And Then I Said “Younger Self, listen to me”
Too much, women lie to each other to soften the blows of life.
We—you and I—do it. Not so much anymore, but when we were in the throes of our twenties, we did it. I get why we did it, because when our best girlfriend is a puddle of hurt and anger at our feet, we just want to make it go away.
You’re fine. It wasn’t your fault. You did your best. You’ll get over this. Something/one better is waiting.
What we–you and I–have learned is that none of those words are helpful. When someone’s life falls apart, it’s not a thing to be gotten over. We can’t just leave pain behind us, like it never happened. Neither can we pick up our brokenness and carry it with us. We have to mend.
The thing is, mending is hard work. It requires courage and strength and faith.
So we have to be careful what we say to our sister girl in the puddle of hurt and anger at our feet. It’s not our job to make it like it never happened.
Our—yours and mine—friend is having some of the worst trouble of her life. There are no easy ways through the trouble, nothing to do but walk straight through, and for a while.
At your age, we—you and me—would have saddled up the posse and rode into town to make it all right. We would have used our words of fire and anger to declare that this will not stand.
We would have slowed her healing and hurt her more than helped.
Crosses are part of life and they have to be carried. If we try to save people from their crosses, we only make the way longer and harder.
So the other day, when she said she wasn’t sure she could survive the pain in her heart, I told her the truth: You—the person you are today—are not going to survive this. But I promise that you will defeat that death and rise again wiser, stronger and more whole.
She won’t walk this alone. I will be a witness. I will raise my hands in prayer and call down the power of Heaven. I will give her space to reflect in her darkest days. And when she rises triumphant, I’ll be there to rejoice.
I wish I could say that we–you and me–learned this from a book.
But we didn’t. We lived it. You still have those times ahead so just remember that you have chosen your sisters well.
You are all women of the Resurrection and you know the way.
We’re posting as part of Suzanne Eller’s livefreeThursday! See more posts on Twitter at #livefreethursday