I am so excited about our new Friday blogger! He’s been in the trenches with me a couple of times and literally has a heart of gold and an amazing talent for writing. I’m super excited to introduce you to John Tam who is not only a gifted writer but also captures some of the most beautifully things I’ve ever seen in the form of photography. You’re in for a treat!
The Seeds between the Stepping Stones of Pain
Hello, I would like to introduce myself. My name is John Tam. After a hard beginning to a new year I have been spreading my wings a bit more lately and getting back into the vibrant world of writing. I was approached by Evinda and she asked if I would like to write for Faith Filled Friday’s. It’s such an honor to be asked such a thing. I have been seeking a commitment and find it funny how God sometimes answers the call despite the missing prayer. I’d like to welcome any and all of you to put on some music, maybe even light a candle as I share some thoughts and feelings. Ok, so ready, set go! 😉
2016 ,who are you? Many things have jumped in my boat since you brought the storm with you. Well your last 6 months be a stark difference from your first 6? That is what I had asked of myself almost as if 2016 was a living organism. Oh these things that have come my way have hurt so deeply. They are the kind of things that are incredibly hard to release and let go of. Things that seem to go against the grain of what one’s heart wishes, whispers and hopes for through the seasons. For much of my life I have felt deep abandonment by people. I was a very young child when I first learned how deep pain feels. I can remember crying for my mother when she was being abused. Remember feeling a massive fear like a moment to moment tsunami. Remember flinching upon hearing my step-father’s voice, never knowing if I did something wrong and would receive my answer when I got spanked for something or at a time that felt completely out the blue.
As a young boy I never felt anger for many years…only fear. As the chapters of life compiled anger became such a powerful emotion that seemed to empower me. For a boy that was abused and full of fear it was a chance to see things differently, to be free from my fears in some way, to fill the belly of what I needed. I merely wanted to walk in the world without feeling I was going to be hit, be screamed at, or compared to others that were better than me. I longed to be noticed for working hard at the things I did… instead of being told I still wasn’t working hard enough. So on came the feeling of being a failure, which fed depression, sadness and gloom.
Years later I came to realize that those things seemed to push aside the anger, yet all the while germinated the seeds of fear. More of me became an ever shifting puzzle that I could not assemble nor morph an understanding to. It was like turning around as a young child midst a county fair and your parents were gone. Oh, yes the fear gripping you like a vice. So where was God? Where was my support? Where was my real father? Where was my mother? Where was I? I just wanted something to believe in, something to ground me, something to hold me.
Writing feelings of a boyhood that I once ran away from…is so difficult, but powerful as it reveals the stepping stones: Fear to anger, anger to depression, depression to failure all the while feeling abandonment stalking me… holding me hostage. I have come to believe that these things we carry, the feelings which hurt worse than any knife could deliver are only part of our life story. We carry them because we are human. We become them because we are broken. So just how am I still here? How have I come to be so empathetic toward others? How have I come to love so deeply? How is it possible when we embolden our tender sides of understanding and feeling that we in turnabout become incredibly strong? How could I have survived this pain when I felt that God had ultimately forsaken me?
It was a gift that I came to understand that releasing anger, letting go of bitterness, even letting go of those you love the most when sadly a time arises to do so… thought it all hurts… but there in it is a lone seed. We can either choose to the see the seeds of pain or the one seed that God planted within. I am still here and my love still goes on.
For me it was a lighthouse that I had and used as a nightlight to which I feel asleep looking at as a young boy. It was a foster family that took me in and loved me… and all of me. It was a dog named Bella that stuck with me through the thick and thin. Oh, yes, how blessed I am to see the love above all else. Those are the seeds that God places between the stepping stones of pain. They bring character and even beauty. We must not hurt more because we have been hurt more, we must celebrate more for the opportunity packed into every seed, every breath, every choice. All is provided from above: for everyone a chance to feel loved, held, and ultimately cared for by God. I am stronger because I can change. I can heal by always choosing to irrigate the things we wish to photosynthesize and harvest…. For it all turns out: the shade on a hot summer’s day, the many branches all grown by a lone seed… the seed of Love.
Well there you have it, my heart, mind and soul…still healing. I hope you feel God’s love; it’s not always in the ways in which we think. He can use one emotion to drive out others. He can use a nightlight, an animal…anything! The ways are absolutely endless & infinite. Truth is it’s all around us; we must take the time and do our part to first discover it. I just know that I still have six months, the last half of 2016 to turn it around… Feel free to jump on this bandwagon! 🙂
May much Love, Laughter & Healing be yours,