This has been a rough month for my family. I will not go into many specifics, other than to say that we have been judged, criticized, ignored, and deemed a necessary evil by not only society at large, but the church at large as well. A few people have asked me how I am doing. It is difficult to answer that question, so I typically say something along the lines of, “Thank you for asking. I’m just not in a place emotionally where I can discuss this right now.”

The raw, vulnerable truth is much more complicated though, as it usually is.

As it probably is for many of you right now, even if your circumstances are slightly different.

How am I doing?

I am angry that something I take so much pride in is the very thing that society says I should be ashamed of and quiet about.

How am I doing?

My heart feels a constant weight. I mean this literally. 24/7. Nonstop.

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How am I doing?

Lonely. I feel lonely. I feel this way in spite of the many well-meaning people who have reached out. I am lonely because I have a glimpse into something that most will never have the opportunity to see. And what I see, what I have seen for these many years, is nothing that remotely resembles the caricature being painted in the media.

How am I doing?

I am scared. I do not want to overplay this; I know it’s not likely we will face personal, physical attacks. But it is not out of the question, either.

How am I doing?

I am clinging. Clinging to the smallest pieces of joy. Clinging to gratitude. Clinging to hope.

How am I doing?

I am learning what it means to live with joy and sorrow, not one after the other, but both at the exact same time.

How am I doing?

I am more in need of the Word of God than I have been in years. I am desperate. I cannot survive without it.

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How am I doing?

I am both crushed yet whole.

Sorrowful yet laughing.

Scared yet peaceful.

Lonely yet held.

Weak yet strong.

I am walking with one foot in front of the other. Slowly. One day, one hour at a time.

And while I may never get to the other side of this pain entirely, I am not waiting to be “OK.” I am desperately fighting to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus in the hope that I can fully live, fully love, and freely offer grace to a world in desperate need of it.

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