I need to tell you where I’m going.

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How can I desire to shine the light of justice and mercy into the world when I won’t let it shine into the dark places of my own heart?

Some of you won’t want to hear this. Some of you will. Some of you will be angry. Some of you will rejoice. I realize I run the risk of alienating some friends and family if I expose just where it is that this journey is taking me. And for those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, start reading here.

I’ve known for awhile now, but haven’t told many. It’s just too hard, and yet, it’s really quite simple. I started out on this road thinking I would write this book and get this all off my chest and finally feel better. Move on, maybe? And although I’m a better person than I was when I started, my mission isn’t complete. No, I wasn’t even aware I had a mission when I began. I was just an enraged, hurt  woman/girl screaming at the world one blog post at a time, sometimes after consuming too much wine.

It’s as if I’ve grown up through this process. I was very much still stuck inside the broken heart of that sixteen-year-old girl who screamed on the front porch in her father’s arms. Nearly, fourteen times we’ve gone around the sun since then, but they haven’t been fourteen complete years for me. That’s how it is with anger. The kind that cools and hardens in all the cracks and crevices of your soul, only to spew to the surface when reheated, like an innocent-looking volcano until the molten lava comes rushing.

I want it out. The anger. The resentment. The cynicism. But not the memories. I never want to forget. I never want to pretend this horrific thing didn’t happen. I always want to use my past as a way to help others in the future.

I can tell you that through this process, I have let so much of the anger go. I’m not sure where it went, but it doesn’t seem to be lurking around any dark corners. I no longer have (many) anger fantasies, I no longer feel (completely) defensive when I see a Roman collar, but there’s still some lingering poison in my system. I know it’s there. Even if I can’t feel it. And it scares me to think it might metastasize and morph into some new ailment I’ve not yet dealt with.

So it’s time. Time to tell you where I’m going. Stone by stone by stone, God has been leading me down the path to forgiveness. Not because anyone’s asked for it. Not because anyone deserves it. Quite simply, I think he wants me to be whole. To come full circle in this journey. I started out wanting to avenge my brother’s tragic death and the ripple of sorrows it’s brought to our family, but now, I want to glorify the God that led me through this process.

I will still expose all of the facts. I won’t conceal or downplay any of the emotions or aftermath. I will still name names. But not for vengeance. For healing. The only way to combat evil is to shine the light of God’s justice and mercy, but how can I ever look God in the eye if I also don’t let his light shine completely down into the deep and dark crevices of my own heart? I must let him reach in there. I must let him use me to reach others. An unforgiving heart is an unconvincing witness.

Much like a mother seeks a name for her unborn child, I had to give a title to this book. Something to anchor me in the rock of purpose, lest I stray into shallow waters and my ship crash against the shore. It’s a book about growing up, and growing through the pain of tragedy and deceit. It’s a book about continually running away from God until you finally just get tired, and find exactly what you’d been searching for in His arms. It’s a book about finding the courage to stick a shovel into your soul and muck out all of the bitterness and hate, even though you’d been secretly wallowing in its stench for years.

I’ve finally settled on a name. One that I’ve let rest for more than six months now. One that I’m certain is the only way I can complete this process in the way God intends. And here it is.

Coming of Rage: Seeking Revenge and Finding Redemption

So now you know.

 

24 Responses to I need to tell you where I’m going.

  1. Awesome. Amazing. Shine your light!

  2. I LOVE your title. Aside from all the personal satisfaction it must bring you, you should also know that it’s really compelling from a reader’s perspective. Nicely done. I’m proud to “know” you and support the work you’re doing.

    • cpoland says:

      Thank you Michelle. It does mean so much to me that it’s a compelling title. While it’s deeply personal, I also want it to be relatable. We all have intense pain. And thank you for your words of encouragement.

  3. Amy says:

    Beautiful!

  4. Greta says:

    I can’t wait to read it, and I can’t wait to hear that you’ve forgiven, and moved on past what is obviously a dark shadow over your whole being. I can’t imagine living with such an intense anger and tragic past, and I hope this helps you to live more fully.

    • cpoland says:

      Thank you Greta. I’m grateful to have lived in dark shadows, but am enjoying the sunshine on my face as long as I can.

  5. Erin says:

    I am really happy for you, and I’m going to remember these words every time I have trouble letting go of resentment. Which, unfortunately, is often.

  6. Malena Lott says:

    It’s perfect. And that’s coming from someone who usually changes titles. :) xoxo

  7. Mama Cita says:

    Thank you for sharing this, It is so difficult to forgive and believe there is a god. You have made such a difference in my life and I thank you for that. All My Love Mama Cita!

  8. muddledmom says:

    I’m the worst with titles. So glad you found yours. Perfect.

  9. Robbie says:

    It’s perfect.

  10. Jodi Pyle says:

    I look forward to reading your book with its perfect title. Thank you for not holding back.

  11. Alan Burch says:

    I’m anxious to read your book!

    • cpoland says:

      Thank you Alan. Who knows how long it will take…

      • Alan Burch says:

        Pope Julius the Second asked Michelangelo “When will you make an end” (Painting the ceiling of the Sistine chapel)? Michelangelo (Buonarroti) replied “When it is done!”

  12. Wow, bravo, Cat! Fabulous title and fabulous direction. Anyone can get mad. Finding hope and yourself is another thing altogether.

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