Good grief.  I wish I could just go ahead and write it all out, already.  But the thing is, I so carefully consider the fall out of my writing now, that I’m all but paralyzed.  I think, how will this affect my family?  What about my parents?  Will my kids read this and be harmed in some way?  Am I helping, hurting, what???

My solution to that was to simply quit writing.  Anything.  At all.  And so that thing bothering me never gets  exhumed, never exorcised.  It just gets pushed down, squashed and compressed- and heavy.  Really heavy.  I don’t want to write recklessly– I’m past that.  I understand the weight of the written word.  I want to write with care.  Responsibly.   As much as I want to do that, the answer can’t be that I will just never write again.  I simply can’t do it.  I can’t contain Life without a release valve.  I can’t be so afraid of the Reading that I can never do the Writing.

So, I will write today. I  will be brave, I will be careful, but this has to happen.

I write to you from a very strange place.  On one hand, my life is so beautiful and bright, I can’t even look directly at it.  It shines in all the darkness of the world around me.  I love, love, love my children.  I am devoted to my sweetheart and he to me.  What a lovely, rare thing in today’s world!  No matter what trials and hardships we face (and believe me, this has been the most challenging year of our lives), I go to sleep at the end of the day, absolutely buried in blessings, and I know where they come from.  I am my Beloved’s, and my Beloved is mine.  It is a sweet and wonderful thing, this being alive, and belonging to Christ.

But it’s also complicated.

Because for the joy and peace that does exist in my life, there is a brokenness also.  There are days when I am so despondent and furious and hopeless, that I can’t quite reconcile the two extremes!  I can’t fix my brother’s addiction, I can’t fix my parent’s responses, I can’t patch up the broken holidays or missed moments or empty eyes.  I can’t make my parents smile, or laugh.  I can’t stop my brother from wrecking his body, his relationships, his career, his LIFE.  I can’t make any of us unselfish or wise or strong.  I can’t stop my parents from being swept away in it all.  I can’t stop the bleeding.  I can’t fix the hole in my heart.   I can’t put back together the pieces of this family.  I can’t even see how they fit back together anymore.

And I know what you’re going to say.  Please don’t even say it.

Yes, we’re praying,  Oh Lord, we’re praying.  Every day.  I’m praying that God will do all of the above, because I know I can’t.  I realize how absolutely NON I am in this equation.  I am zero.  I am a pebble in a tsunami.  I get it.  So, I pray.

and pray

and pray

That’s where I am.  That’s what hurts.  That the answer is “no.”  That years are passing, and the answer is “no.”  And then there’s trusting in the Lord.  Trusting what?  That he’s going to suddenly cure my brother’s addiction?  The co-dependent cycles that have been in place for fifteen years?  He doesn’t work like that.  I trust Him, I really do.  But I trust Him to do His good will, and that can mean a lot of things.  Lots of times, His good will HURTS.  For whatever reason, He has chosen not to remove this hardship from us.  I know He could, I trust that, if that’s what that means.  He physically, literally, is all powerful and could do this.  But no, I do not think, just because I love Him and trust Him and am praying to Him- that the answer will finally one day be YES.  Maybe I can’t see it clearly anymore.  Maybe I’m way wrong and too broken myself.  But that’s what I see right now.

So.

On one side of my  life, the sun is shining so brightly.  And the other is eclipsed by this darkness.  It’s disorienting and confusing sometimes, to be so perfectly happy and sad at the same time.  I know that’s life.  It’s complicated.  I know it’s not unique to me– we all have stuff, right?  I don’t have the answer to this, maybe nobody does.  Maybe you just hunker down, and survive it like a war.  I don’t know.  But for me, surviving it means writing about it.  So, that’s it.  I’m here, just me and my keyboard, trying to get through this.  I truly don’t want to shame anymore or bring hurt unnecessarily, there’s enough pain already.   But sometimes, silence can do just as much damage as saying the words aloud.  This isn’t for anybody but me.  It’s not a letter to my brother (done that, by the way, didn’t work).  It’s not a message to my parents or my family (they have heard it all before), it’s not an SOS or even a prayer request.  It’s just me, using the tool in my hand, trying to get myself through a tough patch.

Anyway, that’s all for now.  The hardest part is over.

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