I think I’ve always known poetry is sacred medicine that sometimes reaches places regular words just can’t get to.
Poetry takes ordinary words and weaves them together with story and feeling in a way that has always spoken to my soul, even when I was little and didn’t even know what a soul was. I find that the simplest phrases or incomplete sentences can be transformed into powerful expressions of our deepest emotions. Poetry is a particularly powerful ally when trying to understand somethings as enormously complex as our Creator.
That’s why I’m SO excited to introduce a new series on this blog:
Poetry as Sacred Medicine
In this series I’ll present an original poem to help you connect with your innermost feelings, deep truths, and all things Divine. In addition to writing these poems, I’ll also be recording a downloadable audio version that includes an invitation to meditation, breath work, or prayer. I highly recommend downloading the audio file, finding a quiet space where you can be alone with God, and setting your phone on airplane mode to stop any pesky notifications that may try to intrude.
Sometimes reading the words can have a completely different effect than hearing them so I encourage you to try both formats and see what moves you!
It’s my prayer that these poems will be an ally as you wrestle with the hardest parts of faith, religion, the human experience, and the complexities of deconstructing your faith.
Today’s poem speaks to the heartache and heaviness that surrounds us this season. I pray that this poem will comfort your weary heart like only sacred medicine can.
I am so weary that taking the next breath is painful.
And exhaling this stale and heavy air somehow hurts even more than taking it in.
Holding my breath seems like the only option left these days.
But that hurts too.
You see, worn down has become my new normal.
And days like this make it hard to move, to rest, even just being wears. me. out.
I try to find the words to cry out for mercy because I know my soul aches for it.
But asking for help? That hurts too.
The losses have been tremendous and the grief is constantly present.
They’ve turned my once vibrant soul to a dingy, threadbare ghost of my past self.
I used to stand in front of the mirror, staring into my own eyes because I could see You.
But now all I see is emptiness, and that hurts too.
I am not what I once was and I don’t know that I want to go back.
Because there is freedom here, even in the shadow of this trauma.
I sit with my broken heart because I know she will not lie to me about who I am.
But sometimes, that honesty hurts too.
I hear a whisper say “It’s OK. Perhaps hurting is enough for right now.”
I nod as the wave of emotion comes again and I remember I’m not alone in this.
Because She cherishes my tears and breathes life into my soul, even as I question Her existence.
So I promise to find my way back to Her, even if that hurts too.
But That Hurts Too: A Poem For The Weary Soul
Go in peace, sister,
with this blessing spoken over your weary heart:
You are loved.
You are seen.
Your tears are cherished.
And you are never alone.
Angela is a Faith Deconstruction Coach and host of The Deconstructing Faith Summit who helps people break free from toxic religious culture & empowers them to recover from #churchhurt. She has led online ministries for a decade, enjoys working with clients 1:1, in groups, and is a dynamic conference speaker. She’s a Lark’s Song Certified Life Coach who reaches thousands of people in 40+ countries each month on Facebook, IG, Twitter, Pinterest, and her blog.
She’s a firstborn, Enneagram 8, Gen Xer who loves to question everything. She holds a BA from Indiana Wesleyan and a Masters in Leadership from Wesley Seminary. Her graduate research project focused on leadership development and opportunities for Gen X women in the US church.
Angela and her unique online ministry are featured in Lyz Lenz’s 2019 book God Land: Story of Faith, Loss, and Renewal in Middle America. She has published articles in Hope for Women and HOPE is Now magazines. She has been featured in The New Republic, Publisher’s Today, and Religion News Service.
Her first book, Deconstructing Your Faith Without Losing Yourself, Will be published by Eerdmans in February 2023.
Angela is also a wife, mom to 5, and a proud resident of Marion, Indiana with her family when they’re not traveling the US in their RV.