Soon after starting a blog on WordPress.com, I discovered that when I publish and check my blog, I am automatically directed to other blogs whose writers have published posts with the same tags I have used.
This has opened up a world of great discovery, pointing me to some blogs written by people who think deeply and have written wonderful entries, encouraging and challenging me greatly. I have printed out a few of these entries in order to reflect on them further from my oft-referred-to worn out wing-back chair. Never fear, the only profit that will be generated will be that you writers will help me learn and grow…hopefully for the profit of others.
Last night I was directed to a blog of a young woman living a nightmare…the terrible reality of life with an eating disorder. I know her horrible, horrible pain all too well…but have distanced myself from the feelings of oppression and despair…the trying so hard, but falling and failing again…and again. My freedom was granted many miles away, many years ago. I recognize that I have taken for granted the freedom that this woman would give anything to experience.
Faced with her blog entry, I first recoiled at what I read there; why would someone expose something so personal on the internet…but her words drew me back to the reality of her suffering…through her writing I was “there” once again. I grieved for her not out of pity or disgust…but as one who knew intimately each tortuous detail.
My heart ached and how I wanted to cradle her tearful face ever-so-gently in my hands and to tell her, “My dear…there is hope…you can make it through. I too wondered if I was a lost cause…but please believe me…there is hope.”
My struggles began in high school and followed me as an unbeliever to college. Even after becoming a Christian, a young woman who experienced God’s incredible lovingkindness, every day enjoying a deep relationship with her Heavenly Father….still…still I struggled against the monster for too many years.
How I wanted to post the “magic comment”, to pull her right out of her pain. But it’s not that easy…as there is no single “silver bullet” that takes down such a foe…just like that. If there were, I would offer it up to this dear young woman with all of my heart, soul and strength right now.
What I do know is that God was there through it all, loving me, holding me, guiding me and delivering me through a million tiny miracles. I could not slay the dragon on my own…no matter how hard I tried…even just to tame and appease it. It always came back requiring more and more. But where I couldn’t, God said, “I can.” He made a way where I just couldn’t, no matter how hard I tried.
I was shaken from my complacency by the reality of real suffering last night. It grabbed me by the collar, pulled me close and warned me…never to take the pain and struggles of another lightly. It was a stringent reminder to have true compassion and to offer hope that is not a veneer of the real thing… syrupy and shallow Christian platitudes served up in a sing-song voice.
No, this is real. There is hope. I give you this, young woman up late sharing your struggle on your blog…and to any of you who by some little miracle comes across this post. There is peace that comes when your every waking hour is no longer consumed with wrestling and fighting a dragon that cannot be appeased. There is freedom from self-loathing and shame…release from the intense emptiness that can never be filled…no more hiding and suffering alone. There is hope.
4 Comments Add yours
Wow, this is beautiful and just how I feel. It’s hard to explain the depth of comfort that can found in faith and God’s love at times because of the fear of sounding trite or diminishing another’s pain. At the same time I always find that I have such a desire to share my feeling about it because I know how healing it can be. I always pray in my heart that my sincerity will come through and that if I’m supposed to say something I will. But sometimes I find that the best thing I can do is just listen. I’m glad that you found such strength and comfort in your personal struggles.
I saw that you stopped by my blog, so I wanted to come say “hi.” 🙂
Thanks, Candice…God was very, very kind to me and still is. Good to see your face on my blog. “Hi” to you,too, and all the best with writing, writing, writing.
From personal experience I too remember the relentless hopelessness that comes with attempting to appease a dragon which refuses to yield. It only retreats when attention to it is replaced with affection toward that which is kinder, gentler, more loving — the God who created me, sustains me, encourages me, and coaxes me with a gentle push, “Go on, step out. Overcome those fears that threaten to prevent you from becoming all that I have created you to be.”
That was the door God threw open for me, too…in getting focused on seeking Him and “putting on” all that He offered me…I was finally able to move forward…what a cool thing to discover that all that I had truly longed for the whole time started moving into my life in the wake that this pursuit of God was cutting though the waters of my life.