The Void -A personal story review by pFlo.
God created us, uniquely, with our own special story and our stories invariably become part of "His Story".
I recently completed a book review and wanted to share a personal story, a chapter from the book titled Inciting Incidents, an interesting one-of-a-kind collaborative piece of art, curated by Sarah Cunningham (of The STORY Conference). This book features six story tellers -Jeff Goins, David Hickman, Blaine Hogan, Tracee Persiko, Mandy Thompson, and David V. Wenzel.
A creator leaves an imprint upon his or her creation; I believe in the same token…our hearts bear the inscription of our maker – God. I also believe sincerely that God’s ‘handprint’ is revealed in our lives and when we allow God’s master plan revealed in Jesus Christ to take center stage – our stories regardless of the ‘accidentals’ is truly magnified as one filled with God’s phenomenal best intentions. It’s within God’s prism that our ‘accidentals’ – births etc is fully understood.
- We are intentional products of God’s manifold grace and purpose.
- We are unique (each one of us) with a role to play here on earth.
When I was invited to write my synopsis on the chapter titled the Void I didn’t know what to expect… and went forward with an open mind. It turned out to be an interesting adventure. The void was an account of how a child’s life was rudely interrupted and shattered in a instant when she realized one night her parents were divorcing and her father left the house that same day never to return. It is a story told from one perspective often ignored – the perspective of an innocent ‘victim’.
I appreciate when truth conveyed is ‘raw’ void of the ‘mocked up’ process because in life no one is fully prepared for life’s battles – heartbreaks, loss of significant others, sicknesses etc even though we prepare for the battles in times of peace we do hurt when ‘bad things’ happen.
Tracee’s story captured her struggles with esteem, perceptions, jeers, disappointments and much more. Yet within life’s disappointment, came an opportunity for a story. A story, ongoing that captures the tension of life – the struggle of pain and deliverance. Designed as a snapshot – it read as a work in progress ideal for people like us – who are still on a journey. We have pain, we struggle but we have hope, victory and power. There are ‘good’ days and then there are ‘bad’ days…Tracee Persiko (the author) laid bare her pain, her struggle, her void.
It is our type of story, one we can relate to – imperfections, insecurities, fear, pain, shame, neglect, disappointment and struggle. It is a ‘present tense’ because it’s still ongoing and the facts remain. A story with many to blame yet blaming no one…
I wanted to capture the same ‘present tense’ approach in the book and decided to ask Tracee a few questions for the Relationships Do Matter readers…and prayerfully hope they do to you what I think it will…provide an encouragement. The Apostle Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians chapter 1, verse 4 about comfort and how what we’ve received during our suffering provides us with the grace and ability to help others during their sufferings.
2 Cor 1:4 He comforts us whenever we suffer. That is why whenever other people suffer, we are able to comfort them by using the same comfort we have received from God.
Here are the questions and Tracee’s answers –
1: How do you (or does one) deal with occasional lapses (guilt, anger)?
The grieving process is hard to navigate. It has no warning. We can bounce in and out of guilt, anger, and sadness. It is okay. The key is risking to dig deeper and find the root of what’s going on – the feeling. Anger and guilt are symptoms of what’s going on in the heart. Own your feelings and risk to listen to the deeper things.
2: When does it hurt the most and why? List the top 3 reasons.
It hurts when I see great dads, or hear about great dad things such as: Father’s sticking up and protecting their daughters, experiencing great family dinners with friends family’s where the dad is joking and being funny with his kids, or sharing holidays together.
3:What are the clues to look for in others who might be dealing with similar after-effects?
The after effects can look like many things. Some people deal with depression and lack of motivation. Some people choose to suppress their grief and fill their lives with temporary things/people to avoid the pain (i.e reckless behavior, impulsive behavior, or lack of control over outbursts.)
4: What is the best or optimal way to engage such individuals?
I have learned phrases like “I know what you’re going through,” or “I get it” are not entirely helpful. In some situations they, but for the most part listening is key. Every person feels and responds to hardship uniquely. Their emotions are real for them. Just saying things like, “I’m sorry,” or “that is really hard” validates where the person is. That matters a lot. Letting people just talk makes all the difference.
We are on a journey and dear ones I pray you find the strength and the grace to see your ‘mess’ as the ingredients for your ‘message’.
Be encouraged today let the love, hope and joy of Christ fill your heart today.
Just like the book, "Inciting Incidents – it has a lot of beginnings and no definite endings – perfect for us, the unfinished people, with unfinished stories…in the hands of the Almighty God.
Do you need to talk? Do you have a question?
You are not alone – let’s talk.
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