I haven’t written for a very long time… In actuality, I have written; just nothing worth publishing.

Writer’s block? Nah… It’s really been more like writer’s vomit – all of the pages of my journal. Not pretty little words or endearing little anecdotes to bring the lessons or emotions that are swelling in my heart or swirling in my mind to the page.

No, really it’s only been a jumble of raw emotions spewed out onto the pages of my journal; and all of those words I have deemed unusable.

I was telling a friend why I had stopped writing – that all I had was a tangled mess of words that were really just pain upon pain upon complaint then laced with oodles and oodles of even more P•A•I•N… Then she said something so profound to me, “People WANT to read that. They want the unprocessed emotion – the feel of someone else walking through a palpable hardship; because it’s real. We all go through painful things and we all, as Christians, hesitate to speak of how we really feel about them because of the judgments that we fear we will receive.”

And she is so right.

I can’t tell you how many times I spilled my heart out to one friend in particular who would, without fail, lambaste me for having feelings that didn’t line up with God’s word. I get it! I was in a “wrong place” emotionally, but in those moments I needed to be loved, not grabbed by my ear and jerked up. She had very valid points, all Scripturally-backed – except for the whole Truth-in-Love piece. To say “Mercy” is not her gift would be an understatement. However, I learned very valuable Lessons from this friend; Lessons that taught me a lot about the kind of friend I want to be if I ever have the honor of walking side-by-side through Hell-on-earth with someone I love.

The world needs less people who beat others over the head with the Bible and more people who say, “I hear you and I’m sorry you’re feeling this way.”

Now, before this turns into another emotional-vomit sesh, I need to be clear: God wastes NOTHING. Not negative emotions. Not lies we have believed. Not even less-than-merciful words murmured by less-than-merciful friends. God uses every single bit of EVERYTHING. Nothing is wasted.

God will even use your Bad Attitude. Yes, I know – we’ve all heard it preached, “God can’t use your bad attitude.” I cringe every time I hear a person, any person, say, “God can’t…” I would LOVE to know what Scriptures say that God can’t use, or do, something that He chooses to. It’s laughable! “God can’t…” I sit back and shake my head just writing it…

Anyway… I digress. (Emotional-vomit anyone?)

I’ll say this about Bad Attitudes and then I’ll get off the subject: God has used bad attitudes and wrong mindset to teach me MANY lessons. And, most specifically, He has used MY OWN bad attitudes and wrong mindsets to teach me these valuable and Scripture-backed lessons.

So to get back to the Raw Emotions piece of this puzzle, if you are one of my readers: Bear with me. You will get “Reality”, for sure; in what form that will come – I can’t be sure of; but rest assured it will probably morph and change…

Really, what I hope will come of this is that people will begin to realize that feeling, talking about and processing REAL, HUMAN emotions is OK! It is safe. It is good for you. As long as you keep on going back to the Well to take a sip of Living Water when you get thirsty. Choose not to drink from your own poisoned well. That’s hard – Bitterness goes down rather smoothly for something that tastes like gall…

Make progress, though, and don’t get stuck in the muck.

The hardness of the choosing is where the growth comes.

Yes, now I am preaching to myself – because I haven’t fully arrived in this area. All too often I turn to my Bitter Well – which some would justify if they knew my whole Story – but my Bitter Well always and without fail leaves me empty, angry and wanting more. And what purpose does Bitterness serve – except to take me out of the battle – mortally wounded and choosing to drink venom instead of healing elixir?

Bitterness serves ONE very important purpose – that purpose is to point me to the One who can use even “that”.

In the coming weeks, you may read some “Bitterness “that has poured from the tip of my pencil. (HA! Actually, my pencil only writes what has poured out of my heart…) But, I promise you that I am letting God work in my brokenness and in my pain. And my deepest prayer is that, through these words, you will let him work in yours too.

Be blessed, my friends, and pray for me. The pain has gotten in the way of the words for far too long now…

P.S. Here’s my plug for counseling. PLEASE GET COUNSELING! If you are going through or have gone through a Hard Thing, you need help! The best thing I ever did for myself was go through nine months of intensive counseling to help me process things that were not OK…. I have put into practice so many of the things that my counselor suggested to me over the last two years of healing and they have helped. She helped me realize that, while I didn’t get to choose what had happened, I DID get to choose how I walked through the fall out. And, honestly? I failed at every turn, but she was there, faithfully pulling me up with all her Truth-In-Love. I needed her perspective, because she wasn’t in the thick of it and she knew how to hold the bar high without whacking me over the head with it. Much love to you, Katherine! (And I miss you like a fat kid on a diet misses cake!)

**Also, I think I’m just gonna start titling my pieces with the date I wrote the actual entry in my journal. That way you’ll have a reference point for how long each post has been processing. Fine wine? Nope…just some hard-fought-for truths….

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