I had a good talk with my spiritual director last week. We of course talked of many things among them my sense of call to some sort of ministry and what it felt like to be drawn by God to something new. She asked, “What draws you to this?” And so, I tried to answer with words, to express some of the feelings and desires that I have been sensing. They are somewhere between a gentle nudge and a long drawing pull – like a deep desire that I can’t explain and that won’t give me peace till I say yes to it, at least to begin the pursuit of this desire. Rather like following a path that leads somewhere with bends that I can’t see around and with a final goal that is not terribly clear.
So, I’ve put my foot on the path and I’ll go ahead one step at a time and see where God takes me. Sort of like being a pioneer, exploring uncharted territory, trusting that God has a map and that I am moving according to plan.
We also talked about some of my issues – my difficulty in expressing emotions, my stoicism in the face of emotional upheaval, my ability to get things done without becoming an emotional basket case when facing unpleasant or emotionally trying situations. My issues have both good and bad sides – that I am aware of. The ability to carry on has served me well in life and in my profession. I don’t regret that I am this way when it comes to being strong enough to get a difficult job done. What I do regret is that I also find it difficult to express my emotions in situations where it is perfectly acceptable to do so. So, I rarely cry. It would be a great relief to cry sometimes.
And I do not say “good-bye” very well. There were too many farewells in my childhood and they occurred too frequently and affected my willingness to allow people into my life. Protecting my emotional self I think.
Now, I am having to say good-bye to two people who have let me become good friends, and who I have allowed to really know me. Two people and their kids that I have come to love as I have not loved friends for ages. Two people who have lived out lives of faithfulness to God and who have, by their lives, encouraged me to do the same. And I am struggling with my emotions – which are just below the surface. Emotions so strong and yet I do not cry.
My spiritual director and I began to explore some stuff from my past that may have contributed to my reticence to show emotions. In doing this she asked me about other ways than crying that I can express emotion. And I told her that I write. In the midst of distress, I write poetry. If I am extremely joyful, I write poetry. I can say what my heart feels in poetry and it is a relief – an emotional relief – to me.
So, today, as I experienced a range of emotional feelings saying good-bye to Randall and Lauralea and wanted to burst out in tears and have a good cleansing cry, I found myself realizing that I needed to write. So I guess I have been emotionally crying this afternoon, sitting at my computer, expressing some of this in words. And with the writing I feel a bit freer emotionally. Maybe a good cry is faster and better but for me this seems to work.
So, if you don’t like poetry, skip the next post. Its just me blubbering anyway.