April 6, 2021
Perhaps it’s the gradual transition away from all that was 2020, with all its hurdles and obstacles. Or this week’s reminders, in the form of lingering sunshine and scarlet-colored birds, that winter barely remains. Maybe it’s simply the soft and gentle whispers from God Himself that new mercies await us each morning.
Whatever it is, I’m grateful. And in this posture of gratitude, I’ve been able to reflect, not only on past hurts, but also on present hopes.
Here’s where I’ve hurt throughout the past 12 months …
I’ve shared before that I found myself occasionally holding my breath last year. It happened after my dad died in March 2020, with the news of a global pandemic followed by a worldwide shutdown, and when I learned of the deaths of more black and brown persons. It was as if each time I tried to fully exhale, another soul-crushing event occurred.
I hurt for myself and others, both near and far away. With the hurt came profound sadness, rooted in feelings of helplessness through it all. I helplessly awaited news of my dad’s death, overwhelmed that “his favorite daughter” wasn’t able to bear witness to his final moments because of an invisible enemy. With hands tied, I anxiously and angrily listened to heart-wrenching stories of people who look like me recount their loved ones’ horrific deaths. On top of this, each passing day reminded me of my own mortality as the death toll rose with no end in sight.
My heart ached, and my neck and shoulders tensed day after day … until they didn’t anymore.
The invisibility of the winds prevented me from knowing the exact moment things shifted.
All I know is that I’ve been able to breathe. Deeply breathe. And gently release what’s been unspoken and unwritten.
I’ve released as black and blue ink fills the pages of my journal. Further, I’ve released by allowing myself to simply be without the burden of doing anything, serving anyone, or going anywhere. Ironically, my burning desire to flee the grips of last year have been replaced with an unexplainable stillness. My current desire is simply to go home, that is into the deepness and fullness of who I am, where I believe God resides.
Here are my present hopes …
Just today, I found myself standing still on a morning walk to simply feel the gentle breeze in the air.
They’re available and often carry us to new places — both within ourselves and in relationship to others. And while they don’t erase the past (the hurts), they can offer perspective and help position us to explore the possibility of hope.
Friend, hurt is real, and it’s OK to name the hurt. I hope you also know that hope can co-exist alongside hurt.
It’s the exploration of both that makes us human and vulnerable and free.
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
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