Monday, November 17, 2008


I shouldn't be awake but for some reason, sleep won't come. As I was lying in bed, a memory from this past year came to mind. I'm not sure what sparked it but it made me think.

One night I was sitting in my room feeling unsettled emotions that I could not put my finger on. Jamie came into my room and asked me what was wrong. I told her I didn't really know, I just felt weird inside. She said that sometimes when she is upset or angry, she'll write down everything she can think of that is bothering her and then rip the paper up. I thought it was a stupid idea, so I tried it. I began writing:

Student teaching.
Don't want to teach.
Break up.

I began writing more and more until the entire page was covered with anxious thoughts, hurts, doubts, and brokenness. As I wrote faster I began to laugh...hysterically. I laughed so hard tears started streaming down my cheeks and Jamie looked on at me, laughing nervously. I don't think this was the reaction she had anticipated...but it wasn't over.

I continued to write. I continued to laugh. I continued to cry. And then I ripped the paper up. I ripped it into tiny pieces, somehow hoping this action would rid me of my cares and emptiness, my loss and confusion. It did not. My hysterical laughter turned into hysterical weeping. Months of anxiety, loneliness and hurt uncontrollably flooded out in the form of salty tears and painful sobs. Kristi, who had heard me from the other room, now sat on the floor beside me, stroking my hair and waiting for the pain...or at least the physical signs of stop.

That night I realized that buried burdens cannot go undetected forever. I saw the faces of my roommates and dear friends, wanting to help, yet completely unaware how deep the roots of my pain had buried themselves in my being. And as I layed on the floor that night, I realized that I was indeed carrying burdens but I was too tired to hide them, too weak to carry them, and too broken to fix them.

I'm not sure why that memory came to mind...except tonight I am able to look back and thank God for my brokenness for it has cultivated in me strength, beauty and most of all, faith.

Student teaching...over.
Don't want to teach...don't have to teach. not today
Break up...wholeness.


Jamie said...

I'm glad you thought it was a stupid idea but did it anyways.

I'm also sorry your outcome was not the same as mine were...if I only knew...

Elizabeth Joy said...

Yes...well it certainly is a night to remember!!

The Balcom Family said...

I found your blog through Katie's and this post I could really identify with! I remember having moments like that however I didn't have roommates that encouraged me to face my burdens so they could be released. What a blessing!
Over the last few months with all that's happened, I've learned the joy of facing fears head-on, and somehow they seem to loose their "scariness" that they tend to gain when they're buried. And it's also amazing how whole we can feel when we realize how truly broken we really are! Funny how God does that!