Posted by: karanoel | August 26, 2019

Broken bones of grief, Part 1

When I was a sophomore in high school, not quite 15 years old, I got stupid drunk at a school dance and lost my virginity to a guy on the hockey team I hardly knew who took full advantage of my inebriated state. After sobering up and realizing what I’d done… what I’d lost… I was in shock, my heart broken. The next school day revealed the word SLUT written across my locker and news that the guy’s girlfriend was mad as hell and intent on beating me up. My shame had been made public. Very public. Instead of acknowledging my sorrow, even to myself, over the trauma of this whole wretched thing, I decided to be grown up and worldly. Laugh it off. Pretend I wasn’t in pain. Pretend I wasn’t ashamed. Pretend I wasn’t terrified of being hurt physically on top of it all.

What I had experienced was a broken bone of grief. A healthy person would have sought out help to get the damage assessed and repaired, receiving the necessary care and treatment to heal the break. I didn’t even realize that was an option. From my vantage point, as someone who already felt damaged, it looked so severe, I assumed it must be beyond repair. Even if a fix were possible, shame of being exposed and fear of anyone handling my raw, tender wound would have caused me to stay the course of tending to myself as best as I could… which, as you can imagine, was not very well. So, instead of the bone being properly set so I could fully heal and function, it fused in contorted ways – on completely wrong beliefs – that left me with a noticeable limp and perpetual pain that affected many areas of my life.

Through my pregnancy with Cole at 21, I came to know Jesus, the Great Physician. He had an open door policy, allowing me to visit for as long – or as short – as I wanted and addressing only what I was comfortable with. He didn’t ask about all my scars or judge me for my limp. When I finally felt safe in His care, I asked Him to take a look at my wound, still tender after many years. He did what should have been done in the first place, which was to expose the area, gently examine it and take x-rays to assess the damage inside. It had been a severe break, He said, occurring in my identity, where I derive my sense of value. It should have been set immediately on the steadfast truth of who He says I am and who He says He is, rather than on my own determination produced by incomplete and often misleading methods of assessing, like my emotions or perceptions. It should also have been held in place by a cast and given time to heal, rather than the damaged part having to bear my full weight immediately and creating dysfunction in the whole. The process might have inhibited my freedom for a while, but would have resulted in full function and a whole new appreciation for restored movement. Any pain would have been temporary and part of the healing process, rather than indefinite, unproductive pain that comes from complications and infections. 

The very, very good news was that it wasn’t anything He hadn’t seen before and definitely nothing He couldn’t reset, heal and make perfectly strong and true. The only requirement on my part was enough trust to submit to His care. I would like to say that it came easily and healing came quickly, but it took time. I wanted to trust Him. And I did to a degree. But it was not easy to hear His quiet voice when my own was so loud, or to obey His instructions when they often felt completely counterintuitive to my self-protecting heart or challenged the narrative I had believed so long and considered truth. It was a whole new way of understanding; a new and very vulnerable way of doing life. But as I pressed in day by day and year by year, bringing each symptom, doubt, hope and fear into the light of His truth by His Word and His Spirit, He was faithful to His promise to lead me into healing and restoration. I can now stand firmly, without any pain, on what I had perceived to be a devastating injury, and received necessary training and preparation for what threatened to be an even more devastating one, which will be the second part of this post: My “broken bone of grief” in losing Cole. 

P.S. I recently reread for probably the fourth time Hinds Feet on High Places, which is an allegory about this process of trust and freedom. I highly recommend it. And I’ll leave you with this song, which seems very relevant.

Prophesy Your Promise
I found You in the middle of my mess
You had been there all along
Open arms and open heart,
You called me in
You didn’t hesitate at all
And the lies I once believed
They crumble
With the weight of Your truth
And the fear that gripped my heart
Is arrested
So that I can see You
When I only see in part
I will prophesy Your promise
I believe You, God
‘Cause You finish what You start
I will trust You in the process
I believe You, God
You set a table in the middle of my war
You knew the outcome of it all
When what I faced looked like it would never end
You said, watch the giants fall
And the lies I once believed
They crumble
With the weight of Your truth
And the fear that gripped my heart
Is arrested
So that I can see You
Fear can go to hell
Shame can go there too
I know whose I am
God, I belong to You

Responses

  1. Kara, you have done it again. Taken an extremely difficult suggest and walked into it with vulnerability and truth. Just so you know and maybe you do, the word “vulnerability” comes from the Latin word “vulnus,” meaning wound. A vulnerable person is willing to be wounded rather than walking in self-protection. You do that amazingly well. It took me decades to learn that. Carry on, brave Sister!

    • I have never heard that about the word vulnerable. Wow, that is powerful. Thank you for once again encouraging me and shedding new light!

  2. Speechless. Wordless. Overwhelmed. Redemption and grace and encouragement flow with massive power.

    On Mon, Aug 26, 2019 at 12:08 PM where waves grow sweet wrote:

    > karanoel posted: “When I was a sophomore in high school, not quite 15 > years old, I got stupid drunk at a school dance and lost my virginity to a > guy on the hockey team I hardly knew who took full advantage of my > inebriated state. After sobering up and realizing what I’d do” >

    • Thanks dad!

  3. […] my initial response was one of shock and horror. But because of what I had experienced in Part 1 of this post, it was followed almost immediately by an intense determination to refuse any […]

  4. Love this. Watching you on the journey into love has been such a testimony of Gods faithfullnes

    • Thanks Janelle! He sure has been faithful to us both hasn’t He?!


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