Some wounds can only be healed when everything is all out in the open without a bandage keeping the scratch sterile and protected. Because sometimes the wound needs to be exposed. Bumped a few times. It hurts like a mother, but it will be worth it because eventually the wound will dry out and close up. But that time of exposure, that time of bumping causes a fair amount of screaming and pain. But it’s all so we can stop working around the pain and start using that appendage again. So we can move on.
This happened to me recently with a wound on the tip of my index finger, right by my cuticle. It made the last week of packing and moving miserable. It doesn’t really seem like it would be that big of a deal, but that cuticle area hurt more than having my wisdom teeth out, which I didn’t even take my pain meds for. Apparently, my tolerance for physical pain is off the charts. (I guess I make up for that in how I handle emotional pain.) But a little bump on that cuticle had me screaming for mercy. Every time.
I’ve had a lot of distractions in the last few of weeks. Maybe even in the last couple of months. So right now, when it’s time to rest – which happens in random pockets of my day lately – my heart slows down and the stuff I’ve been burying inside in all the little dusty corners come to the surface.
And it hurts. Because the wound reopens of all things left undone and unsaid.
Grieving comes slowly for me. It comes in waves, and ebbs and flows. I think I’m over it, and then I’m driving around a neighborhood looking at houses and suddenly realize someone I’m grieving and missing so much it hurts lives just around the corner. And my breath gets quick and it’s necessary for me to close my eyes and take a moment to slow the rush of emotions that I have so clearly not been able to close off like I previously was so sure I had.
I am at the mercy of the majority of the open wounds I have. Because I cannot and will not force myself into the life of people who no longer have me or want me in their life. But I also struggle to reconcile these disappearances with the reality of true emotions and foxhole kind of moments we had. Tears and counsel and really authentic moments that are born from challenging circumstances and painful life seasons. This isn’t just about them being there for me or me being there for them, but about the bond that happens when you are with someone in their lowest moment. That dark night of the soul.
When someone loses someone they love or when someone is faced with true evil in this world or when someone had more questions than answers, but they want answers and they don’t like the ones you give them…
This is wrestling. This is Jacob. With God. Fear, loneliness, powerlessness, exhaustion, pain. This is the real stuff of life that I’ve had the privilege of experiencing with people. And when they walk away from that without a backward glance…
I have recited to myself, hoping for it to be a healing balm, over and over, “I cannot control what others do. I can only control what I do.”
But this isn’t the kind of balm I want. I don’t want to remind myself that some friendships are only for a season, because I DON’T WANT THAT SEASON TO BE OVER.
I want to be reassured that I did nothing wrong. I want to know that there may still be some love there and that it’s not my fault things fell apart or that I’m not the reason they no longer come around. I want to know that I am worth it to them, worth more than the time they spend on Facebook, worth more the time they spend with people that are easier to love than me, that doesn’t challenge them the way I do. I want to know that I am worth a few minutes of their week enough to return my phone call or text message.
But I guess I challenge too much. Not enough to be worth that phone call, anyway.
But honestly? More than all that selfish and needy stuff to make me feel better about who I am, I just want them back in my life. I miss them. They don’t deserve me. But I still miss them so bad that my heart aches. My wound opens. And all I want to do is scream on impact.