I think this week might turn into a wrestling theme.  Several things are on my mind right now; battles, victories, challenges, obstacles, the power of God to do more than I can imagine and my willingness.

I’m a contemplative person by nature.  I like to address ideas and problems by taking time to think about them, to study them, to know as much about the possibilities and contingencies as possible.  Being contemplative, I enjoy time alone, quiet and away from others.  Some people find this strange, some think it anti-social, others think it a waste of time and then some find it to be brilliant (OK, maybe I’m the only one who thinks that way).  I enjoy my solitary time while I know others prefer to be busy.   
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When I recently experienced the darkest days of my life, my first reaction was to stop and think (alone) but I was often encouraged to “stay busy” and I have found myself taking that advice.  I would go and do and keep myself engaged with something, anything, so I wouldn’t stop and think about all that needed to be dealt with the way I normally deal with issues.  And now, I think it has caused me to prolong some pain and healing I have needed and some changes that I need to make because I was staying busy while I believe I was really needing to be me, to think, to process and to heal the way I need to heal.

I don’t relish pain, don’t go looking for pain and will try to avoid pain but sometimes I need to experience the pain for what it will bring.  If I needed a heart transplant to stay alive, I have no doubt I would do it.  I wouldn’t avoid the heart transplant because I knew there would be pain following it.  I would accept the pain and deal with it knowing it was part of making me whole again.  It’s no different than the heart work I have needed through these dark days.  I needed to go through the pain because the pain reminds me I’m still alive and it has a way of aiding in the healing.  

Pain means something has happened that gives me the opportunity to heal and, hopefully, be better.  How much better?  Who knows?  One pitcher has Tommy John surgery and comes back to pitch better than ever.  Another pitcher has Tommy John surgery and never pitches again but he can use his arm without it hurting all the time.  Different levels of positive results but positive results all the same.

I have come to realize that I need to take time to be contemplative, to be me, and to finish a process that I believe will make me stronger, more whole, more healthy.  I have started a journey that I believe will leave me feeling me more unshackled than I’ve ever known, more free.  It’s another step.  And what great journey has never begun without a single, small step?

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Grace and peace to you.
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