something i’ve been thinking a lot about lately is sadness.  i’ve just been super sad.

tonight at my small group, i was sharing about a situation that my sweet and wonderful friends that i hang with on tuesday nights for BSB (bible study and beveraging) have been praying for over the past year now.  i said something along the lines of, “i’m just so sad and i wish i wasn’t.”

one of the incredibly wise, older women–mary, sweet, sweet mary–cocked her head and looked me straight in the eye and said, “jess, you need to feel that sadness and live in it right now.  how else will you grow?”

how else will you grow?

and it hit me as i sat there on that couch, surrounded by women who have lived good and hard lives that they have grown from every hard step they took.

there are a lot of sad things that have been overwhelming to me.  just stuff that is so ugly and so hard and so very sad.  i haven’t known how to deal with it besides pushing it away and wishing i wasn’t sad.

when my sweet grandma passed away this summer, i did not process it–have not processed it.  how have i grown?  i haven’t.  really, i haven’t yet.  and as i think about moving forward, i know that i won’t, i can’t, until i’m ready to feel sad and live in it.  how else will i grow?

i think i live so deeply in fear of feeling sadness or feeling the feelings that i feel.  what precious truth from my wonderful mary; what a necessary reminder of my stunted growth if i’m not willing to feel.

the deep sadness and grief that i have been feeling for four different people and situations is pervasive and i hate that.  but if i don’t address it and live into it, how else will i grow?  how else will i bloom beyond it?

i’ve been thinking about blooming for the last few days.  i think about the flowers that my mother in law gave us for our thanksgiving dinner…when she first gifted them, they were, while lovely, all closed up.  as they’ve opened and i’ve been able to see the heart of them, more than just the outside, i’ve been amazed at their beauty and intricacy.

they are cut flowers and are on their way to an imminent death; i like to think about the plant my sweet secret sister gave me.  the gerber daisies on this plant are in process of opening, closing, blooming, wilting, dying, regrowing, opening, etc.  and they are connected to their roots, to their plant.  they have a source of growth deep within and it terrifies me to think how often i forget that i do as well.

how else will i grow when i’m closed up and not connected to my source?

i don’t know how to end this; i’m tired and sad and i feel like i just spit my heart and brain out at the keyboard.  but it feels like a first step toward truth and health.  and it feels good.