This too shall pass, they say. You’ll get over your dad’s suicide and you’ll forget about that terrible job and that arrogant boy. You’ll move on. Forgetfulness, forward progress: it’s what the world pushes all of us broken people towards at a ridiculous pace, even when we’re not ready. And I’m not ready. I’m not ready to forget, to get over it, to move on but I am ready to remember, to forgive, and to see the beauty in this past of mine.
But let’s be real: it took me 11 years to be ready. 11 years before I could remember and process that my dad died by suicide. Sitting with a journal and a pen in the rain staring in the face what his suicide haunted me with: reckless guilt. I took myself and my journal, all shakingly wet, inside and wept while a friend read that journal, painfully knowing that getting over it wasn’t working. All I wanted was to heal; to no longer be defined as the daughter of a man who killed himself.
If you were to tell me I’d be set free bit by bit after that day, I would have choked on my water.
6 months later, I awkwardly initiated conversation with this same friend and he unexpectedly prayed over me that I would know I am a daughter of the King. I could have choked on my water. Man, the forgiveness and healing that would ensue as a result. I don’t remember anything else he prayed about because I just remember feeling all that guilt fade away. This was who I could be! Alone in my head and heart, I tacked on my own prayer before the Amen came: “Jesus, I want You, I want to be Yours”.
A month later, I made a choice to potentially be able to choke on some water, I got baptized. In all seriousness, it was a physical display of 11 years of guilt and shame surrendered and a future that never looked so clear. For the first time, it all looked so beautiful.
Reckless Love/Cory Asbury.
Extra cheese pizza. We ate a lot of pizza growing up as kids. The thin crust kind that you buy at Aldi and pop into the oven for 22 minutes or so. So good. To this day, extra cheese is my go-to with pizza. Oh, pepperoni and sausage pizza comes with cheese? Not enough, friends. Not enough.
I think I love pizza as much as I do because there was a night where my dad was upset and refused to eat but I warmed him up some leftover pizza and he ate it. Pizza is a sure-fire way to the heart.
I am broken.
In the grips of this world, I am wrecked by guilt and shame.
I ache to be forgiven but I know too well I am unworthy of it.
And no matter how hard I try to right my wrongs, it is not enough.
Heal me, Lord. As only You can.
Bring me to the end of myself so that Your work can begin.
But don’t leave me there alone.
Surround me with Your holy people.
May they walk with me, teach me, and love me.
Surround me with Your Holy Spirit, Lord.
May it guide me out of the deep waters
And into Your deep grace for me.
Jesus, in your hands, I am safe.
In Your hands I can heal.
Take my life and let it be Yours
for I am Yours and You are mine.
Find your people. The ones who will read your tear-stained, rain-soaked mess of words and tell you it is gonna be okay. The ones who will get coffee with you, hear you out, and pray for you time and time again until you’re okay. The ones who get brunch with you at the crack of dawn because schedules are nuts and it’s been too long. The ones who will see the same movie again with you because you haven’t seen it yet. The ones who will meet you halfway at a café to catch up on lives and work. The ones who let you into their homes for lunch and make room in their lives.
Yes, it is awkward sometimes to let them in. Do it anyway. Start small if you need to. Write your hurt down and let someone read it while you sit next to them. Let your pastor pray over you. Find a church that will love you and help you heal and grow. Text a good friend and ask to get coffee. Ask someone you look up to if they will mentor you. Join a group of people your age with the same goals. Schedule a counseling appointment. You can do it.
I promise you’ll catch glimpses of the beautiful here.
Contact: @perkowskianna on Instagram/ www.perkofsorts.wordpress.com