This fall I began taking Bee to a new therapist who has been very effective at helping Bee understand trauma and its effects on her thoughts and actions. I’ve seen Bee grasp things on a much deeper level and she is incredibly motivated to do the hard work of therapy.
I love the way God works. We chose this therapist because she was literally our only local option. As we spent time with her, she said small things that made me wonder if she might be a Christian. Then one day we were talking about suffering and how it can create bitterness that is harmful to us. She suggested that, for homework, Bee might like to read The Hiding Place. Now, that’s pretty unusual homework from a therapist!
I didn’t think Bee would want to read it, so I bought the Audible version and told the therapist that we would listen to it on our drive to and from Seattle. I sweetened the deal for Bee by suggesting that this be her only therapy homework for the week. As we left town on our drive, I turned on the story, eager to see what life-transforming work would take place as a result of Corrie Ten Boom’s words
It wasn’t long before we heard snoring from the backseat.
I was frustrated and wondered if we should turn it off, but I decided that if the Lord wanted Bee to learn something from the life of Corrie Ten Boom, he could handle it.
Russ and I were immediately drawn in; why had I avoided this book for so many years? Bee woke up and listened for awhile, but didn’t seem too interested. That changed on the drive home.
As the story became more involved we were engrossed. We drove into town just as The Hiding Place came to an end. In the driveway, we got out of the car, and I said, “Bee, what did you learn from this book?” She paused, shrugged her shoulders, and said, “I don’t know.” I said, “Think for a minute, what did you learn?” Then she answered, “Even when they suffered, God was with them,” – long pause – ”And they had to forgive the people who hurt them.”
I smiled, pulled her into a big hug, and said, “That’s exactly right. When we suffer, God is still with us, and forgiveness brings healing.”
Over the past month, we have seen so much growth. The sweet girl,the real Bee, is beginning to shine through. She often sends me sweet texts and gives me tight hugs, and she recently wrote a long letter to Dimples. I know it’s hard for her to be so vulnerable; it takes tremendous courage.
And do you know what? In the face of so much good change, I’m scared.
Could joy come our way after so much struggle? I want to shield myself from the joy in order to protect myself from pain that seems inevitable. Brene Brown, in her book Daring Greatly, calls this “foreboding joy.” Experiencing joy is a vulnerable act, which takes courage, and that is not always easy to come by. Working through foreboding joy and trusting God is my homework.
Have you felt this? Things seem too good, so we find ourselves waiting from the next hard thing to happen to steal the goodness away. I’m pretty certain I’m not alone.
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Have a great Monday, friends. Encourage one another.