We want life to have meaning, we want fulfillment, healing and even ecstasy, but the human paradox is that we find these things by starting where we are, not where we wish we were. We must look for blessings to come from unlikely, everyday places—out of Galilee, as it were—and not in spectacular events, such as the coming of a comet.~Kathleen Norris, Quotidian Mysteries
One day last week, feeling desolate, I was in another room trying to catch the breath anxiety and panic had taken from me. I asked my 11 year-old daughter for advice. She climbed on top of me, her body stretched along mine the way I comfort and ground her when she needs deep pressure, and she was quiet for over a minute. I knew this was a challenging concept for Phoenix, thinking abstractly about feelings. While her head was on my chest she told me, “Never give up.”
Phoenix was an unlikely, everyday place and she blessed me. It was as holy a moment as though a pastor had anointed me with oil and prayed a benediction over me, because that was exactly what had happened. My little spectrum girl had bestowed an anointing on me with her words, her ear to my heart, and she became my Galilee.
We find meaning, fulfillment, and healing by starting where we are, not where we think we should be. That “should” will keep us waiting for the right time, the perfect person, even permission from others to begin our journey toward healing. There is no time, space, or life situation, that will create the “necessary” elements conducive to healing.
Healing is messy work and it rarely happens the way we want it to. God seems to delight in surprising us with unexpected wells of encouragement and energy to keep going, and most importantly, he promises us that hope does not disappoint.
It starts now—even when, especially when it seems the timing couldn’t be any worse, your situation any more disastrous, your heart any more broken.
It starts here—even in, especially in the darkness, fear, despair, shame, grief, longing, emptiness, and anger.
Hope happens when we put ourselves in its way, when we choose it every aching day. Healing happens when we, like the Israelites building the Temple, make a beginning. When we, like Jacob, wrestle the angel for the blessing. Limping is guaranteed, but so is hope, a future, and a new name along with our deliverance.
What is the beginning you need to make?
Join us this month as we explore what hope and healing look like in our ordinary, everyday, lives. You will hear from women who have made hope a reality in their lives even in the face of depression, anxiety, gendercide, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, teen pregnancy, abortion, and abuse. I am so proud of these women for their willingness to do the hard work of healing and their courage in sharing their stories with us. This is our Mudroom. Sit with us awhile. You never know what might happen.
Writer at Raggle-Taggle
Tammy Perlmutter writes about unabridged life, fragmented faith, and investing in the mess. She is founder and curator of The Mudroom and co-founder of Deeply Rooted., a biannual worship and teaching gathering for women. Tammy is a member of Redbud Writers Guild; writing blog posts, personal essays, flash memoir, poetry, and even preaching sometimes. She's an urban beekeeper and lives in an intentional Christian community in Chicago with her husband, Mike, and daughter, Phoenix.