(Names are fictitious)

I rejoice that I have recovered so much wellness since I first started writing this story. I’ve expressed many hurts, shed them, and made room for joy again. Such a gift that is! I thank God for the amazing way he has worked.

Writing can teach us things, and I have learned many through this project. One thing is the refreshing new way in which I’m coming to see a situation that had hurt me terribly. God showed me another way of looking at it.

Suppose Jason had hurt me but he had a difficulty that prevented him from understanding what he had done, though the resulting pain was severe. I think it’s possible that he didn’t even realize he was capable of hurting a person in the way he did..

And if – in the same way – I had a problem of some kind. Suppose I had a difficulty that prevented me from understanding how my behavior affected Jason, causing him to treat me hurtfully…

Would we both not be equally responsible?

Each of us had a shortcoming. A quality that caused unintentional hurtful behavior. Each fell down and gave in to behavior that left God out. For Jason it was when he hurt me. For me it was telling a story of pain like I have been, forgetting to make God and his forgiveness part of it.

Even if it’s only a possibility that this is the way things were, I don’t believe it’s right for me to continue telling these stories of pain the way I have been. We need to hear more from God’s heart, not mine. Forgiveness needs to be the theme. I long to return to God’s love and peace.

I’m not going to stop telling the Living Room story. There is much to be learned yet. For example, how can we make the lives of people with mental health issues less painful? Can we learn to understand how it is to live with the problems they face? What’s it like to be considered less than others?

But I will do all I can to bring God with me, in the way he has been with me since Living Room was founded.