The sweet scent of cinnamon and sugar mixed with Christmas music filled the kitchen. I was joyfully singing along to “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” by the window. Just as I was cracking the egg, my voice cracked, and my heart broke as tears spilled into sink.
I stood there peeling egg after egg. Breaking them and pulling back the hard shell.
Sometimes in the midst of such joy and happiness, pain can rush in like a hard punch.
Especially during the holidays, grief and joy mingle and intertwine like the red and white of a candy cane.
A song, a smell, decorations, or a show can send unexpected waves of emotion.
Tears spill with questions, old and new.
Look around. Smell the candle. See the twinkling lights. Hear the laughter and the music. Move.
In the grounding, the wound that bubbled up and festered out of nowhere simmers down a bit.
The light shines through the tears and brings the moment into focus.
The little girl of inside of me is here amid the festivities. She’s safe. She’s not always festive and bubbly but she’s present. Out in the open. In the light. In the truth.
She enters the fullness of the celebration mended… and broken.
She’s welcome. She doesn’t have to hide anymore. She’s no longer numb. No longer frozen. No more fake smiles and empty eyes.
She’s standing holding broken eggs, teary eyed and gazing beyond the kitchen window.
And she’s going to be okay. She’s breathing in new seasons with fresh eyes. Making new memories and even remembering the good.
There were times when I could easily blame caffeine. But this wasn’t caffeine.
This was anxiety, worry, and questioning God while tossing and turning.
Even when I attempted to close my eyes, my heart full of angst was wrestling inside of me.
There would be no sleep.
It’s a familiar place as I have been here before, but it’s been a while.
It’s almost like seeing life as a Fun House at the amusement park, but this is not fun at all. As I am walking through it the floors move, and the stairs stop suddenly halfway up to the next level. The walls give when I lean against them and mirrors reflect anything but what I am expecting. Furniture that was once there shifts. I think my mind is playing tricks on me. Maybe it is just an illusion, I hope.
The pouring rain had slowed to a drizzle. My arms were full and I almost decided to just run to my car, but I grabbed an umbrella thinking I may need it later.
After just a few steps, the bottom fell out and it started raining much harder. I stood there shocked trying to load the car and stay dry. Where did that downpour come from?? I was so thankful I paused to grab that umbrella because otherwise I would have been drenched.
The storms of life show up suddenly like that sometimes and take me by surprise. My first instinct may be to foolishly run ahead thinking I can somehow outrun it. But, it’s always wiser to be prepared, and pause to take the time to grab the umbrella.
I find myself in a storm and I think, “Lord, I want to hold onto you and not let go. I want to go where you lead when you say go. I want to do what you want me to do.”
Those are the sincere cries of my heart, but in reality it is a huge struggle for me.
When we were on our honeymoon cruise, my husband and I had a couples massage. I was so excited about our first massage and could not wait to relax and unwind. Instead, it was awful. Halfway through the massage an elbow pressed into my stiff back, and the silent tears that I was holding back dropped through the opening where my face was planted.
I was achy and uncomfortable. I warned the other guests at our dinner table to take ibuprofen before going. It didn’t seem to bother them nearly as much as it bothered me. Different, again.
It’s been 15 years, and I’ve had a few more massages, but none since my healing journey began three years ago. Until yesterday. I was looking forward to it, and wanted to fully and finally enjoy it.