I’ve been thinking about how hard everything is right now.  But more, why we are taking everything in such a hard way.  The small things seem to get blown up into gigantic proportions, big things threaten to tear apart or end relationships, communal problems are escalating into violence and destruction.  Everything is, truly, hard right now.  But even things that a person would normally allow to just roll off one’s back are sticking and threatening and overwhelming.
         I think about this at a personal level.  My family has lived through so much hard stuff, and yet we did live through it.  As I’ve said in other posts, we had support, coping skills and strategies that made it possible to survive and we chose not only survival but took the opportunities to grow, learn and deepen in our commitments to loving God, each other and life to the fullest.  We survived and chose to thrive through much worse, personally, that what we are experiencing now.  Yes, there is chaos in the community – but there always has been.  Yes, the church is struggling, but again, we’ve gone through worse.  Yes, it’s affecting my personal life, but it is not throwing our lives completely up in the air like dice tossed into the wind as had happened before.  I’m not trying to care for everyone on my own: I have a husband and my family locally all around to help now as well as a community of friends.
         And yet, the truth is that now feels harder.  On the outside it isn’t.  But it sure feels harder.  What I mean is that I struggle to breathe through these challenges. I struggle to see where God is leading us, and me, in this.  I struggle to discern how to proceed, and frankly, I struggle with whether or not I am still called to this work because it feels overwhelming right now.  I am sick and not improving, and I’m certain that much of that is the stress of these times.  And so I have to ask myself the very basic question, “Why?”  Why now?  Why is this different?  Why is this harder?  And of course, the bigger question – And then what?
         Perhaps for today I will leave this here.  I ran this by my family, asking them, informing them, that I didn’t know where to go from here, in the writing or in my thinking.  Their unanimous response was “leave it there.”  So, maybe, for today, I will.
         There is power in staying with the questions.  There is power in sitting with the truth of our experience.  So for today, my experience of this being hard, of having no answers, and of struggling to BE is what I am offering to you.  And if you are experiencing some of this as well, you can rest in the knowledge that you are not alone…

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