Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2012: A Progress Report

I’m five days into 2012, and I am not writing to tell you that I want to trade my word--STAND--in for a new one. I’m not. I knew I was going to need that word. That’s why I chose it.

While I would love to say that I am starting the year off strong--STANDING in the face of the waves of grief that are foaming and roaring all around me--the truth is that right now I want to sit and rest more than anything else.

And you know what? I know I can. I know I can sit. And rest. And that I’m not being unfaithful to my word for the year.

STANDing is an attitude. It is a commitment to not give up. It is a commitment to go again. It is a commitment to stay engaged with life.

NO word ever prohibits me from being human. Or weak. Or feeling frail.

I said in my last post that I see myself standing on a shoreline and I am being pelted by incessant waves. I’m digging my feet into the wet sand and I am bound and determined that I am not going to give up.

That’s still my stance.

But something else (that may seem quite contradictory) is equally true. When I think about where I am at in life, I see myself somewhere else too. I’m in a field. It looks dry and barren and like it’s been pillaged and touched by fire.

I am surveying what’s been burned and damaged beyond repair and I am sifting through the ashes—letting them fall through my fingers. I am taking stock of what I have lost. I am allowing myself to face what’s gone, and now the value of what I still have is ever so much clearer.

I am putting this out there because for the past ten years my default--my unhealthy coping mechanism--has been denial.

Denial twists, perverts, covers up, minimizes, pacifies, rejects, cajoles and scoffs at the truth. It parades as padding for the soul.

It seems like it’s protecting my heart from whatever threatens to puncture and pierce it, but instead it drives the most painful wedge into my being and keeps me in perpetual separation from health and clarity. (That was a heavy sentence, but if you have been married to and subsequently divorced your own denial, then you know what I’m talking about.)

So I want to make sure that I’m not saving face when I say that I am going to STAND in 2012. (Even though I am going to.)

Because I may also have a meltdown in the middle of the storm I have so valiantly declared that I am going stare into the face of. In fact, I may fall right down in a puddle of tears and momentarily get swallowed up by the foaming waters that ebb and flow over me. But I will get back up. I won’t give up.

Maybe I need to have this written and posted so that when I feel like I’ve lost my footing, I’ll remember. I scroll back to this page and I’ll sigh with relief and find the strength to get back up.

Or maybe simply giving myself permission to falter and fall and not do it perfectly will help me stave off my performance anxiety so that I can funnel my energy into the task before me. I don’t know. Because like I said, I’m only five days in.


  1. Stand gloriously friend! Your faith, courage, and strength is astounding. Know that even when you've lost your footing or you falter and fall in that puddle of tears, let those foaming waters wash over you and provide you with strength for the next day and the day after that. Because in that one staggering moment of pain and grief, you are still standing triumphantly!

  2. Wow, Melissa. Thank you. Ever so much.

  3. Angela ~ this is so powerful full of truth, life, hope, courage and grace. Your message to all who have suffered any type of devastation will cause them to dig their toes in further and to stand and to never give up! I pray that the Lord will open many doors for you to share your testimony of His goodness! Love you!

  4. Patti, you are a faithful encourager. Thank you.

  5. Angela, I was just reading through a biography of Victor Frankl, an amazing man who lived through 4 concentration camps... and some of his quotes are so powerful. It made me think of you and how you are choosing to stand (with honesty) in the midst of suffering. Your honesty is a help to fellow sufferers... Thank you for putting your heart out on paper for us to feed on, dear one.

    This quote by Frankl got me this morning. Thought you too would appreciate it...

    “A human being is not one thing among others; things determine each other, but man is ultimately self-determining. What he becomes - within the limits of endowment and environment- he has made out of himself. In the concentration camps, for example, in this living laboratory and on this testing ground, we watched and witnessed some of our comrades behave like swine while others behaved like saints. Man has both potentialities within himself; which one is actualized depends on decisions but not on conditions.”
    ― Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

  6. Val, those words are a profound reminder to me not to retreat into victim mode. Thank you for sharing them.

  7. I agree. Standing is an attitude. It IS a commitment to not give up...on life, on people, on relationships, on God.
    I am STANDing with you my sweet friend!!
    And when we loose our footing and fall down, we will be there to help each other back up again.

  8. Yes, Rebecca. Thanks for supporting me here... and so faithfully over the years.

  9. Ang, you soar through your words. For being one of the tiniest women I know, you have some power! :)

  10. Camie, what a delight to have you visit here! I miss you!!