It all seems so unfair, especially when we were not consulted about how this might affect us before it happened. We certainly wouldn't have chosen it or allowed it had we known. We were just the collateral damage and we are left laying in a pile of dust that was once our heart, doubting that we can ever be put back together again. We are taken hostage by something no amount of ransom can fix. Time stands still in stubborn defiance. All of our days, thoughts and prayers are focused on that one thing and we feel as if we've been robbed of our dreams and our future.
To add insult to injury, we are judged because we are in this situation at all, as if we were somehow complicit in what happened. We are lumped in with the guilty parties because others refuse to believe that this could have happened with us totally unaware, even if it did. Their words and their silence cut deep into our gaping wounds causing us to bleed even more.
We notice the stares and the hushed conversations when we see people we know across the restaurant. We watch as people avoid us in the grocery aisle. We hate the awkward silence when we strike up a conversation that we so desperately need because we just want to feel normal for a few minutes. We lose friends and the respect of others through no fault of our own. Worse yet, we lose our own self respect. Actually, we totally lose ourselves. We don't know who we are anymore because everything we thought we were has now disappeared into a lonely, black hole. The people we would look to for support act so awkwardly that we assume they are judging us and found us lacking, when all we really need is for someone to remind us of who we are.
We second guess ourselves trying to make sense of it all and end up worse off. We are desperate to get out of it but there is no way out, no escape hatch. We are imprisoned by our circumstances and life, as we knew it, comes to a dead stop.
We are the innocent victim, the one left caught in the loop that tightens around us in the midst of chaos, slowly squeezing the life out of us. And so we stand, ill prepared and stunned. We are numb and at the same time in pain so intense we wonder how we are still breathing at all. Nothing makes sense. We feel nothing. We feel everything and everything hurts. Our character is attacked. Our history is maligned and we wish that we had never existed at all. And all the while we look forward to a future that is as fluid as the tears that fall and as unpredictable.
There's no sure footing. There's no place of rest. The tunnel we face is long and dark. There's nothing certain or stable for us to cling to, to look to or to hope for. We are drowning in darkness. Tears flow as freely and as long as the river after the spring thaw and we wonder if they will every stop or if we will just be swept away and forgotten. Then the tears stop but the pain continues and we wish that we could cry just one tear because it might just briefly remind us that we are still alive.
We are hurt at the injustice of it all. We are angry at the cruelty of it. We wonder how such evil could exist in our world. We are helpless to know what the next step is. Most steps we try to take leave us falling back into desperation. We believe that this is our reality now. This is how life will be until death mercifully takes us to our eternal reward.
Yet God is there. He has not left us. He is not the author of the undeserved shame that we feel. He is the one that sees the end from the beginning. He sees every pain, every tear. He is the one that helps us to breathe and to believe that eventually, everything is going to work out. We will have "normal" days again. We will laugh again. We will find purpose in life again. We will feel loved again. His Word is the only thing that helps us make sense of our situation. We may not like what it reveals but at least He doesn't leave us wandering in confusion and lost in a fog of pain. The only sure footing that we have is knowing that if we will follow close to Him, He will direct our paths. He keeps every tear in a bottle and treasures the vulnerability it took for us to shed them in His presence. He knows our hearts, our minds and our motives. He hears our honest words and He is pleased to answer. And as we pray for a merciful ending to our pain, we know that He will be with us every step of the way.
So as cruel as this world is, He is kind. As judgmental, vindictive and ugly as the world is, He is loving and beautiful. Even when those who claim to know Him reject us, He takes us into His loving arms. He is our defense. He is our reward. He is the one who heals us. He is enough. He is everything.