Weekly, we are at the library. Every Saturday morning from 10 am to 11:30 am. Like clockwork. Friends and family often know that this is where we camp out for the morning. People often text asking if we are there. The answer is always yes.
There is something about the peace and quiet of the Chaska Library that enables people to talk. To really talk. To share their hearts and to unload the heft of life that often weighs them down. I wonder how many of the conversations have been overheard by others. I think the listener is probably just as encouraged as I am. At least I hope they are. I don’t ever talk very loud with the intention of others hearing what is being said. But I have become aware of someone else’s physical presence looming while conversations become deeper and more heartfelt.
There are so many things that I hear. People tell me just about everything. I am often deemed as a safe place to share because I do not gossip and I strive to not judge. I hear about children struggling in school and diagnoses that are so challenging and heartbreaking. I hear about amazing times of re-connection with spouses. How a short time away enabled both the husband and wife to remember why and how they first fell in love. I hear about the challenges of caring for aging parents. How it isn’t something they would want to ever do, but feel obligated to help. I hear about friendships that have dissolved over foolish childish arguments. I hear about the pain of watching kids struggle with school and friendships. I hear about the desire to return to school and change careers. I hear about the worry that never really leaves when it comes to unfulfilled dreams.
But what about all the things that haven’t been discussed? What about all the things that hurt so much that you can’t even talk about them? The pain that has yet to be acknowledged, yet to be vocalized. What about the all the junk that hurts so much to even think about that you avoid speaking of it so it doesn’t become real? What about the hurts of the past that you have yet to overcome, yet you refuse to talk about it because you believe that you will face judgement? And what about the secret addictions, the ones that cause shame and guilt and you feel that you are a moment away from being exposed as a fraud? Believe it or not, we all have those private things that we do not discuss. You are not alone. Your struggle may be different than mine, but you are not alone.
It is all about time. It is all about working through those hurts and finding a way to process them while letting them hurt a bit less every day. There is no time table. There isn’t a for sure fix or formula that will make it better. But there are friends and family. There are the people that love you. The people who will encourage you. And the people that will uplift you in prayer whenever you ask. Those are your people. Those are the people that will walk by your side, accept you as you are and work through the hurt with you. Because chances are, they have their own problems that they are working on also.
Sending love to everyone who is trying to heal from the things they do not discuss.