Sunday, May 31, 2009

“You really needed to bruise”

A few days ago my physical therapist uttered these words while marveling at the bruises he had left two days before. It was such an odd thing to hear as a patient “You really needed to bruise”, but I totally got it. Sometimes you need to breakdown or destroy something to make it stronger.

As a nurse I have worked under the notion that pain is bad—we medicate it, we distract it, we use every tool we have to avoid feeling pain. As a human I work very much the same—I avoid pain at all costs. I especially avoid anything that is going to leave a bruise.

My PT’s comment stuck with me as I thought of all the bruises that have battered my soul over the last five years. Bruises that I tried to avoid…desperately tried to avoid. It has only been the last year that I am beginning to understand those bruises and appreciate the fact that I really needed to bruise. Those bruises made me the person I am…the mother that I am becoming. I have been blessed with so much joy. My son is part of the reason, but not the only reason. He is only the icing on the cake—the culmination of a long journey, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow—whatever you want to call it.

Five years ago I was in love with a man who wanted to marry me. He was my closest friend and when it ended suddenly I was forced to create a new vision of what my life and future would be. At the same time my best girlfriend became involved with an emotionally abusive man. At my weakest she turned on me and spewed all the ugliness he had filled her with. God felt so far away. My prayers went unanswered, my tears fell unheeded and I felt nothing but hurt. I did all the things I was supposed to do to change my circumstances—I began going on a lot of different dates, but each was worse and scarier than the last. I finally decided that God had done everything He needed to do to stop me going down that path. I joined a lot of different groups, volunteered with a number of various community volunteer groups in the hopes of making new friends. Each “friend” I met was more draining than the last and I felt like I was emotionally supporting some very damaged individuals. So, I stopped trying to find friends. I bought my three bedroom house knowing the other other two rooms might never be more than hobby or junk rooms. I accepted and painfully embraced a future of solitude. I also began praying that God find a way to use me. I was ready to follow. That was the summer of 2006.

The rest of the story feels kind of like old news—this part of the story I have told many times. A few weeks later I had a moment that really changed my life. I knew that I was on the cusp of something—the path finally began to look clear again. I was sharing a garden dinner with a friend of the eve of my thirtieth birthday. I asked if there was anything she regretted in her life. She was fifty-something, divorced with no children. She wished she would meet a man that would love her and be her companion, but she never regretted not having children. I was relieved that the sun had dropped below the horizon because I felt myself choke up when I realized I could live a lifetime without another man to love and not regret it, but I would always regret not having my own child to love.

Only a few days later my adoption journey began. I remember the moment when it finally clicked together and I knew what I had to do. I remember the fear, the paralyzing fear, that I was making a terrible mistake. The fear that God wouldn’t be there. That I was exposing myself to more pain. That fear stayed with me until December 18, 2008 when I finally held my son for the first time. I have come to understand why those bruises and breaks had to occur. I understand why I did not marry the man that loved me dearly, why I could no longer be friends with the girl that drained me to the point I had no energy left for myself. I understand why God was silent all those years. He broke me down and smoothed out the rough places in my life. It didn’t feel good and I hope I never have to go through that again, but I would do it all over again to be where I am now. And to be Duc’s mama.This picture breaks my heart in a good way, you know?


kris May 31, 2009 at 9:31 AM  

thank you so much for this post today.... thank you so much.

Anonymous May 31, 2009 at 7:28 PM  

That was an amazing post. Thank you for sharing.
Project Stormea

Kelli May 31, 2009 at 9:24 PM  

So true, so true. And beautifully written!

Angie June 1, 2009 at 12:41 AM  

Bruises look good on you! I am so sorry that these things hurt you and broke your heart...but I am thankful for the way they all played a role in leading you to Duc...and into my life as well! Hugs to you, dear friend!

Laurie June 1, 2009 at 12:22 PM  

I can relate...a few butt kickings can go a long way to make us who we are. Not that it justifies the butt kickers, but ya know;) Beautiful post Erica - so glad you 2 found each other!

Kate June 2, 2009 at 8:12 AM  


What a journey. I'm so glad you made it through the storm, saw the rainbow and found your pot of gold! God is awesome. Thanks for sharing.

Dave and Teresa June 3, 2009 at 10:11 AM  

Erica, that was so beautiful. What a testimony to God's power and to all of the bruises that make us who we are and lead us down a better road than we could have ever dreamed for ourselves.


About This Blog

This started as my story, but has evolved to OUR story. This is the story of life as a single parent to a wonderful little boy while we wait for baby sister. China LID 2.12.07.

But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, be patient! For it will surely take place. It will not be late by a single day.
Habakkuk 2:3

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