freedom to tell

by Katherine

I find it so much harder to write about today ever since I got married. I used to process my thoughts through words on paper or screen, and I found freedom in being as see-through as I could in those places. Writing was a process that helped me age spiritually and emotionally, as I needed to do. Not that I was ever very frequent or consistent with words, but it seemed more natural then to sort my thoughts into order and true words, whenever they began to swirl.

Lately, I have realized that since my life in its entirety has been bound up with Seth’s, it becomes trickier to figure out a way to tell the stories in my head without unwrapping those sacred, hidden parts of us that we are sharing just between us. I can think up plenty of past phases to taste again in my mouth, to remember and savor again in a good re-telling. But to tell of the present requires a new way to process, and I need to figure it out, because I need to keep writing. I want to tell of today with candor and courage, but hold the tenderest parts with greatest care.

Just the other day, during a difficult talk with my husband and our pastor, Seth was urged to free me from some heavy burdens I have been carrying. As husband and wife, and as Christians, we should be bearing each other’s burdens in order to help each other along toward light and truth. Here, we were both helped to see that I had been taking, and he had been placing, too much weight upon my shoulders, and that I needed relief. Some of my first thoughts went toward this fear I had towards creativity. That my necessary transparency in writing had become impossible to me, as I was afraid of telling the truth of what we have known, of what we have felt, of why I have cried in dark corners, of why he goes back to things he promised he’d leave. I couldn’t tell of the beautiful, victorious days in a right way, without also telling of the dark and terrifying ones. Right away, Seth looked into my eyes, and gently told me to tell without fear. To bring our stories to the page, no matter how hard they have been to live through, and no matter how hard they are to re-tell. Already I felt less weight in my soul, and the light just begin to finger its way to my shattered places.

As we have been learning, light is painful at first, when it shows us all that is not right. All that we have done, all that we have suffered. But it is grace all along, for it floods us with life. It buoys us to the air of freedom, where we can dance in the company of the others who have known those same darkest nights. It bids our heaven-sent helpers take our hands, and speak help to our tired hearts: “Your Jesus will not fail you.”  

I want to stay here in the fields and open air of grace, living and telling of the Light meeting our darkness, making all things new. So, here is my new start. I pray you’ll patiently prod me along the way to keep me telling. For there is so much to tell.