Monday, December 5, 2011

Miracle: Rediscovering Grace in the Restoration of Faith

December 4th
Miracle: Do you feel you experienced or witnessed miracle this year? How so?
It might depend on how you describe a miracle. Some people describe seeing them in the moonlight, or in the sunshine, or in how the rays of sun glisten through clouds.
Miracles, for me, come through receiving grace. It seems that it often takes feeling a hurt deeper than you ever have felt before and sensing that your friendships, or your job, or your sanity will come crashing down. The sense of feeling as if you don’t do something and quickly you’ll never recover is what I call grace and a defining moment. 
A long-term relationship ended just shy of one year ago. It pained me and yet I so desperately wanted to prove that I was going to be fine and that I could move on, I pushed myself to move on and be alright without ever actually confronting why it hurt so bad to begin with. Several months passed before I realized that this "thing" I wasn't dealing with could destroy every other relationship I had: feelings of doubt, feelings of mistrust, and a general feeling of abandonment. 

I was exhausted - emotionally, hurting and fearing that the people I love and who I believe cared about me and sustained me during the initial difficult time would back away. 
Tired, feeling very much alone, and with nowhere to go, I went to a Church. It wasn’t like any Church I’d ever been to... a satellite campus and broadcasted at  a high school auditorium. Yet, I walked without resistance into the quad of the campus to see a sign that said, “A Place Where It’s OK to Not Be OK.” I immediately felt tears streaming down my face. 

I was undoubtedly torn. At one point, I didn't know who I could trust nor did I know why I wondered and doubted that. This Church I had just walked into announced they were starting a series called, "Torn: Trusting God When Life Leaves You in Pieces." 

The Pastor, Jud Wilhite, said at the beginning, "Maybe you don't know why that relationship ended, or maybe you don't know why it hurts." The tears at this point poured down my face. 

I thought, and somewhat still believe that the people I wanted to confide in, or had already vented to, may have considered me too emotional, or presumed I would have already moved on. I felt as though also these people I loved had their own concerns that I didn’t want to bother them. My ears heard the words, "It's not about you." 

My heart ached. Of course it wasn't, it was about all of them. I wanted to be there for my friends and for my family but knew I couldn't because the hurt I felt inside was greater than any love - at that moment - that I could receive or offer. 

Drug addicts.
Domestic violence victims.
Assault survivors.
Job loss. 
And so on... 

Many of us often rationalize that our hurts, a simple breakup, or the natural end-of-life death of a loved one, are not significant enough in either the eyes of God or our peers because our neighbors may be dealing with something that much "worse" or difficult.

In discovering grace, it becomes known that it doesn't matter what it is because you're the only one who is experiencing it. Only you know what it feels like to lose the job, to be abused, to have lost your house or try to quit... something. The one common theme is that each of us can be torn by that one issue only one of us knows about. That's where we can come together. 

So, when I realized my life had left me emotionally in pieces, I chose to seek my faith. It was the beginning of the return back to feeling at peace with myself, at the risk of losing loved ones and friends in the process.

Whether fortune or unfortunately, I had to work at rebuilding my faith, then myself, before I could tackle anything else. It's now all an evolving process. 

Torn: Lyric Video from Central Online on Vimeo.
My prayer for the end of this year, is that through the restoration of faith and self-worth, may also my relationships with family and friends be restored too. That also, one day, if a friend is hurting and feeling like they need to climb out of darkness, I can either have the awareness or the invitation to offer a hand in that climb.

Join the Journey. Answer the Prompts & Tweet Your Link using #resonate11 & #reverb11

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