We are entering what historically has proven to be an intense time of year in our family. Kids born into difficult circumstances can tend to struggle with holidays and celebrations- the disruption of routines internalized as an attack to security, the abundance of foods and gifts, triggering entitlement and sneakiness little deprived brains are convinced they still need to survive…I could go on.
In our specific story, we add into the holiday mix the anniversaries of our meeting, legally adopting, and then being separated for months awaiting proper documents. Stated simply- it is a heavy load for a little girl to carry. And I feel my own grown-up shoulders tensing as the November days pass, as if I am saying, ‘let me carry your cares for while,’ as if this year I will suddenly figure out a way to take the burden off our girl- off the rest of the family.
Humbled I admit, tension in my body often leads to tension in my thoughts, tension gripping my words. Until the very burdens I arrogantly intended to relieve, are made heavier still by my own hand and tongue.
Something I heard on a podcast last week has been looping around the mounting tension of my mind. Essentially, when the storm comes, am I choosing a narrative of trauma or one of joy?
Again, humbled. Trauma and all it’s fear, unknowns, unpredictable disruptions, has won out around here for quite some time. Joy has been surrendered, rendered too weak to stand against the force of this particular foe. But, it is not my own joy, but the Joy of my Creator, where strength is sourced. A swapping out of weapons is in order- lay down the arrogance, pick up the surrender. Lay down the weariness, pick up the Eucharisteo.
And so this season I am making a choice for Joy. Divine Joy doesn’t pretend the trauma isn’t real or avoid acknowledging its tendrils. Divine Joy may, in fact, shine light straight at the point of pain. But only to in turn say, “Yes, but…”
So many days can appear as if we are absolutely nowhere. Nowhere nearer to healing, nowhere closer to authentic attachment….Yes, but.
Look at the layers and layers of mountains behind her- all the ground she has journeyed with a family by her side.
Yes, but. Look at the slight smile, residing more in her eyes than even a year ago.
Yes, trauma. But, Joy.
Friend, what in your own life could you see straight on for the mess it is, but even for just today look back at it and say, ‘Yes, but,’?