We just got home from vacation, and I should be refreshed, full of life, and ready to take on my large and busy world again. But I’m not. It’s the opposite. I am buried under the crushing weight of life and silenced because to share the difficulties of my story would be to uncover others. There is a mountain of words inside of me that are trying to pour out and tumble down so that I can find release and avoid suffocation.
To even hint that I have come home from a two-week vacation and have a complaint on my lips seems nearly blasphemous to me. Aren’t I grateful? I compare this feeling to when I was finally pregnant after 10 years only to discover the hardship and difficulty of morning sickness. Nobody in my world wanted to hear a complaint from me. “Wasn’t this what you always wanted?” was the reply that always came back even when asked how I was feeling.
Being silenced is a learned skill.
I feel like words are trapped inside my mouth and I can’t express what I feel and see adequately. My mind rehearses how I should write them to communicate my perspective in a manner that is acceptable and fair, but barriers exist everywhere. I am surrounded by invisible glass walls. Nothing, absolutely nothing is as black and white as so many want it to be. There are many complexities – like solid colors also have hues and gradients – that make living this life, well, so complicated and hard.
The weights of society, family, children, faith, and work have pulled me down to the point where it seems impossible to move forward. Does my voice, in the groaning sea of voices, matter anyway? Even writing this is exposing me, uncovering those deep places we try to hide – those dark places of our soul. Is this a mid-life crisis, a course correction, or battle fatigue? When all the reasons for living life status quo evaporate what are we left with but empty hands?
So, I’m letting the fears, insecurities, frustrations, and pain tumble out. Being lost in the middle of your normal is unsettling. I don’t understand much of the journey we’ve endured this past year: parenting, family, and work have been difficult and left me spent beyond comprehension. All the pathways I’ve known, planned for, and built through the sheer force of my will have been jackhammered up or re-routed one by one as a result of external forces. Why is it all so hard?
Letting my words flow is a start. Applying new truths about joy and gratitude are solid next steps. Life is not what I expected but holding on to vapors isn’t a solution anymore. Life’s changing – physically and emotionally – and that’s got to be okay. Just in my family, one child is preparing to leave, another one struggles with anxiety and depression, another one fights to find a voice…our journeys all overlap and weave together in a complex design beyond my control or comprehension. I don’t know how all the pieces of my world resolve, but I know the One who holds it all together and He’s more than earned my trust.