October 23, 2015

A Time to Mourn and A Time to Heal...Part 1

I recently suffered a devastating loss

I ran for District Judge for the 8th & 10th Wards in the city of Allentown, PA, and I lost...by 74 votes.

Although I thought I was going to see it as a win-win situation no matter how it turned out, the reality is, when it happened, I didn't see it as that win-win situation I imagined. 

I saw it as a loss, period. 

Why did this happen? How could you do this to me, God? Why would you do this to me? Haven't I been through enough? When will you ever stop punishing me? 

Don't you care about my kids? How am I supposed to provide for them? Make a good life for them? Don't you care how much I'm hurting? 

Why do you hate me?

First, I was in shock. I was blinded by an unexpected sucker punch, that left me reeling, falling into an abysmal abyss. My life felt surreal, in a bad way, for at least a week, if not longer. I was in a state of numb disbelief. 

As the shock began to wear off, something worse took over...unbelievable pain. Why pain? To most people losing a low level county seat is no big deal. Yeah, it might sting from the bruise to the ego, but most people just go on living the comfortable lives before they ran. To them, the most important part of running was "getting their names out."

That wasn't the case for me. I wasn't running for name recognition. I wasn't running to use this as a launching pad for something else. I was running for a dream that was planted in my heart two years ago. I was running to show others what trusting God can do. I ran for my family. All of the plans, hopes and dreams of the previous two years and the next six years of my family's lives, were wrapped up in that loss. Our past, present and future. What was I supposed to do now? I can't make a living down here. I had a front row seat as I  watched God set fire to my dreams. I then realized I felt something that I hadn't felt in a long time and not a minute while running. 

I felt FEAR. I was afraid to do anything. Life, the future, suddenly felt very scary again.

We used to play a game in drama class to build trust. One person volunteered to be in the center of the circle. He or she would close their eyes and fall back. Someone in the circle was supposed to catch them. 

In all the times I played that game, thankfully, everyone was always caught.

I was falling back, with my arms stretched wide, full of faith, that not only was God going to catch me, He was finally going to lift me up. 

I couldn't believe it, I didn't want to believe it, but, He let me fall and I hit the ground with an earthshaking, sickening thud. 

This was gonna be hard to recover from. This was gonna hurt a long, long time. This was gonna shatter my faith and break my heart. This was a deal-breaker of epic proportions. This was gonna set me back on my walk because I wouldn't be able to walk for a while. The fall broke my spiritual spinal cord and I was paralyzed. If I'd ever be able to walk again, it was gonna take a miracle.

While pain poured out of every fiber of my being from an endless river of tears, gargantuan sized rage began to fill me. I could feel gamma rays multiplying in every cell of my body, every strand of hair, all the way down to my toenails.

I was morphing into one of Marvel's most troubled super heroes, the Hulk. I wanted to pick up cars and throw them. I wanted to smash things with my bare hands and rip up the streets. I wanted to tear this city up and burn it down. I was ready to set off World War T. 
Woe to anyone who got in my path.

People closest to me were the unfortunate recipients. My kids, my "boyfriend." I cut off communication from family and friends. I was already lousy at keeping in touch with people, but now, it was worse. 

I went into a self-made cave and created a solitary, dark place, far away from people, especially Christians, with their string of worthless clichés.
 One reason why the unsaved don't like Christians is because so many are corny, fake, and almost never come from a genuine place with real sentiments that are sincere and their own. They routinely parrot things they themselves don't even believe, it's just what everybody says. 

I consciously chose to be alone so my gaping wounds could fester, grow and become infected with gangrene. I wanted that feeling of power that only nurtured anger brings and intended to unleash it every chance I got. The only thing that had been holding my inner Hulk back, had been my relationship with God. In my walk, I had come a long way from the person I used to be, but understood there is thin line between wretched and righteous.

It was God, my children and me against the world. Now it's just the kids and me as I continue to trudge up the path of Atlas, carrying the world on my shoulders. The realization that we are alone and probably always have been, was very hard to bear. All at once it meant that we were stuck here.

Stuck in Allentown, stuck on Allen St., stuck in poverty. It meant that I had to come up with a new plan because the best (and only) one I had, had just gone up in smoke. It meant we might be stuck here for the rest of our lives...

I started writing this post in June and could never get past a certain point. Although I've passed that stuck point in writing this post, I haven't passed the stuck point in my heart and mind. I think there may be a part 2 coming, but I really don't know what more I can say about it.