I’m reading as I blog. I don’t read ahead, so I don’t know what’s coming. Most of these chapters leave this reader with the feeling that the writer is letting me in on something known only by people close to him or her. Joy’s chapter is the epitome of that. Her guard is completely down.
She starts off by going through old photographs of herself before she saw the side to life that melts the sheen off. She walks you through the private thoughts she had as public church leader with a special needs child. Her private thoughts were doubtful and, at times, bitter.
“But as the years of fighting death back from our daughter’s bedside wore on and as her condition worsened, I began to doubt that God was good” (page 117).
This chapter, in its unguarded honesty, is absolutely beautiful. The doubt, pain, eventual acknowledgment that she needed help beyond just trying harder is refreshing. Joy went through every parent’s worst nightmare, and the lesson she, through her chapter, walks you to is that it’s okay to question and to admit that what you’re going through is beyond your ability.
“My innocence needed to be strengthened by experience, my joy has been deepened by grief, my optimism and enthusiasm are grounded in reality” (page 119).
It was through not hiding that she found freedom. I love that.
Tanya Marlow wrote “Breathing Room”, the 18th chapter of Soul Bare. I’ll write my thoughts about her chapter next.