This last year or really these last two years have been both more painful than I could have imagined and filled with more joy than I ever would have comprehended. It is a paradox. How could the worst and the best be happening together? Not just at the same time as each other, but inextricable from each other.
I didn’t know what to do with the events surrounding me, my reactions, my emotions. It was too much. I couldn’t find sufficient words, so I stopped talking. Not literally. I am a teacher. I use more words by 10:00am than many use in a full day.
I stopped talking about my emotions or limited my speech to the acceptable ones. Reality is “stressed” is acceptable but “angry” is not. “Discouraged” is acceptable but “disillusioned” is not. I could say I was physically tired, but the knowledge I was spiritually on empty I kept to myself . Shame, uncertainty, doubt, fear…my list of what I kept inside continued to grow. I stopped talking about what made me afraid.
When I stopped talking about the hard issues I also had to stop talking about the good things. The good didn’t make sense without the painful. So I became silent on all parts of me that mattered.
During this time I poured out my heart to God. With Him I was not silent. He has been my comforter and sustainer. He has been my source of hope. He has heard me and carried me through these last months.
Now is my time to speak. I am breaking my silence. My heart has gone through a deep change. I have slowly, timidly started sharing a little bit of my story. The response I have gotten has been an overwhelming “me, too”. I have had girls look at me with tears in their eyes and tell me my words gave them hope. If God met me in my weakness, then just maybe He would do the same for them.
I will stumble. I will fail. I will not always be eloquent, but I will not be silent. God has done too great of a work in me. I can not keep it for myself.