authentically allison

Warrior Wednesday- On the way to Better

I grew up in the Church eating Wednesday night fried chicken and sneaking into the kitchen for the good ice. I laid on the floor of the choir room and hid behind the leftover robes. I doodled on tithe envelopes and dosed on my mother’s shoulder. I’ve felt the wax burn my hand from many a Christmas Eve service and I’ve sung along with the well worn hymnal. I even puked on Christmas Day in the sanctuary. Church was part of my life.

All my life.

As I grew up, this Christian life was my normal. I loved the Lord and through my own life experiences began to know him as my own Savior, not just the Baby Jesus on the felt board.

Warriors, no matter how much Church you know, your battle, your circumstances can turn you round and round like a bad, dizzying game of Pin Your Sins on the Cross.

I was upside-down when Danny was injured. We were thrown in the miry pit and sold into the slavery of brain injury.

The faith that was sown in my heart in the hard back pews as a child was tilled up and my faith field left dry and empty, waiting for the Pioneer and Perfecter of my faith to do something.

Canada field with Heb 12_2

When life tore my two into one flesh from me, well-meaning, fellow Christians would “there, there” me on my back and tell me to keep trusting the Lord.

They would tell me that God wouldn’t give me more than I could bear, to be still and know and to praise Him in the storm.

I wanted to scream. I wanted to punch them in the nose.

I was drowning in Christian platitudes to try to explain the inexplicable why in all of it.

Why?

Am I supposed to take one for the team? Align myself with Christ’s sufferings for His greater good? For His glory?

Am I to put my family on the altar, raising my dagger of dashed dreams?

Why does God tarry? Do I not have enough faith?

Am I a fraud of a Believer if I admit I’m not sure God is going to fix it?

So like a good Christian, I wore my scarlet letter ‘S’ and painted my scarlet lips to hide my feelings, taking my suffering like a warior, my family’s suffering as the yoke God had given me; His perfect plan for our lives.

I put my head down to the business of life and removed my heart.

I choked out “thy will be done,” and couldn’t bring myself to mouth the words “it is well with my soul.”

Because it wasn’t.

It isn’t.

As Christians, we often try to place a band-aid of Scripture reference over a gaping wound of hurt when what the hurting really need is for you to shut up and hug them. What they need are your comforting arms and the permission to not be okay.

Don’t get me wrong. Scripture is powerful, the very Word of God. The Word has wrapped it’s comforting arms around me too many times to count and brought me back to the field of Truth instead of Feelings.

But, Friends, I urge you to stand with those who grieve and grieve along with them.

Look them in the eye and free them from the garment of having it all together.

Don’t pretend you know all the answers, but gently guide them to the God of all Comfort, to the Jesus who weeps for and alongside his friends.

Warriors, if you’re in the thick of life’s battle, be honest with yourselves on where you are emotionally.

You cannot take care of those you love without taking care of yourself first.

It is hard, but not selfish. Rather you, and they, are better for it.

Being authentically you is never wrong.

Love on yourselves. Cut yourselves some slack. Cry in your closet and cry in your car. Allow those who love you to love on you. Reach out for someone’s hand or someone’s ear.

If you’re not okay, come sit by me. We’ll be not okay together and we’ll comfort each other on the way to better.

8 thoughts on “Warrior Wednesday- On the way to Better

    1. Allison Post author

      Mom, I’ve never doubted you were my biggest fan and I’ve always felt you with me, even as we pick up the phone to call each other, at the same exact time. It’s a bond I treasure every day. Love to you!

  1. Katie

    Yes. A thousand times yes. Here’s to being brave and being scared and asking hard questions. And here’s to starting over every day.

    Blessed to walk with you, friend.

  2. Morag

    More than one heart-breaking fear of mine has come true and when I shared my fears in advance of them happening with Christians – they reached for the pat, pat-there-there response and when I think of it now it makes me so angry. Because my fear was founded and when it came true what good was a there-there? Because then when the bad things happened I thought the right response was just to say to myself – there, there, it’ll be ok…somehow… But getting better doesn’t just magically happen – love and comfort need to be ACTIVE. On the way to better with you.

    1. Allison Post author

      Oh, my dear Princess Warrior! The “there-theres” made me angry too and maybe I have some forgiveness to work through on the way to better. But, what I figured out, even though it still kind of pisses me off, is that most people were at a loss for words to comfort. So, a slogan or a Scripture painted on the side of a coffee mug seemed right. For us, I think most people just couldn’t deal with the reality that something could happen to them too and that made them afraid; not of us, but of the unexpected and if they could even carry it. You are so right when you say “love and comfort need to be ACTIVE.” I love that. Thanks for sharing and for taking the path on the way to better with me. There-there, Al :)

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