I don’t want to talk about it.

I’ve had 5 miscarriages.  I don’t want to talk about it.

My mom has cancer.  I don’t want to talk about it.

While driving when I was a teenager, I hit… I don’t want to talk about it.

What do you NOT want to talk about?

Perhaps your deadbolted topic is something else.  Abuse.  Sins of the past.  Pornography involvement.  Out of control anger with the kids.  Health problems.  Car accident.  Failed marriage.  Abortion.  DUI.  Wayward children.  Betrayal of a friend.  Let go from a job.  Death of a spouse.  A friend’s suicide attempt.  You name it.

Why is it so hard to talk about those things?  Why do we yack-yack-yack…yet seldom go…there?

The hurt.

If I talk, the hurt has the potential of hitting me full force all over again.  If I can just bury this hurt deep down inside, maybe I’ll stop feeling the pain.  Maybe life will be easier to live if I just don’t think about it, talk about it.  Maybe I can forget…but I don’t.  Even when I never talk of the matter, it’s there, always there, just below the surface, ready to take over my thoughts once again when a memory pops up or a comment is said or I see a reminder.  I just want my heart to heal and stop hurting.

The shame.

Congratulations, you’ve had five miscarriages.  Um, who would ever say that?!  And, you don’t get teenager of the year for hitting someone with a car…doesn’t matter if it was your fault or not.  It’s just not one of those things you go around bragging about.

The fear of people’s reactions.

People won’t understand.  People will judge me.  They’ll say insensitive comments.  They won’t know what to say.  They’ll pummel me with unwanted questions.  They’ll pity me.  They’ll think I should be over it by now.  They’ll never look at me the same.  Whatever they do, surely it will cause more hurt.  I’m better off just keeping quiet, right?

My own lack of understanding.

God is good, sovereign and loving.  Then, why did this happen?  I’m battling my own burning desire to understand the seemingly incomprehensible.  Couldn’t my life story have been written without this chapter?  Obviously, I’m struggling to trust God at times.  This trial is an attack on my faith.  Will I believe God is worthy of worship no matter what happens to me?

Intellectually, I know that talking about some of these things could bring comfort and encouragement to someone.  So, why can’t I just make my mouth open and the words flow out?  Why is there a lead weight on my heart making my tongue not work?  Then again, at times it seems the weight is temporarily lifted and my words start flowing and I can talk on and on about my miscarriages or my mom’s cancer…to the right person in the right circumstances for just the right length of time.  Then the deadbolt fastens tight over my mouth again.  Back to inward hurt that no one sees but me…and God.

My hunch is most, if not all, of us have some inward hurts that we just can’t quite bring to the surface very often.   To clarify, I’m NOT saying we should start spouting off about all our deep wounds to everyone.  However, I do believe sometimes we have to take the risk, push through the pain, be vulnerable…and talk about it.  Why?  Because you can be the instrument God uses to encourage those listening with similar circumstances, to comfort them in their own current trials, or to help them grow in compassion and empathy as they hear about a trial they have not personally experienced.  And, in the process you may find yourself being comforted and encouraged by that person.  The world can be a better place because you have the courage to share your painful story.

A few months ago, I was aware of a lady who had a miscarriage.  I had wanted to get to know her but our paths only crossed from a distance.  Yet my heart went out to her when I was told of her miscarriage.  I decided to take the risk, push through the pain, be vulnerable and go and speak to her…about miscarriages.  What had the potential for being an awkward conversation ended up being the conversation that opened the door for us to become the friends that we are today.

So, I guess you could say that without my miscarriages, I would probably be without this friendship.  No, that’s not right.  My miscarriages alone didn’t help me develop this friendship.  My willingness to talk made all the difference.

And, now I’m hoping I can find the willingness to share with you about my miscarriages sometime soon.  But, I’m still finding that really hard.  Time will tell if I can unlock this deadbolt.  For now, I don’t want to talk about it.

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