Anxiety had been stalking me intently for a few days. I knew that I was doing a brave thing, a good thing. But I was still afraid. I’d failed before, when I tried as a child, because I didn’t feel capable enough. The fear of being incapable has continued to live with me all this time. And even though I was going to try again anyway, those fears were still loud, creating a thick fog of insecurity around me. I tried to break out of it, but it lingered.
“Fear not, for you will not be ashamed.” He said. “Be not confounded, for you will not be disgraced; for you will forget the shame of your youth, and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more.” I felt His hug, large and knowing.
I took the step. I opened myself wide, and I tried. And when I wasn’t perfect, all the memories of self-condemnation and feeling inept to be good enough placed those things back onto my shoulders. Tears crawled out. She was gracious, changed the direction, reminded me that it’s okay to be imperfect, wrapped me up softly. I left the room with a heart that was swirling everything around again, trying to find a new place for it all.
We ran into each other outside as I was still trying to will my face to recover from the tears and the shaking. She saw into me, saw I needed to release the things I’d been trying to hold in. Sometimes, holding yourself together is brave. But sometimes, it makes us hold in things we weren’t built to carry. Sometimes we need to fall apart a little bit.
We found seats in the back of my car, and she let me say whatever I needed. She spoke when she could, but mostly she listened. And she loved.
She said that the sun is behind the clouds right now. That the sun always comes back. That living in the present is good, but sometimes I need that hope for the future, the hope that assures me it won’t always be like this. She hugged me tight, hugged me long.
I drove home under the bright leaves and the blue sky. The radio was off. “The sun’ll come out, tomorrow…” I sang every few minutes. It was all I knew.
Home didn’t end up being a home that night. It wasn’t a safe place for my heart and its delicate, scattered pieces. I was greatly shattered, the rocks thrown straight through these heart-windows as the tears poured from my soul-windows. I didn’t know what to do. I blamed myself, blamed others, wondered how much longer I could endure it… wondered when I would feel safe. Free.
I remembered Him. I took a breath. I forgave. I sang, though I trembled.
“The sun’ll come out, tomorrow…”