Answer me quickly, O LORD!
My spirit fails!
Hide not your face from me,
lest I be like those who go down to the pit.
Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love,
for in you I trust.
Make me know the way I should go,
for to you I lift up my soul.
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
I wrote the first part of this close to a year ago. It was a couple of days before Thanksgiving, and I was struggling with the concept of thankfulness. To be honest, I still struggle with it. I’ve had some fairly awful dreams lately, filled with stories that I know aren’t reality but have cleverly posed themselves in a way that I blur the two far too easily. I’m six weeks into this new chapter of life, trying to adjust to a pace and rhythm that is entirely unfamiliar and relatively daunting. I’m searching for things to anchor to; waiting for things to settle in my mind. Meanwhile, I’m balancing between two worlds and still attempting to come to terms with this new home. I haven’t played a song in months now. The words are begging to be released; these words and melodies are desperate to be sung again.
I wrote this a few weeks ago, and I’m still unsure of the meaning:
incessantly reverberating within the confines of my head.
I want to sleep. But I can't seem to rest.
Too many things remind me of what is now gone. A powerful reminder of what was, what could have been, and what I no longer have a place in. A reminder of who I am no longer necessary to.
The noise is maddening.
But the silence is deafening.
I want to keep telling myself it's different this time. I want to be able to say that I understand everything going on around me, and that I made the right choice, and that this is the right path. But I've grown more and more confused with each passing day.
It's different this time.
Will it be different in time?
And so, I find myself asking the same questions I was asking a year ago, even though nothing looks the same as it did a year ago, both for better and for worse. How do I reflect dependence in a sovereign God in both my words and my thoughts? I used to think darkness didn't make sense. I didn't understand the weight of pain until I got to experience it firsthand. But understanding darkness was the first step towards a true appreciation of light. When you first walk out of a dark room into the light of day, it's almost unbearable. My first instinct is always to shut my eyes tight until I can adjust. Then, I'll slowly open one at a time until things balance themselves out, and things begin to take shape. My eyes begin to regain clarity. Sometimes the light can bring a headache, and it makes you search for dark again just to bring around a familiar numbness. But ultimately, if given the choice, the adjustment is always worth it. Light is always so much better than darkness, because we can see the beauty we're meant to share with each other. And suddenly the light makes sense, and it becomes a sensation that can never be matched, and it makes the long, slow, frustrating road to get there worth it.
The heights of glory will always overcome the depths of depravity. I’ve always believed that. I still do. It’s indescribable. Lately, it’s been too easy to focus on the depravity. There’s a reason I’ve written less in the past few weeks. I started telling myself not too long ago that I wanted my words to provide encouragement and hope again, not just for me but for those who need words of hope. I didn’t think I had anything in that vein to say, and so it’s been easier to say nothing. Writing has always been a way for me to wrestle with God. Sometimes I think that I’m just too lazy; I want to ask for answers and understanding, but I don’t have the patience to wait around for the things I need. It’s not even really that hard! It’s discipline. I think it’s too easy to lack discipline, even though the results of my actions are crippling. God says, “Be still!” I DON’T WANT TO BE STILL! I think we’re wired to want answers in motion. Maybe we weren’t meant to have that. Maybe the answers are so overwhelming to us that if we were to try and understand them while moving we’d crash. Maybe stillness is God’s gift to us for our safety.
And so I think I need to stand still more. If the sun can stand still for God, can’t I? How can I say that all I am is in the hands of Jesus while I still hold on to control for dear life? We both want my life; In the end, one of us will win. I need Him to win, but I can’t bear to let go. Maybe it’s beyond time to trust in falling, and trust in the One who has the means to catch me. Because in the midst of the mess, it’s a miracle that I’m still standing, but maybe I’m not supposed to stand and instead I’m supposed to fall facedown in front of the one who paints a masterpiece on this flawed canvas. Maybe the mess has a way of telling me to be thankful for the opportunity to play a role in transformation.
It’s different this time;
It’s time to do this differently.