Cancer, humiliations, and proximity.

**Trigger warning: cancer, sexual abuse, expletive**

A beloved family member, our “rock”, has stage 4 cancer. It sucks. I hate cancer. I have a dear friend who recently challenged me through tears to “not allow yourself to go numb” in the process. She also journeyed through cancer with a loved one, and did go numb. She shared that it was a mistake. I realized as she shared that I was so angry about the cancer that I had started giving God the silent treatment. I would sing to Him, I would pray to Him, but I wouldn’t look at Him and fix my gaze in honest intimacy and worship anymore. I couldn’t, and I didn’t know how to step closer to Him. So, I muttered, “I am giving yup the silent treatment, and I don’t know how to stop. I am pissed off that you let cancer into our lives again.”

This morning, He kept reminding me of something that transpired recently. We moved to the Eastern part of the US, and it was a very spiritually dark transition. I went to a job interview one evening, and as the two people came in to interview me, they sat perpendicular to me in folding chairs, blocking the only exit out of the room. I was initially surprised at the forceful rage it produced in me. I rejected their insulting offer, and left politely, controlled, yet very firmly. That night, the flashbacks began. I thought I had grieved all of the humiliations from my first marriage already.

I was wrong.

For 13 years, the final memory of his horror was buried deep. Now, the memory of a drugged drink at a party, the three males; two sitting in chairs to “watch” from the Living Room doorway… the humiliation of that night, all came back to me. I remember sobbing the next day with James as I shared everything. We pulled over, exited the car, and I sobbed like a baby under a tree. My questions were running rampant. “God, what the #$@%? Why am I remembering this NOW? WHY?!”

I cried on and off that entire day, wracked with disbelief. I kept praying/yelling at God, asking Him what good could possibly come out of this memory now. That night, I had a dream where I was carrying my grief over the memory. In the dream, I was walking around on a winding path, sometimes overcome with my grief. I would sob, regain composure, and walk a little further until I was overcome again. Eventually, the path took me closer and closer to a hill. Our of the corner of my eye, I caught a graphic glimpse of a naked man. I shielded my eyes and turned away, continuing to walk and grieve. Again, in the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of a graphically naked man. Again, I diverted my eyes and covered that side of my face. I walked on, and a third time, it happened again. I was embarrassed that I had to keep diverting my eyes, and realized that Father God was next to me, and had been walking next to me the whole time. I was even more embarrassed, and He asked me why. I explained, “Father, I am trying to simply grieve, and keep my eyes pure. Why are you allowing this graphically naked man to be here in my eye sight?”

He replied, “Child, no one realizes that my son was graphically humiliated and put on display. He was willing to be humiliated graphically so you would not grieve alone.”

Since admitting that I have been giving God the silent treatment, I have been getting these memories of that dream, and me diverting my eyes. I keep feeling the near-ness of YHWH as I walked the pathway of grief in my dream.

Whether or not I am able to talk to Him, there is no denying that He literally endured Hell so He could have proximity to me in my grief and humiliations.

I am learning that proximity doesn’t depend on vocalizations; it just requires a willingness on my part to allow Him to be near me. Some of the sweetest moments I have ever experienced are the ones with loved ones when we have simply stood or sat silently in proximity to one another. This is the season where I treasure the proximity of my grief companion more than ever… without needing to say a word, or when I do.

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Gold Star Award – CCY Features: #19

5-gold-stars    What an incredible honor this is!

The following is the link to Cee’s blog where I was gifted with this recognition.

https://ceenphotography.com/2016/04/13/ccy-features-19-geometry-in-photography/

A sincere thank you to Cee for all of the wisdom that I have been able to glean from her over the last year; as well as immense gratitude to all of you, readers.

You warm my heart more than I can ever hope to convey! =)

Snowy triangles

Love,

Gracie K.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge – things that are Smooth

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge is found here . The entries always inspire me!

Below is my entry for the week.

smooth

It was taken at a car show this past summer, in the small town that means so much to me.

Every time I see it, I want to run with the wind in my hair! =)

cees-fun-foto

Santa Claus Theology

“Santa Claus for adults?  That’s who you believe in?”

His tone was incredulous and sarcastic.

“Here I thought I was having an intelligent conversation…”

I chuckled at his wit, as my heart broke for his past experiences.

Jesus Christ has never claimed to be Santa Claus, and He certainly never promised an easy time for those who choose to make him the center of their lives.

The problem begins when we allow our preferences and comfort to dictate our theology.

I have spent years questioning God about the pain, grief and loss that I have experienced.

I failed to remember in those moments, what the truth is.

Taken from the Amplified Bible (AMP) Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.
Christ promised us perfect peace, tribulation, distress and suffering.
Santa Claus gives gifts based on whether or not we “behaved”.
Christ promised us peace if we put our faith in Him; the very definition of something that we didn’t earn, couldn’t earn, and certainly don’t deserve.
The very nature of Christ demonstrates humility, undeserved favor, and overwhelming goodness.
If you are like me, and you question the coexistence of Christ and pain, please cry out to Him bluntly.
Be honest.
Tell Him your struggles.
Then,
simply ask Him to show you His love and overwhelm you with His
peace.
That’s it.
Stocking and Christmas Tree not required.
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“Nikon Era” (c) Gracie K Harold 2014

Thankful Thursday – Lightbreak in the Burrow

Hidden.

Concealed.

To take up refuge.

To withdraw from those around you, and seek refuge.

To burrow, or hide oneself away.

Sometimes, it feels safer to be hidden or burrowed away.

We were not created to hide in darkness.

24May Yahweh bless you and protect you;

25may Yahweh make His face shine on you

and be gracious to you;

26may Yahweh look with favor on you

and give you peace.

HCSB Numbers 6:24-26

If He meant us to dwell in darkness, He would never “shine His face on you”

When you feel overwhelmed,

remember that He who shines His face on you is

here. 

You are NOT alone.

Bask today in His Goodness, soak up His light.

Swim in the knowledge that you, beloved;

are dearly loved.

Embrace it.

Thank God for it,

then go out in peace.

Lightbreak in the Burrow

Lightbreak in the Burrow