different roads

people take different roads

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meeting myself

We walk through ourselves meeting robbers, ghosts, giants,old men, young men, wives, widows, brothers – love. But always meeting ourselves.
James Joyce

            No matter how far we run or how fast or how well we think we can hide behind dark glasses, beards, stylish fashion or anything else that distracts you can never hide from yourself. Well, that’s not quite right, you can hide from who you truly are but that is like giving yourself a life sentence in the worst possible prison, in the deepest, darkest cell there is and living out your true life in misery and sorrow. When you hide from yourself nothing will satisfy, nothing will sate the desires that drive you, nothing will give you true, long-lasting, life-enriching peace.

            I know of someone who moved to a different state because she wasn’t happy with her life and thought a change was in order and that she could become who she wanted to be, or who she thought she wanted to be. One and half years later she moved back to her home state after she realized she was just as miserable there as she was at home, but at least at home she had family to lean on.

            That someone was me. I tried to run from my misery and it followed me. And it followed me home again. It was only when I began to truly listen to me, to my true self which is that part of me that is part of God, that I slowly – ever so slowly – began to find the healing and peace I desperately wanted.

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sitting with pain

Pain changes our perspective on everything…especially our thoughts about God.
I really believe, with all my heart, that many suffering children of God see our heavenly Father through those same pain-warped lenses. But, I also believe that the years of suffering in our lives can be beautifully used to peel back the thick layers of pretense and hypocrisy.
Unvarnished suffering can allow us to establish a clear,
unmarred picture of the true identity and integrity of God.
Joyce Landorf, Silent September

Only a person who has suffered pain – true physical pain – and come through it or is continuing through it by the Grace of God, can say that the pain they experience is being used beautifully. I guess the old adage of ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ works here. The pain I have suffered certainly drives me back to and closer to God.

Sometimes I try to run from the pain – by sleeping, by engaging in another activity (one that I don’t really have to concentrate on), be eating but sometimes I have done all those things and the pain remains. What then?

Sometimes I just have to sit with the pain. Allow it to wash over me and through me, trying not to let it become who I am. Pain is not who I am; it is what is happening to me. Pain forces me to confront issues of belief and faith. Do I continue to trust in an unseen, All-Seeing God? Or do I give in to it and relinquish my faith to the undercurrent of bitterness, anger and disappointment that inevitably accompanies pain.

This is my choice: what do I do with the pain? Do I give up and give in? Or do I hold on? Do I turn too often to pain medication to dull the knife edge or do I allow myself to truly feel the pain as it courses through my body? What am I afraid of? Am I afraid of death or of dying? Am I afraid I am not up to the challenge and heartache of illness, incapacity and more pain?

Perhaps, I am all these things or I am none of them. But I cannot think on those things now. The pain is too great. And I am too weak.

All I need to do now – all I have to do now – is trust in my faith in an Unseen and All-Seeing God who Knows me, Knows my pain, Knows my weakness and loves me anyway. It is all I have. And it is what I will live on for now.

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