So, I've had to answer a few questions about the post on custody. What did I mean when I said that I choose to hurt? Sounds odd, I know. It's just this. You know when you think about something painful and it stings you right to the pit of your stomach? If you don't know what this means, I've got nothing for you. You must have never suffered or you have learned to deal with suffering and won't learn anything here from me. :-) I know this gut twisting grief well. I lived in it for months. What I learned (mostly from Bruce) is that when I face the pain I heal.
It's kind of like the difference between the Lamaze and Bradley methods of childbirth. Lamaze teaches you (or it did 21 years ago) to pant, move toward a beautiful flower on the other side of the meadow or something, and essentially escape the pain. Bradley teaches you to embrace the pain, concentrate on breathing deeply, imagine what's happening in your body to bring your baby into the world. Instead of teaching you to run from the pain, Bradley encourages you to engage with it and let the pain work for you. As you can tell, I only used the Lamaze method with kid#1 and it was a total disaster. There is no getting away from the pain and all the trying made the whole process more painful. I'm hyperventilating and breathing into a paper bag and hating everyone in the room! With kid#2, the hospital nurses didn't believe me that I was in labor, because I was so calm and controlled (thanks to Bradley). One of them said, "Well, I'll check you but I doubt you're even in labor." I was 6-7cm. ha! Everyone started moving a little faster after that. Still, I was in immense pain and there was no getting away from it. It hurts. But it's there for a good reason and in the end, something amazing and beautiful comes.
Suffering is inevitable. We try to get away from it because it doesn't feel good to hurt. But when I ran from it, I only hurt longer (and more intensely) as I boiled over in anger or panic. So, I learned to let myself hurt. And it was painful. But in the hurt, I found Jesus. I prayed my tears. I forced myself to picture what the gospel looked like in that moment. I was like a toddler all curled up and crying my eyes out. Jesus would see me, pick me up in his strong arms and gently rock me. I would cry and cry and he would sing and sing. And eventually I found that I heard Jesus' singing louder than anything else and began to heal.
I miss those days.