I'm here if you need me" from people who can't find time to ask how my day is on a regular basis.

I told you the truth is ugly.

The truth is several people have made it clear they either feel I need to be "past this", whatever 'this' is or they are tired of hearing it, and one thing Rob taught me is my needing people makes me a burden, and being a burden, makes people leave. I've seen enough people leave in the last 18 months. It's easier to just not need.

The truth is I know there are more hurting people out there than I can count. I know they need to be found, and I know I have been brought through all I have so I can find them. And I ask the Lord how to do that. How do I find them? How do I give them a belonging place? How do I walk into their bedrooms where they are lying in bed because the world is too heavy to face today? How do I sit with them and let them know they really can tell me the deep hurts, the ugly ones, the scary ones, the ones that make their heads hang? How do I tell them I don't think they are broken beyond recognition or stupid for hurting the way they do?

And I know there are people out there who feel that way. I know there are people who feel like they belong nowhere. I know there are people who don't want to get out of bed today because they feel pointless. They are trying desperately to feel excited or happy about something--ANYTHING--but they feel nothing, and at some point they simply become too tired to "do life" or continue to go through the motions. They are tired of being the strong ones and just wish someone else would be strong for them. They are tired of being the one making all the decisions, taking the first step, and reaching out and wish someone would simply decide to take them to dinner, take the step to their front door, and reach out to them in a truly helpful way. I know they want someone to find them. They want the cavalry. They want someone who says, "I'm not afraid of the ugly," and camps out right in the middle of it with them.

I know.

Because that is what I want.

I also know truth is too much for some people, and truth makes husbands leave and friends find other friends...and only emphasizes the fact that one does not belong...

And the truth is...I already know that well enough. Knowing it better does not help.

The truth is I am weary beyond words. I have tried to walk this road with grace and integrity. I have fallen often and hard, but I have tried to be an encouragement for others. I have tried to seek out and offer the light in the dark places and hold out hope in the hard spots. I honestly have tried. But the truth is I don't know how God can use any of this ugly for anything and simply putting my heart in words for people to read and then beat with a stick or stab with their righteous Sword isn't my idea of a good time. I don't know if I am courageous enough or strong enough or determined enough to withstand that onslaught anymore.

If God can use this ugly mess, it is His mess, and they are His words, and even if it is hard and even if it does hurt, I will write. But can He really use this ugliness? Does it really make a difference? In all these ugly, angry, dark questions is there really life to be found?

The truth is...I don't know.


Tracy said...

Hi Jerri - can I make a suggestion? I think from what I've read that you are a strong person who wants to give and help and offer Godly wisdom and advice and i believe that through your blog you do that. I also believe you are at the end of yourself right now. Can't say that I blame you. What you have been through is not easy to 'get over already'right?! My point is, maybe its a season of receiving grace and mercy - instead of looking to give it. I can tell from what you say, many a 'helpful'person has offered advice but I'm talking about those whom you want to listen to, those who encourage and uplift you. Its maybe a season to absorb, soak up and marinade in God and His love and those HE brings into your life at a given time, who give you what you need at that time? Make any sense?

I would say to you, your blog full of pain is touching those who are full of pain. I would encourage you to go on sabbatical from your blog, spend time receiving (from the Lord and who ever it is He chooses to encourage you) and WHEN you are refreshed and renewed and restored, start blogging again with how God has helped you do that.

No one but you understands your pain, like Job's friends who tried to help but didn't really have a clue, your friends/acquaintances/cyber friends probably think they're helping (i'm probably in there somewhere) we mean well but only you and God know your pain and how long its going to take to work through it!
God bless Jerri, I will continue to pray for you

mizzbrizz said...

It makes a difference, Jerri. Every blog you write makes a difference. Every time you share the deep, hurty places, it makes a difference. It is in our weakness that we connect and are seen by others in this place alongside you. Today, God gave me words for you. See my blog. Love you big!

Jan said...

The truth is I didn't want to get out of bed this morning.

The truth is I've been praying for you off and on for the past 24 hours!

The truth is that you put into words the lumps in my throat and the weight on my heart that I haven't been able to sort out enough to put into my own words.

The truth is that your words validate those of us who are feeling worthless, hopeless, guilty, forgotten, tired, broken, rejected, abandoned ... and all of the rest of the ugly mess.

The truth is that God is weaving us together for His purposes and plans and we have no idea what that is ... and it doesn't matter because His plans and purposes are always for good.

The truth is I'm glad I found your blogs.

The truth is if you keep writing, I'll keep reading, and we'll both be stronger because of it!

Anonymous said...

I may have been a stranger the past couple of months but please do know that you continue to be an encouragement to me. Your words resonate the deep longings and deep hurt along this journey I have and been going through when all I can say is 'I no longer can' and you lift my spirit in a way that only someone who can truly empathize, not just sympathize, can. I love you, Ms. Jerri and I praise the Lord for you!

Anonymous said...

I may have been a stranger the past couple of months but please do know that you continue to be an encouragement to me. Your words resonate the deep longings and deep hurt along this journey I have and been going through when all I can say is 'I no longer can' and you lift my spirit in a way that only someone who can truly empathize, not just sympathize, can. I love you, Ms. Jerri and I praise the Lord for you!