Thursday, December 22, 2011

late night thoughts

Right now, it's the middle of the night & I am on the last night of my overnight shifts for the week. You never know what will happen overnight at a hospital - some nights are crazy busy with multiple traumas & code blues, while other nights are quiet. It has certainly given me a lot of time to think, to reflect on my life, my work, & the amazing, yet sad places I find myself in these days.

I've been a chaplain resident for three & a half months. While I consider it to be such a privilage & an honor to walk with people along their journey in the hospital, I am personally experiencing a spiritual famine. It's hard to admit that out loud. I'm an ordained minister. How can I feel like this? It feels like I'm putting on a show, all the while wondering what it all means. My relationship with God was pushed to the limits when I was leaving the church. That time was incredibly painful & I often questioned why God would do this to me. It was such a mess. And, I walked away from that mess into the world of hospital chaplaincy. I think I just shoved all that mess, pain, fear - into a corner & wanted to forget about it. But, it still haunts me. And, it hurts. I put up a wall to protect me from it all & that was pretty evident in my fall unit of this residency. I tried to engage in the process, desperately wanting to let go, but something was holding me back. It was the mess again. And, I am left with searching for God in it all.

And, there are questions that plague my head & my heart. Why am I resistant to praying with patients? I'll do it if they request it, but I don't offer it myself. Why can't I delve into spiritual matters in my visits? And, why am I so resistant to opening up completely to my colleagues?

I feel like I've lost myself along the way - through the mess that was my first call, the transition into a new situation with work, moving. I want to find myself again. I want to find the things that make me happy. I just want to be happy again. And, I desperately want to have a deeper connection with God, not just going through the motions & what is expected of me as a minister, as a chaplain. I desire deep peace.

Something that is plaguing me is the unresolved issues with my relationship with a guy I've known for over 11 years. We have this insane connection & felt it from the beginning. But, something happened back in late October - he began distancing himself from me. He changed. I felt like I've been robbed of the relationship - he wasn't there for me during the period of pain, the surgery, or the recovery. It had all changed in a moment. Over the last few days, I've toyed with the idea of sending a letter explaining all of my feelings. But, is it worth it? Or should I just walk away? What I know is that I have a broken heart. And it hurts.

My goal is to be more open about the thoughts in my head & the feelings in my heart with those around me. I can't simply exist behind the walls of protection anymore. The walls aren't serving me well. It's not going to be easy - that's for sure. But, I know I need space for healing & it can be done in community. Healing takes time - one step at a time.