Yesterday I posted over at Leanne Penny’s blog, sharing some thoughts about what love looks like when it shows up in dark situations.
Leanne is one of those blogging and Twitter friends I’ve been lucky enough to hang out with IRL in a variety of settings—at my home (a handy stop between Chicago and Oklahoma, where Leanne used to live), at the 2012 STORY conference in Chicago, and at the inaugural writers’ retreat Ed Cyzewski and I organized and hosted in Michigan last May.
A month ago, when Leanne shared her idea for a blog series about how “God shows up through the hands of his people when we’re drowning in the darkness,” I was in! The topic was so up my alley: Despair and hope! Brokenness and redemption! Real life and real faith! The only issue, I figured, would be deciding which of my own painful stories to draw from.
But as I sat down to start writing, that wasn’t the issue. I decided pretty quickly to write about my separation and divorce, because it’s the painful time I have the most distance and perspective on and have written about often. But for whatever reason, the post was super difficult to write. Maybe because thinking about the love that was extended to me during that time also brought to mind the more pervasive lack of love I felt from people in my life. There’s also a good chance those wounds aren’t as healed as I thought they were, and that they overlap with newer wounds in a complicated way. It’s hard to say, without an advanced degree in psychotherapy.
All I know is that I struggled and struggled with the post, and even had an anxiety dream about it after emailing it to Leanne Sunday night. But the struggle is usually a sign of a good, important process unfolding, right? A sign of something that needs to be unpacked and explored. So in a strange way I’m thankful I had this assignment and deadline with Leanne, which kept me pushing forward when I felt like crawling into bed. And I’m thankful for the grace extended by this community—that we don’t always have to have it all figured out before we write and talk about it.
If you have time to head over to Leanne’s blog, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Take some time to read some of Leanne’s posts, too. Her perspective on hurting and healing is deeply honest and refreshing.
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Photo by independentman