Deal with It, Or Act It Out – Don’t Fake It, Face It

MourningIt is in the dark that God is passing by. The bridge and our lives shake not because God has abandoned, but the exact opposite: God is passing by. God is in the tremors. Dark is the holiest ground, the glory passing by. In the blackest, God is closest, at work, forging His perfect and right will. Though it is black and we can’t see and our world seems to be free-falling and we feel utterly alone, Christ is most present to us…
~Ann Voskamp

“And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in You. Deliver me from all my transgressions. Do not make me the scorn of the fool! I am mute; I do not open my mouth, for it is You Who have done it. Remove Your stroke from me; I am spent by the hostility of Your hand. When You discipline a man with rebukes for sin, You consume like a moth what is dear to him; surely all mankind is a mere breath! Selah “Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear to my cry; hold not Your peace at my tears! For I am a sojourner with You, a guest, like all my fathers. Look away from me, that I may smile again, before I depart and am no more!”
~ David, a man after G_d’s own heart, in Psalm 139

Oh beloved, it is true.

The truth is, many of us have been hurt bad by life. And, it probably isn’t real life if we do not go through some sort of pain. The trouble comes, though, when stuff comes at us so fast, or so hard that we don’t have the capacity to process things effectively.

For us, in the past 6 months… I have lost my
foreign expert visa
job in a foreign country
passport and wallet(doh!)
trust in a ‘christian’ company
education funding
financial stability
the ability for me and my wife to live in the same country for some time due to immigration issues
Special Ed for my son
So yeah, in taking a recognized test for emotional stress, i scored a 709. I did not know what that meant until following up… 81-100 is indicative of high risk for health problems – and i scored 609 above the top band. To put it simply: another
And so, the bow snapped. The incredible stresses of being laid off, and looking for a job in the midst of doing a crazy job, etc. brought me to a minor breakdown in February. Actually had a couple days where things were not OK at all. I was not thinking right, and my brain was not processing well. My health was declining, and I was getting sick, used up all my sick time plus more.
In a whole other sense, i am completely OK. Oh, for sure, as i get back to the USA in a few weeks, i have already lined up some time with a licensed counselor – and i will be taking a number of giant steps backward in terms of activity level.

Can we see it?

What makes a former drunk able to get through this? Honestly brothers, the last six years in Asia have been a virtual blizzard of difficulty. And while I am built somewhat tenaciously, the weight of all our stuff (and even some persecution) have nearly crushed us.

And i have not had a drink.


Well, it has felt pretty dicey sometimes. But, the best explanation for my success is that i consciously chose to not go through this stuff alone. I have, by His Grace, gotten up the vast majority of mornings and spent time in devotions with Him. And then, as much as possible, i have yielded to His Presence in my life through the day.

And… His Presence often came in the eyes and ears and mouth of friends who were willing to put up with my processing, pain, and genuine mourning. I did not (actually would not) allow myself to go through the pain of the last six years without a direct connection to someone else.

If there is one thing i have learned, the old liar has only one strategy: Divide and Conquer. He wants to get me cut away from the help i need, and there, go in for the kill.

Sorry devil. i am too scared to fight you alone. i choose to Live in His Presence, and in the presence of others. That means: you go away, and stay away.

So, are you feeling beat up bad? It does happen. You can get THROUGH this. But, you cannot do it alone. Tonight is your night. Deal with stuff. But don’t do it alone!

When you don’t grieve the losses of life, and you don’t got through it, you get stuck at that stage… And you spend the rest of your life reacting to something that happened a long time ago, and you’re taking out on the people around you now. And that’s not fair. It’s unhealthy. When I swallow my grief, my stomach keeps score.
~ Rick Warren
>>> Kudos and credits to Rick Warren for some of the thoughts in this entry

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