You know when you thought that you had adequately dealt with some hard emotions, but an event, a trauma, an encounter brings up an unexpected reaction? A reaction that shows that while you thought you were done dealing with your trauma, it actually had some hidden facets you had yet to get to. One that shows that while you have made major progress towards healing, your trauma has been redefined in an unanticipated way.
Walking back towards marriage has brought emotions and trauma to the surface that I thought were long gone. There have been many tears shed(happy, angry, sad, and a mix) in the last several weeks, many memories relived, and heartache brought back where I thought it was long gone.
This afternoon, I sat down and I wrote an unsent letter. A letter to my ex husband. Here is a small excerpt:
“I know we don’t know each other anymore. I know you and I are both very different people now who live very different and separate lives. I know that I will always love you for who you were and that you gave me the greatest gift of all: my daughter - and that while I don't understand the love I have for you, I don't have to. That your walking away was a blessing in disguise because it allowed me the clean break my heart needed, and the open space for a loving and kind man to step in and take your place. Your absence gave me a relationship with God that is strong and will not falter, and those sweet and quiet mornings with our daughter in my womb and the birds chirping in the pre-dawn air created an atmosphere of praise in my heart in the midst of a raging hurricane. And I know now without a shadow of a doubt that if things fall apart again, it is okay because I am learning to trust and find rest in the darkness of the unknown.”
People often talk of seasons as if an ending is coming and it cannot be revisited, but I want to talk to a heart that is yearning for a peace that feels so far away in this moment: it is okay to fall apart. It is okay to have thought you were over your trauma. It is okay to take your time in your processing, because healing is a lawless business. It is messy and uncomfortable and claustrophobic.
But maybe the reason God made healing this way was to draw us closer to the only source of permanent peace? Maybe the anxious heart you feel is His way of making hope that much sweeter. And just maybe, God made our hearts to need time to process grief and trauma and to feel anguish so that His peace would resound so deeply in our souls that the only conclusion is that He put it there and neither people nor sex nor substances could ever have given the gift of peace when it just doesn't make sense. Maybe if we can find comfort within the chaos, we will experience a love greater than we’ve ever known - a love so perfect and pure that we never again doubt the frailty of human affections, and the beauty that comes when we love from the overflow of our hearts and the knowledge that healing is a lifelong process.
And that’s okay.