I attempted to stand to my feet but fell to the floor as my knees buckled under the pressure. I grabbed frantically at anything in an attempt to steady myself, until everything suddenly came still.
I surrendered. Placing my head to the floor and holding my knees tight to my chest, I was convinced this was going to kill me…
Hands clasped and gripping my heart, I sobbed knowing what no one else knew:
I had asked for this!
Weeks before my heart broke – before my marriage and sanity buckled under the pressure like that of my knees – my husband and I were asked to share our story, to divulge our most private heartache with hundreds and hundreds of complete strangers.
Though I cringed at the thought of how my voice quivers when I’m nervous, my husband knew I’d do it. No questions asked. Sharing our hurts and mistakes were always worth it to us if it meant others could avoid what we had endured early on in our marriage.
But almost as soon as we had raised a hand to volunteer and share with the “class,” the nightmares began.
Each night, I found myself tormented by the same horror…
The outline of my figure, standing high atop a hill, smiling uncomfortably and holding in my hands what I prepared to share on behalf of broken marriages, men chained to secret addictions and the women who stood tirelessly beside them.
Yet as I began to speak, I strained to make out the faces of the people I was speaking to. I searched the crowd for eyes to connect to, but there were none. Only countless faces marred beyond recognition with dirt and blood. I watched in terror as they inched their way along a vast field laden with barbed-wire, I watched as the daggers tore into their flesh, causing them to writhe and scream out in desperation.
I looked on as my most heartfelt words of encouragement echoed to the heavens… unheard by those struggling… seemingly unfit for their agony….
Startled, I would awaken to the most cold-hearted truth: I had forgotten.
Though I bear my own scars from my time in the trenches, I had forgotten the misery and desperation that had engraved them into my existence. I had forgotten how it felt to be surrounded by darkness and affliction – and even more, how God had rescued me from it!
So I prayed a prayer I will NEVER pray again,
….and God would, in what seemed to be the cruelest of ways…
By forcing me to hunker down in the trenches. All. Over. Again. – thanks to heartbreaking confessions made on one bitterly cold night, admissions that callously ripped open the wounds of the past, leaving what was left of my heart mangled and gaping… and to my demise, I had asked for it!
Just hours before I had struggled to find words on behalf of brokenhearted women and shattered marriages, and now I was one… When I begged God to remind me, I could have never imagined He would reply by placing me front-and-center to my own hopelessness set in barbed wire and complete desperation, all while equipping me to find words for those hurting if I so chose to write through the mess.
You see, this hopelessness I have found myself in, is quite literally an answer to prayer – and because it has cost me EVERYTHING – I will do whatever it takes to make sure I NEVER forget again!
If it means I have to publicly scream, question, and beg the Lord to deliver me with every last ounce of fight I have left, I can assure you I will never hesitate to make a scene….
If it means airing my heartache, my faithlessness, and my darkest nights, so that you can see the same loving and all-powerful God is available to you in your’s, than I welcome your curiosity, and even your judgement –
Because I made God a promise to write through the mess,
…and I will be damned if I forget!
* Follow my ‘Journey Through The Barbed Wire’