July 19, 2012

WE'RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER

in recent weeks, there has been a rise in the number of lymies that have reached out to me. these high volume surges happen from time to time. i'll go for a time where one or two emails find there way to my inbox and then, all of a sudden, there will be a huge influx of emails, messages or phone calls from lymies. what is a common thread among every conversation is despair and hopelessness, and a sense of betrayal, abandonment, and loneliness. 


some days, i'm so overwhelmed with my own pain and the unending needs pressing in on me, that despair and hopelessness reside in my own heart. they creep in like a thief in the night and catch me off guard - their suffocating presence is paralysing. it can bear down with such fierceness that i am hard pressed to provide any sort of support to those around me. i hate that. i don't want to be so caught up in my own grief, in my own brokenness that i fail to see outside of my own world. it's not about 'me'. it's about 'we'. 


there is so much pain and agony in this world and my heart is broken by it. even tho' i'm intimately acquainted with suffering, i often find myself at a loss on how to respond. what do i say? is there even anything that can be said? 


i know that sometimes a word of encouragement or even a verse fall short or fail to revive a battered heart. sometimes the desire to uplift comes across as a misguided attempt to explain life questions that simply have no answer. 


i know that sometimes a "hang in there", a "don't give up", a "keep fighting", or a "there is always hope" (there is, tho!), are not enough. however well intentioned, they can ricochet off the frailty of a wounded heart with a staccato emptiness. 


sometimes, there is nothing that can be said. words fail. sometimes, when there are no words to say, the world around you goes silent. i know. i've been there. i've experienced it first hand. silence in response to pain is perceived as abandonment. period. whether that is the reality or not. it hurts. it cuts deeply but i absolutely understand the propensity for it. i've often wondered why so few people respond or comment on my blog posts. on the few occasions i've had the nerve to ask, i've been told "i just don't know what to say."
i believe that. 
sometimes, i get emails and messages that leave me feeling that same way. they leave me speechless and aching and yearning for something to say to make someone feel better. yet, i feel like nothing i say will help. sometimes i feel ill equipped to handle it. sometimes, i am afraid of it. sometimes, i am paralysed by it. in those moments, i am tempted to be silent...or run away from it. it takes courage to wade into the muck and the mire of someone else's pain. after all, pain is messy. suffering is unsettling. it rattles us to our core and makes us question our world, our faith in God and our belief system. 


i live it and yet, it still rattles me. sometimes there really are no words but silence is never okay. sometimes the single most important thing we can say is, "i don't know what to say because what you are going through leaves me speechless.


acknowledgement and validation speak volumes. 


yet, when the scope of an illness is so vast and far reaching, how do i even begin to acknowledge and validate the huge breadth of emotions it elicits? 

several days ago, i read the following post at a blog called "the ragamuffin saint". IT SAYS IT ALL. i wept when i read it. it is an eloquent expression of all that i hold in my heart. i'm posting the link to that post here. it is entitled, "to my chronically ill friends" but i think it applies to all of humanity. after all, pain and suffering are a universal experience. no one is immune to it. i encourage you to read it and then reach out to someone in your life that is hurting and share it with them. 


after all, we are all in this together. 


everyone, no matter their circumstance, needs to know that they are heard, understood, believed, visible and loved.


Michelle's Blog is called The Raggamuffin Saint 


Click here to read - To My Chronically Ill Friends



2 comments:

Michelle Holderman said...

These words, your words, touched me deeply. I love your honesty and transparency. You penned some things I couldn't. I could quote your whole post but these particularly stand out to me...

"there is so much pain and agony in this world and my heart is broken by it. even tho' i'm intimately acquainted with suffering, i often find myself at a loss on how to respond. what do i say? is there even anything that can be said?"

and...

"i know that sometimes a word of encouragement or even a verse fall short or fail to revive a battered heart. sometimes the desire to uplift comes across as a misguided attempt to explain life questions that simply have no answer."

and...

"it takes courage to wade into the muck and the mire of someone else's pain. after all, pain is messy. suffering is unsettling. it rattles us to our core and makes us question our world, our faith in God and our belief system."

and...

"everyone, no matter their circumstance, needs to know that they are heard, understood, believed, visible and loved."

Thank YOU, S! Seriously. Thank you for speaking to me. And you're so right; we are all in this together.

Love to you and your precious family.

~ Michelle

Kristie de Jong said...

I didn't read this until now. I am so so sorry for being one of the silent readers. Know this now, and I will make a point to be proactive in my heart thoughts but never a day goes by without lifting up your family for mercy, strength, peace and healing.