Once you have named the hurt and grieved its existence, you can stand up

Updated: Aug 26

I watched the first version of my story video a couple of days ago; a video of me sharing about my cult experience. Before clicking on the small play arrow, I set my mind on simply watching the footage the first time through, saving editing notes for subsequent viewings. This wasn’t hard to do, as I became lost in the imagery, the narrative, the piano, and the memories. I felt every scene and every word.

My heart hurt for hours afterwards. Hours that followed me into the next morning.

Earlier today, I watched it again when I shared it with a friend, who expressed her emotion in streaming tears. Again, my heart hurt.

A few hours ago, I had a call with the video production team to run through the editing plan, ensuring we were on the same page with the pending alterations. Clarifying and confirming understanding so that the truth of my story would be captured and presented as best as possible. I did not even watch it this time, and yet again, my heart hurt.

It has been two more meals and my heart is still hurting.

I have taken all the time needed over the past ten years to process and heal from the individual losses in my life, but there is something about seeing and hearing it all in 8 minutes that’s...new. Fresh. Too much at once.

I’m not surprised by finding another layer to feel and acknowledge; I had expected the video production process for my story to be difficult. I have stumbled upon countless hidden minefields before, so I know how this goes. I know the tenderness of a newfound wound in need of care, like when I saw my friend’s record player (https://www.naomiwrightministries.com/post/play-on). I have learned the art of acceptance and allowing with love, all while knowing this place is temporary. I will not stay here in this pain, if I am patient and gentle with myself, as God is patient and gentle with me (1 Corinthians 13). Soon, I will lay this wound to rest beside the others, and grass will grow from its soil, providing a soft mound to freely dance upon.

For now, It’s okay to be here, right where I am.

I could choose to stay here forever, mourning my losses and immobilized by my hurt, but I won’t. I never have. This is a choice I continue to make, again and again, as I recommit to lifting my eyes upward and forward toward who I can be in Christ, remembering that from my suffering comes perseverance, then character, then hope (Romans 5:3-4). I have such a strong love for character development and gosh, the resulting hope is powerful.