In my life, Wednesday is Therapy Day. There's been a Therapy Day in my life for many years. For a long time it was Tuesday, but a few months ago we switched to Wednesday. It's worked out well, as it allows me to spend time with my best friends on Tuesdays crafting, talking, eating and sometimes even being productive.
What I didn't plan on when we made the switch was how it would impact Thankful Thursday. Therapy has been a blessing in my life, don't get me wrong here; BUT we dig through some pretty unpleasant material, which often leaves me feeling wrung out and focusing on all the bad stuff. It's not that I'm not grateful on Thursday, it's just harder to access it sometimes.
All that to say, I'm having a little trouble today finding something meaningful and specific to share with you today, so there may be rambling (I think there already has been!).
Yesterday we focused on the last episode of abuse in my life. When I was in college I was raped one night while staying at a relative's home. I've talked and talked about this episode in therapy, and I really think I've dealt with it. Trauma/abuse is like an onion (and thus like Shrek), it has layers. One thing leads to another. Yesterday I realized I'm hung up again on why I made the choice to stay at that person's house that night. Here's the scenario. I was still living at home with my parents and younger brother. They were out of town. I was terrified to stay alone in our house. The usual way this was handled was my bff would come and stay, but she was out of town as well. In my head the logical step was to stay at this close relative's house. It's what someone else would do in the same situation. I checked with her and she was happy to have me stay. Here's where I get hung up. Why didn't I know this would be a bad idea? Her husband had made a couple of passes at me. Should I have taken this into consideration before choosing to stay the night? Was I remiss in not pondering whether or not I'd be safe there? The general consensus now seems to be, "Who would worry about getting raped in that scenario?" Should I have somehow seen it coming? The real question here is: Am I responsible for what he did that night? When posed that way, I know the answer is "No" because I am not responsible for another person's choices/actions. So why do I feel this nagging fear that I'm leaving out an important part of the story?
I don't have answers to most of those questions right now. I've had to learn to live without answers to lots of questions regarding the abuse. The abusers are often the only ones with the answers and they cannot be trusted. But here's where the gratitude comes in (finally!) -- I'm not required to have the answers! One of the greatest gifts that God has given me is "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you" (I Peter 5:7). When I remember this verse, none of the "bad" stuff is such a burden. I DON'T HAVE TO DO IT ALONE! What a gracious and loving Father I have. He is willing to carry my burdens for me. It doesn't make them go away. It doesn't make it not have happened. It does mean I'm not alone anymore. And that makes a world of difference.
They were also to stand every morning to thank and praise the LORD. They were to do the same in the evening . . .
-- I Chronicles 23:30