tis the season

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Uncomfortable Zone

This post comes with an interesting story. It's a long one, so I'm going to do my best to give you the short version....

I have a beautiful daughter whose father is a lost soul. Mental illness, addiction, a painful past and a wounded spirit are among the struggles that plaque him. His family and I are attempting to come together for my daughter's sake and, as you might know, that is a sticky situation at best.

We sat down together and had a meeting that really didn't go the way I had hoped. A lot of anger. A lot of stones thrown. A lot of misunderstanding. A lot of hurt. That night I went home, prayed, wrote the following post and scheduled it to publish the next day.

When I got to work and read the (in)courage post by Deidra, I was floored. Her words and mine were eerily similar. And I knew that what I had written, what she had written, was a message that others needed to hear. I certainly needed it! Hope that it touches you too.... 

Today was messy. Messy. Messy. Messy. And speaking of messy, I am a mess in the aftermath - an ugly-cry, humidity-hair, walked-around-with-one-earring mess.

There are some situations in life that are hard to navigate. Let's just be honest, being hurt... well, it hurts. "Shake it off. Press on. Let it go." All the phrases we know so well play over in my mind and I have even said them out loud a few times to myself tonight. But, it isn't that easy, is it?

Having my pain dismissed and my mistakes replayed is an agonizing torture. Don't you know, I replay those mistakes and ugly moments in more vivid detail than your best attempt ever could. Nemo 3D can't compare to the vibrant colors of shame and regret in my memory.

I can relive my bad choices and be hurt behind my walls, thank you very much. I don't need you to do that. Curled up in my snuggie, alone with my pain, behind the walls with you at arms length away is where I am comfortable.

But, that's the challenge isn't it? To stay in the mess and not retreat. To feel the hurt so that you can leave it behind. Yes, the hard part is staying put. Remaining engaged. Continuing to offer your most genuine self. Forgiving you so that I can get on with living.

The truth is that people will hurt you. They will disappoint. Even at our best, we are fallible and flawed. And there aren't many hurts that can compare to the ones we women can inflict on one another. It's the mean girls dressed up in their Sunday best. It's a bite that stings like no other.

At the end of the day, we are just women trying to stay within the lines of life and sometimes we venture into one another's lanes causing bumps and fender benders. The greatest gift we can offer one another is to stay engaged and do the hard work of healing.


  1. Jessica- I so appreciate your authenticity! Thank you for this post. Healing does take work, but is so worth it! Praying for you...

  2. This is a great post. I think it might be harder for us- nowadays with the technology we have that allows us to connect so easily... it also allows us to disconnect easily. To shut out, rather than stay put. But you are right, love often means toughing it out when we'd rather run.


    1. Thanks for taking time out of your day to stop by. The fact that you're here and your words mean so much. Thanks!

  3. {Melinda} I am so sorry for the pain you are going through. I'm going to pray for you, your daughter and your situation today, Jessica.

    I think the hardest thing to do after being hurt is to reengage. But it's what God call us to do -- for our own well-being and those around us. Our hurts are often the things that enable us to minister most effectively. Yuck. Wish God would figure out a different way to do it! But since He's perfect and all, I'll just have to trust Him. :)

  4. Thanks for the prayers and words of encouragement, Melinda! It's been eye-opening and, while it is far from ideal, I wouldn't trade the lessons I've learned and the closeness I have with Him through this situation.

    Truly, all things work for good!