[feelings and emotional withdrawal]

[feelings and emotional withdrawal]

A couple of days ago, my friend (aka big brother) Bill wrote a post on his page about feelings. That was the trigger I needed to finally sit down in front of my blog and write.

Last Thursday, there was a prayer meeting at my Church devoted to praying for the situation in Ukraine. (If you don’t know what happened, check out the previous three posts.)

As Sam and I walked back home from Church (this new Church building is located 15 minutes walking from my apartment), I finally got the courage to speak something that was heavy on my heart for the last few months and became especially unbearable during the last few days.

“Have you ever felt like you still believe, because you know it’s the right thing to do and you know that what you believe in is true… But you don’t FEEL it?”

Sam mentioned that the main thing is to keep believing because we don’t always feel things.

I let the matter go because I did not know what to say.

On Friday, February 21, the situation stabilized.

It was so sudden. Yesterday, there was war. Today there’s a likeness of peace.

Yesterday, people were being killed. Today, the guns are quiet.

So since I knew Sam was itching to go to Maidan, I asked if he would like to go.

“Do you want to go?” he asked me back.

“I do. I am a bit scared, but I can’t just sit home.”

“Let’s go then.”

So we went. We went to the St. Sophia’s cathedral where a memorial service for fallen heroes was taking place. Hundreds of people came on Friday and during the weekend, lighting candles for those who died for our freedom.

Memorial service for the fallen heroes

Sam’s pastor and his wife joined us and together we walked down to Maidan for the prayer meeting. Every night during these months, at 8:00PM a group of Christians was getting together for prayer. We have joined them quite a few times and every time it was something special. There is something unique about standing in prayer where the war is going on.

On the way back, Sam and I walked through the main street, Khreshchatyk, which is now blocked by the tents where people live. As we were walking, a man yelled behind us.

“Make way! Let the procession come through!”

We stood at the edge of the walkway, watching a crowd of people come towards us. Turned out they were carrying an open casket with one of the fallen men.

We stood as they passed. Because the casket was open, the gaping bullet hole was stark against the pale skin of the man’s head.

“He’s dead,” I thought to myself, trying to figure out what to feel. Instead, I just stood there, numbly, holding Sam’s hand tighter than usual.

The procession carrying the casket of the fallen Ukrainian hero

The topic of the previous night came back.

“Sam, is it okay not to feel anything?”

That’s the thing.

Perhaps it is some kind of a post-traumatic thing, perhaps some kind of psychological defense mechanism in me…

I knew the man was dead. I knew it like you learn in school that the speed of light is the fastest speed ever. That knowledge was in my head, yet it wasn’t being processed in any way.

I didn’t feel sad, I didn’t feel happy. I just stood in some kind of a shock.

“This knowledge, that the man they carried by us was dead, is like a metallic cube in a vacuum. It’s present there, but it does nothing and affects nothing. Just… hangs there.”

This was a memorial service at Maidan. Thousands of people raised their cell phones, flashlights, and lighters to show their allegiance to the fallen Ukrainians.

This weekend brought drastic changes.

Our president is now missing and in “Wanted” international list. Several officials close to him also fled the country. The acting guy instead of the president until the elections in May is a Baptist pastor. I just found out that he is a pastor and I have never heard him preach, so I’ve got no idea what is his theology like. I am skeptical about Christians who made it in our Ukrainian political sphere because usually you cannot get in there and keep your moral principles.

Meanwhile, more details about the revolution are coming to the surface, like the plans of the attacks on Maidan.

And yet, I am in a full observer’s mode. I feel removed from it all, as if I am watching a movie. But it’s happening right HERE. Right NOW. With people from my own country…

I hope this would pass soon. This isn’t healthy…

Do I dare believe than from now on everything will be on a path to become better?

Do I dare hope that the politicians who remained behind and who supported Maidan would remain with people and not just obsessed about lining their own pockets with money?

If you were praying for Ukraine, please don’t stop right now. The war is over, but the work begins. There’s a lot to be done.

And heartfelt thanks to all who prayed. I full-heartedly believe that the reason the situation has changed over the weekend was because of those prayers. There is no other explanation for such a sudden change.

  • Zee, I read an article on christianitytoday.com earlier about the interim president and the upcoming elections. I was curious to know if this was as good a thing as it sounded like.

    I imagine many in your country find themselves where you are right now. It’s a lot to process.

    I will continue to pray for you, your husband, family, friends, and country.

    • @dlrayburn:disqus – to be honest, I found out Turchinov was a Baptist pastor just yesterday. I am not saying he’s a bad Christian or anything, but I am very wary about Christians who could “make it” to the top in our current political situation. Usually, you need to give up your moral principles to get there… Otherwise, I guess this might be a good thing.

      Thank you for prayers.

  • David Hayes

    Zena, thank you. No words. We are still praying.
    I’m in a car with my DS and another pastor. I read your post aloud. We prayed for your nation together on this Indiana highway. Peace. David

    • Thanks, David. Your encouragement means a lot to me as well as for my family.

  • i read this yesterday but had about a minute before I had to do something else so chose not to rush an answer. I wish I had an answer for your feelings. It is so hard when you love someone or some place (like Ukraine) so much to see it being torn apart. My youngest daughter just told us this week her husband wants out of their almost 10 year marriage. We have wept over this but no amount of tears can rip away the feelings we have and are experiencing. I have tried to stay aloof, but can’t. I love my daughter too much. I will keep praying for you, Sam, and Ukraine. I do want to say “do not stop caring.” It is who you are. Love ya sis. (Thanks for the mention also).

  • Susan

    No words have I for you except my heart aches for you. Hugs and prayers.

  • Sometimes “no feelings” is a protection against too much feeling which could cause us to make unwise decisions. I remember when one of the teen boys in our dorm in Bolivia was killed in a moto accident. His parents were there and I went with them down the road where Jesse body lay, crumpled and broken. His father was wailing, his mother just stood there and watched. She said, Betty I think something is wrong with me, I cannot cry, I feel nothing. She was clearly in shock…and you know it was a while before she could cry over her son. She was hurting as much as her husband who cried all the time. It is a shock to see someone dead even if you do not know them. These are hard times for you and the people of your country, God is aware of what is happening and He cares deeply for you Zee for you belong to Him. Stay safe my blog friend, stay safe. I will continue to pray for your country and especially for you and Sam.

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