One of those Sundays in church that you weren't sure what you needed, if anything, but you get it anyways.
CLARITY. LIGHT. LOVE.
We all struggle. We all lose. We all will hurt.
And yet, so many of us are struggling to not only do the work to survive this life but to embrace that these struggles, losses and hurts can, will and must become well with our soul.
But, we cannot do this alone. I'd even argue to say that we cannot do this with only our faith either.
We need support. We need help. We need each other.
As Pastor Greg spoke about our struggles he discussed that God will often send Jesus in Skin; the person we need to help us through. Pastor Greg went into a whole story about being with his family in an overwhelming and scary situation and how their guide was wearing a red shirt. God protected them and sent in a red shirt.
In other words, we need both spirit and actual being to help us through.
THE LIGHT. THE GUIDE. THE HELP.
They closed that service with a version of the old hymn It Is Well with My Soul, and with the words let go my soul and trust in Him...it is well with my soul. I allowed myself to continue the work I have done in embracing the hard stuff. Everything I have survived, all the losses, is well with my soul. My story, my ever upward, both in my struggle and recovery and in my work of the book, blog and my private practice, allows me to help. Practicing the work of recovery means allowing it all to be well with my soul.
Not necessarily fair but well, okay, at peace.
That Sunday Chad and I just happened to sit behind one of my young clients and her family. After the song ended her mom turned around to me with tears running down her face and said, "You're our red shirt, thank you."
And, in that moment I felt even more clarity I didn't even know I needed.
That clarity where you feel with every sense of your being that you are experiencing a piece of your puzzle being put perfectly into its place in the beautiful picture of your life. The right time, the right place, the right people all put exactly where they are supposed to be for this unexpected, brilliant moment of clarity.
Sometimes these moments are shoved in our faces and hearts, sometimes we must be open enough to receive them, sometimes it is a little bit of both.
In her six words I felt God, I felt love, I felt the universe, I felt the light and my light.
I felt the forever scarred soul of who I am heal just a bit more.
BEING THE RED SHIRT.
Choosing to make it well with my soul, I carried that into my sessions that week.
It is an honor and privilege to do the work I do. I love what I do. I love walking alongside people as they choose to change their lives. Sometimes, I have to push from behind and sometimes I pull from ahead but mostly I simply walk alongside.
It was with this clarity that I was able to be with a client as she told me she was pregnant after years of trying, as she struggled to say the words, struggling out of disbelief, fear, guilt and out of protection for my losses.
And, yet I was able to be her red shirt. Because I know she is only in my office because she had lost herself in her battle to make her family. Because I know I was only able to help her because I am the therapist I am today after my own losses. Because I know she will be okay no matter what because of the work she has done with me. Because she has given me the honor and the privilege to be her red shirt.
All of it, two back surgeries, failed IVF, lost babies, anxiety, depression and finding my faith is only well with my soul if I choose to do the work to make it so.
My choice lies in what I do what with where I have come from.
My choice lies in the power of moving ever upward.