This would be the year I was sick on Christmas. I felt it coming on for about a week, and then once the 19th hit, I’ve only been out of bed if I had to be. I’m currently waiting for that time of the month to start, and the two combined are like a special kind of agony, particularly of the mental and emotional kind. Everything is more intense at this time.
I’m ready for this year to slip quietly into the past. In fact, I’m ready for many things to do that. I told my sisters this morning that I really need to be a different person this year. I am needing the second half of my life to be different from the first. The first half being marked with too much pain from uninformed decisions and wounds unhealed.
I don’t suppose I’m naïve enough anymore to think there won’t still be pain, that there won’t be new wounds. But the loneliness that has come from a non-communal life, from the almost two decades of living in obscurity with no money, no respect, no tangible sign that what I’ve done with my life has been worthwhile and fulfilling, that is what I cannot do anymore. It’s not that my family did not fulfill me, it’s that I put my own dreams, my own self, my own human needs on hold for too long. I’m convinced that doing so almost killed me, so much that it makes me feel ill to think about.
“Lord, help me go on to have a life after this.” Those are words I prayed earlier this year, when my body was broken in ways I’d never before known. I feel like I have lived such an inwardly focused life, confined to the four walls of whatever my dwelling place happened to be. I want the second half of my life to be marked with outward living. Doing for others, not just managing the immediate needs right in front of me.
I want what I’ve learned in the first half to count for something that makes a difference in the second half. I want the pain I’ve been through to not be a waste, to be transformed by God into a life of healing and tenderness. I want my children to be okay. I want to know that they’re all going to be able to spell and do math. I want to know that the live I lived did more than just break me. I want to know that God heard my prayer.