Suzann was really upset today. In fact, every time I have been around this young woman, she has been crying. She is 40-ish, in her 5th rehab and puzzled as to why God, her husband and her kids (in that order) have not given up on her yet. She is racked with guilt, insecurity, hopelessness ... she's just a chocolate mess.
I told her again and again today, she was so emotionally reactive, she couldn't possibly think clearly. What could she do to calm down? What could she focus on? What are some good things happening in her life?
And so it goes ... the "talks" whose effect I never really know. Are they hearing me on any level or am I just flapping my gums for nothing? Sometimes I get to see the transformation that takes place in these ladies over time. (And sometimes I don't.) Sometimes they show up at church a year or two later and I squint to recognize them when they touch my arm, whisper their names, look into my eyes and say, "I just wanted to say hello..."
It's very, very difficult to convince someone who is completely hopeless that things will not always be this way. Today, I tried instilling a vision in Suzann's mind -- one of her a year from now, talking to someone just like herself, who was crying and upset and hopeless, trying to convince them that they had all the tools and all the God they needed to make it.
Suzann said she couldn't possiblly grasp such a vision. So I told her, "You don't have to. Just remind yourself that I believe it; I can believe it for the both of us..."
I hope I see her next Monday; and the Monday after that; and the Monday after that. I hope Suzann will hang on ....