I have started a new chapter of life in Cedarburg, Wisconsin with my HUSBAND. So many changes have happened, and I have gotten completely out of blogging. However, I have felt prompted to return to share something I wrote last week. I am working as a paraprofessional with 8th grade students with special education needs. (I want to bring notice to the fact I intentionally did not say “8th grade special ed students”, because well, I think they are so much more than that. Their special education needs do not even begin to define their identity.) Last week I was in 8th grade U.S. History, and while the students were watching a video I was urged to write. I quickly jotted down what came to my mind. When I began writing I had very little idea what would come of it. The words which flowed out of my heart onto the paper were real, raw emotions. These emotions I often avoid sharing with the people around me, and even more so I avoid acknowledging to myself. This is what I wrote. After reading my own words I believe it is a Psalm of sorts.
I feel trapped in fear
There is no way out
Always there are things to fear.
I do not know a way to avoid it all
So I do not move
I cannot move.
I am paralyzed with death.
Too afraid of death to live.
Now, I know exactly when my heart was broken in the way that has produced such deep grief and sorrow. Last August one of my Young Life girls, Caroline, died in a moped accident leaving where we were spending time together. She was only 17 years old, and her death has affected me in more ways than I can begin to describe. The pain has punctured my heart deeply. Over the last year I speak of the pain occasionally, however, I have rarely admitted to anyone (even myself) the extent of the fear it has caused. Writing these painful feelings out felt as if I was able to stop shoving these feelings down; the feelings we all so badly try to pretend we do not have. So we work incredibly hard to hold our hand over the flow of it in order to make sure it does not come out of us. It brings a visual to me of someone holding their hand over a spring that just needs to gush out. The more the emotions need to flood out, the harder we work to make sure that will not happen; the harder we must press down. All of this to make sure no one will see what we actually feel. For me, writing out these words felt as if God was saying to me, “Stop working so hard, because I can handle this. I can handle your fears, your sadness, your raw emotions. You don’t need to try so hard. Let me, please.”
As I finished writing the first part of my psalm in class I immediately I felt the urge to write again. What I wrote next felt like a personal response from God to my feelings. Yet it also had somehow become my response to my own feelings, because as I wrote I believed it. By being willing to let the realness flow out of me I was able to finally let God begin to touch a part of me that I have been holding so tightly in me. And through Him touching this raw, vulnerable, real part of me, I am able to see hope in what felt hopeless. Here are the words of hope I wrote.
I will write of hope
you alone are the hope
if only i could truly hope in you
what freedom would that bring?
you can free me into joy
a joy that will bring me to life
bring the world to life
come oh freedom come
your kingdom is free
come oh kingdom come.