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I feel that a bit of the fog is finally lifting. Grief is a funny thing. It peaks, and falls, and hides in the shadows. It’s loud and ugly, quiet and suffocating. There are hours that pass now where I can breathe, laugh, think of other things, and hope for normalcy. My process is my own, there is no “where I should be” in it. Life is slow and heavy, but my feet are getting lighter. I know that God is with me but do not tell me there was a purpose in this, because there is not.  Do not tell me “what a testimony you will have”. Do people think that the more jacked up your testimony is, the better example you make? Because I don’t want it. Bad things should not happen, there is no purpose to this deep hurt. It did not happen so I can “learn, grow, be refined”. It happened, and it never, ever should have. I was a causality. I was broken down into pieces and parts to be used. Do I still have a purpose? Yes. Is my testimony one of continual pain, but choosing to have faith? Yes. Will I learn, and grow, and be refined? Yes.

People say really stupid things when they don’t know what to say, but want to help. Their intentions are good, but until you have experienced it, you do.not. know. People want to pick up the pieces and put everything back together the way it was before but don’t understand when you can’t. Some of those pieces are too broken to glue back and just don’t fit anymore.  Here is a piece of advice when helping someone through suffering when a third party is involved: Do not ask, “Do you think you can forgive them?” That is not helpful. It is righteous and hurtful to the person who is freshly wounded. It negates their pain, minimizes their right to be hurt, angry, sad. Will forgiveness come? Someday. But that question does not quicken or ease the long road ahead. Do not expect them to fall back into place of how things were. Love them. Hurt with them. Protect them.

I am trying to find joy in the midst of pain, and am sometimes so overwhelmed by where such simple joy can come from, even when life is so dark. My life verse for the past 10+ years has been 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Even when it feels like I have a target on my back. When I can’t take one more thing, and that one more thing happens anyway, I choose to look at the blessings in my life. To be grateful for what I’ve been given even when so much has been taken from me. God is picking up my pieces, tending to my wounds. But instead of gluing the shattered pieces back together, hoping that I look, act, sound, and smell the same, he is making me completely new.