In which I arise today


Dark days / Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019

There are just so few good things to do with the anger, I said.

And he said, I think you ought to start blogging again. Are these confessions, or just disclosures?

So here is a real confession.


Confession: On the dark days, it is often the opening lines from the breastplate of Saint Patrick that get me out of bed.

I arise today through a mighty strength,
The invocation of the Trinity
Through belief in the Threeness
Through confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of creation.

This morning, even that failed to rouse. I lay there thinking Is there any other way? So I tried it out in the prayer. I lie here today through a mighty strength, the invocation… No, it just didn’t have the same ring. I lay longer. And then when the last moment had come, I pushed back the covers, and I rose.

This is the stage that all of Shari’s thinking blog readers have been dreading for years, when her humor and good sense desert her and she disintegrates into dramatic, navel-gazing grief for weeks on end.

Or maybe it’s the stage that only I have been dreading. But it came.

I promise myself I will not stay here. I will walk through the losses one day at a time; I will remember I am not the only girl in pain; I will push back those covers. There are so few ways to talk about unresolved pain when you’re in the middle of the story; and my personhood prefers to wait, to do my wailing privately and come out afterwards to boast about what I’ve learned, and how much stronger I am. (After I died behind the scenes.) I do a lot of public smiling and private cussing these days, trying (and failing) to find appropriate words for the hellfire unredeemedness of our situation. I confess to the Lord I am turning into a potty mouth when no one is listening, and then I do it some more. It is good his ears have thick skin. I hope.

My husband admitted today that there are moments he wants to give me a good chewing out. When I’m angry at situations and I’m taking it out on him. He finds himself starting to do it under his breath, and then he says to himself, I love that girl. He has never once chewed me out in our years of marriage. I used to wish he would, used to think his ire would be better than his quiet. Now I have seen enough of life to know I was wrong, and to count his charity my greatest gift, and to know that I don’t deserve it. Sometimes his silence is eloquent enough that I do all my confessing without prompting. Last night he walked into the kitchen and stood across the island and looked at me, waiting, and I began to say all the things I was thinking and doing, and ended by crying; and he came and gave me a long hug, and I was home again. I love that boy.

But I am angrier than I can say, at all the things I cannot change and all that is WRONG. Of course it is wrong if it is against my interests.

And I hate a few people.

I will tell you more about that tomorrow soon.

For today, at least I arose through a mighty strength, and that is something.

29 Replies to “In which I arise today”

  1. I have loved ones who find it this difficult to arise. Your humor and honesty and the beauty of grace all have the ring of truth. Cheering you on.

  2. I get that, only ‘fessing up after the fact when you’ve dealt with it and the Good Lord has revealed His goodness. Thanks for having the guts to ‘fess up when God’s asking you for faith that you aren’t sure you have.

  3. “There are so few ways to talk about unresolved pain when you’re in the middle of the story.”
    This is so where I’m at right now too. The despair is profound, and the way looks and feels impossible. Today I asked my counselor “Wouldn’t it be better to suffer alone than to cause other people distress because of my distress?” His answer, “No!” But I feel like my chronic pain (emotional, relational, physical, financial) is pushing people away from me, not endearing them to me.
    One thing that is helpful is to think about it that I’m never too much for God. He knows all about how I’m silently screaming without me having to explain anything. And He can handle my anger at everything.
    Clinging to Jesus! (And still falling apart.) It’s His job to heal the brokenhearted. We qualify.

  4. Shari, we your readers love you very much even though you haven’t met most of us. I still wish I could come from Arizona to your neck of the woods. I would love to offer my shoulder for you to cry on. And I would let you cry and cry. And you can get ahem … snot all over my shoulder and it will be okay. And then I would pray with you.
    And then we would have tea and cookies.

  5. There is something about raw blunt honestly that is so beautiful…it’s like broken glass sparkling in the sunshine but cutting your feet as you walk across it, that glass will be a beautiful masterpiece soon…hugs and thanks for speaking my language… praying for you

  6. Five bleeding wounds He bears,
    Received on Calvary;
    They pour effectual prayers,
    They strongly speak for me;

    Shari, you are loved.

  7. If what you’re feeling is anything like what I’ve felt before, it’s especially maddening to listen to anything that doesn’t ring completely true – including any suggestion to change the facts of one’s experience to fit into a story template, or a here’s-how-friends-can-help template, or anything. It can feel like anyone who isn’t also disgusted with life is either blind or stupid.

    Just reading what’s been written, I want to shake this person and tell them to go and get some good strong medicine right now! Of course I don’t know the situation. It’s so hard not to respond viscerally – I just can’t imagine feeling that drained and sick and angry any more. I do still hold some of the same bad ideas. I’m closer to this now: (Kahlil Gibran)

    Oftentimes I have loved death,
    Called death sweet names and spoken of it in loving words,
    both openly and in secret.
    Yet though I have not forgotten, nor broken the vows of death,
    I have learned to love life also.

  8. Your words carried me back to a very specific morning when I arose, staggering, wondering how I could possibly walk through the day before me. I know there were others, I don’t know why this one stands out. May He carry you, and wipe your tears. You are loved.

  9. I loved the beautiful picture you gave us, the scene in the kitchen. Something vaguely familiar about this…Christ & His church….oh how He loves us! Thank you for that beautiful glimpse, it made me cry a little… Praying for you…

  10. All I know is that Jesus knows suffering and unfair and all sorts of bad; and that He loves us and ours even more than we do; and that He wants us to keep reaching for Him even when it doesn’t seem to help, because it hurts even more when we turn the other way. So keep turning to Him, even if it’s to yell at Him.

  11. I’ll be praying for you…I understand, very much, what it’s like to not want to face the day, to be worn out mentally…Jesus went through intense suffering as well. He understands! May you be refreshed, both physically and mentally, and soon you’ll be able to joyfully get out of bed and face a new day!

  12. (This is going to seem like disconnected strings.)

    I have long wished for a glimpse of the writing process (and life process) that birthed St. Patrick’s prayer.

    Also, your writing style of marriage reminded me of several favorite fiction writers.

    And, I wondered whether a physical way to spend the anger could bring relief. Now might be a great time to get fit. 🙂 Kyle has pushed me to do this and I am deeply thankful; but I understand it’s not the same for everyone.

    Wishing you relief and love.

      1. i personally have found kickboxing or other punching/hitting workout videos the most effective form of exercise for me when I’m angry.. especially when I can’t run.

        I’m just catching up on all these posts now and crying and praying. Love to you all!

  13. I have been a silent sponge for too long… At this incredibly dark time in your life I want to thank you, Shari, for your hard work and your heart work that goes into this blog. Your honesty reassures me and your sense of humor cheers me. I especially remember your advice in an older post that “you do not need to love every moment, you just need to show up”….but I have lost count of how many times it has saved my sanity. I wish you God’s grace each morning for what can be the most difficult task of the day–pushing back the covers.

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