When your husband calls you “a shell of a woman” {A Life Overseas}

Elizabeth is over at A Life Overseas today.

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For months this spring I felt like a shell of a woman. I was empty and didn’t have anything to give. Oh, I was still doing all the “right” things. I was still getting up most mornings attempting to connect with God, and I was still relatively consistent with my commitment to exercise.  But I felt dead inside and couldn’t figure out why.

My husband noticed. Where before him once stood life and life abundant, he now saw a shell of a woman. He even suggested another round of counseling. I knew something was wrong, but I didn’t know what to do about it or even what it was. I was unhappy in life and unmotivated in work. Was it depression? Burnout? What???

I felt especially dead at church. That was a strange feeling, because corporate worship has always quenched my thirst and nourished my soul and made my spirit come alive. But I just buried that newly incongruous feeling and ignored it. I tuned it out and refused to listen to it. I ran to the nearest screen and numbed out on TV and Facebook and solitaire games instead.

Finish reading here.

A Letter for the One Who’s Waiting {Velvet Ashes}

by Elizabeth

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You in the waiting,
Yes, you
And yes, me too —
For we are all waiting for something —
Dear sister,
Beloved one,
You in the waiting,
This much I know:
There are no shortcuts to healing.
There are no shortcuts to wholeness.
For we can’t know God as Healer without first being wounded.
And we can’t know God as guide without first being lost.
We can’t know Him as counselor without first being confused.
And we can’t know Him as comforter without first sustaining pain.
We can’t know Him as intimate companion without first feeling abandoned.
And we can’t find our identity in Christ alone without first losing it elsewhere.

You in the waiting,
Dear One,
This much I know:
There is no way around the ache of the human soul.
There is no detour through the pain.
When we walk through the valley —
And we will all walk through the valley —
None of us gets to skirt around the edges.
We are completely baptized in sorrow,
Fully immersed in its grief.
For there are no shortcuts to healing,
No shortcuts to joy.
There is only Jesus.
If anything, He is the short cut:
He is, after all, our Way home
Even if that way be long and broken.

So you in the waiting,
Keep waiting.
Keep seeking,
And keep asking,
Even in the silence —
For there may be silence —
And even in the darkness —
For there may be darkness —
But don’t you give up Hope.
Hold on to Hope.
Hold on to the name of our Jesus.
This waiting, it takes time.
It takes space.
And, I wish I didn’t have to say this, but —
It takes hard work too:
The hard work of shedding the lies we believe about God,
The hard work of shedding the lies we believe about ourselves,
The hard work of being honest with Him about the injuries,
And the hard, Spirit-assisted work of letting go of our entangling sins.

So you in the waiting,
Yes you —
And yes, me too —
For we are all waiting for something —
Dearest sister,
Beloved One,
You in the waiting,
This much I know:
There are no shortcuts to healing,
But in Jesus there is healing.
And there are no shortcuts to wholeness,
But in Jesus there is wholeness.
So we hold on to Him,
We hold on to Hope,
And together, we wait.

Originally published here, reprinted with permission.