Heart of Stone

It’s time once again for my annual blog post…  It would seem that I have this blog for therapeutic purposes and use it only when dealing with “issues.”  That is not technically the case, but it is hard to find time to blog unless something feels important enough to blog about.  “Here’s what I had for dinner tonight” or “Look what my cat hacked up” (hopefully not the same post) are not likely candidates for my page.  “Here I go, delving into the pain of my past again,” on the other hand, is fair game.  Why would I feel the need to post such things publicly on the internet, you may ask?  I wouldn’t, believe me, but I feel that I need to, because someone else might be going through something similar, and if there’s a way that dredging up my pain and dealing with it could help someone else get through whatever they’re going through, it would be worth it to me to do so.

I never know how to start these sorts of things.  Do I start with the PTSD book I’m reading right now that is providing amazing insight into brain chemistry and what actually transpires in the brain of a person who is abused or traumatized, but also functions as a massive trigger?  Do I start with last Saturday’s Bike Ride of Discovery, which led to me making the picture I plant to post?  Do I start with the conversation with a childhood friend that led me to the book about PTSD?  Where to begin…

And this is the point at which I freeze and words fail me, and this is why no posts appear for a year at a time.  There is so much fear just under the surface.  So much “can’t.”  It becomes a trifle incapacitating.

Focus.

Maybe I’ll just start with the picture and see where it goes from there.

Right.  So last week I was riding my bike on my cardio-type bike-riding route, and the whole time I was fighting in my heart; just wresting with God over roles in life and in marriage, and how unfair I feel it is that I bear the weight of certain expectations–whether they be real or whether imagined was not a factor in my thoughts at the time.  It felt like the entirety of my ride was a giant object lesson.  There is often wind to contend with while riding, but this particular day as I turned the first corner I was met with the strongest wind I have encountered on a bike ride, um, ever.  I’m not even kidding.  I was struggling to keep my bike from blowing into the middle of the road, not to mention having to fight to keep moving forward.  The clear message I got from that was that it does no good to fight against forces of nature.  I could be as angry at the wind as I wanted to–I could yell and scream at it all day–but that would not make the slightest difference to the blowing of the wind.  It was an object lesson in “It is what it is.”  Since I can’t change the situation, the only thing I can change is my attitude as I face the situation.

I honestly don’t remember the entirety of the conversation I had with God on that ride.  The key points that stick out were the wind, me complaining about what I felt to be unfair expectations, God bringing the above verse to mind, and then me almost losing it because I had a flashback of all the times as a child that I had cried because someone had hurt me, and I had said, “I will never love again!” and at the thought of having my heart of stone replaced with a heart of flesh I cried out in anguish, “I can’t!  That’s how I protect myself!”

And then, of course, the realization that hardening my heart doesn’t protect me from pain; it only serves to keep others out.  It is a wall of isolation, and it is about time for it to be removed.  And so I said, in a very tiny voice, “Yes, Lord.”  And I rode home in the wind.