brokenness over bitterness

So abide I did,With my new friend,Hiding in the safety of me,Alone and still, I listened to her voice,-Stay, you'll learn to be free- (1)

I decided to start writing again in order to help myself process our struggle with infertility. Early on, it wasn’t so much a decision as a compulsion as I noticed that when I faced difficult times I found myself turning to a pen or my phone’s notes in order to write my thoughts down. The results were usually disjointed fragments of my inner turmoil, but the act provided a space where I tried to make sense of it all.

I’ve since found that the instinctual writing has become a way for me to process the fog.

I love processing through writing, but the processing doesn’t stop after I put down the pen or hit “publish” at the top of the screen.

Recently, I wrote a short explanation of how I deal with accepting rejection in this performing life. In all honesty, I’ll probably write more on that topic in the future because it’s not a one-and-done type of thing. But the post introduces the idea that creative minds and those in the gig-world are often bombarded with rejection.

After writing about rejection, I thought about how easy it is to grow cynical or bitter after experiencing several disappointing rejections or letdowns.

Let me say this to begin: It is easy, in many areas of life, to let your heart and spirit harden after experiencing sequential disappointments.

It is easy and it is dangerous.

I see so many correlations between my performing career and our desire to start a family: both haven’t happened as we or others have expected; both have delivered countless blows to my heart, mind, spirit, and strength; both have left me questioning choices and what the future holds; both have given opportunities to be broken or to grow bitter.

I wish I could write and say I’ve never grown bitter through these experiences. But that’s not the truth.

I wish I could say that I’ve always chosen to confide my pain in others. But that’s not the truth.

The truth is, bitterness crept in and took root
far before I could tell it to leave,
It curled up beside me and whispered
“just stay a little longer and you’ll learn to be”

So abide I did,
With my new friend,
Hiding in the safety of me,
Alone and still, I listened to her voice,
“Stay, you’ll learn to be free”

I was tired. I was drained. I was exhausted. And I removed myself from community.

At first, the separation provided a sense of relief but eventually the false security I placed around myself became a breeding ground for bitterness. 

In my mind, I was protecting myself. In some ways, I thought I was protecting others around me, too.

But I wasn’t.

What happens when I remove myself from others is I have no one to remind me of truth and grace. I’m left depending on myself for this correction and sustenance.

I wish I could say that I dug myself out of the pit like a good midwestern girl.

But the truth is,
Your familiar voice called out to me,
And I was rescued again,
Not for my goodness
Or the quantity of my sin,
But because it’s inherent to You.

It seems as though pain offers two paths. One is bitterness and the other brokenness.

Being broken is a continual act. It takes courage to open up about real issues and expose nerves to others. And I’ve realized that this is only possible through fellowship. This deep community, whether near or far, extends grace when I fall and reminds me of truth when I stray.

This means I talk. I talk with Daniel, with friends, with family. I allow others to help me carry the burden and pain.

As with all things, I’m still learning. But I can tell you that I’d rather fail at communicating and be broken a thousand times over than experience the bitterness that calloused my lonely heart.

|1 John 1:7|

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