Nothing and Everything

The words come at a stop light.

I push them away, refusing to entertain them. . . willing myself to choose different words to dwell on. . . hoping for a split second they will vanish as quickly as they came. I don’t believe the words in my mind, but they yell so loudly. So very loudly.

I lose the battle, and the words flood me. They wash over my mind, and I am ashamed. How can a follower of Jesus have such dark thoughts?

Rain

I do not understand. Where has hope gone? When was the exact moment it evaporated? Did it slowly float away, as if a leak in a balloon or was it sucked out by the vacuum of trauma and fear? Did I know the moment it faded away? If feels as if going to get my winter coat and not being able to find it. I thought it was safely stored away, but in need, it is gone.

I put my foot to the gas and find my way into the Aldi parking lot. My body racks in sobs. Soon my cheeks are stripped of color and my shirt shows the collection of tears. I hurt. My chest squeezes in agony. It is not a specific pain but more an absence that has grabbed me. I feel nothing and everything. It is unbearable.

In the sound of my tears, my phone lights. Words from a new friend ask about my battle with the gremlins. It stops my sobs and makes me breathe. I share my darkness with her. She knows it. She has felt my crazy before and knows the struggle to make a mind obey a will.

My picture is not pretty today. It often isn’t. But it is a picture I want. I have to remember I want it day after day. Often hour by hour and minute by minute.

The fight is wearing me down. My hope-believing counselor spoke resilience over me this week. He spoke so surely of something I couldn’t feel. He spoke of a different narrative with an ending yet to be written.

Words spoke despair this week. Can I also receive the strength?

A haunting

During my sabbatical, I am trying to reignite parts of my heart that once burned strong. One of those places is music. It used to absolutely capture me. As my heart has felt unmovable, however, it has lost its appeal. I want to catch that place once again.

For those of you in cyberland who have done the Birkman, you’ll remember the section where it lists your interests and how those interests might fit into a career. I scored a 99 on music. It’s more than a like, more than a passing fancy. It is a need. And for over a year, I have let that need fall silent.

In the past few weeks, I have been hunting down worship songs that stir something in me. Here is a song that has haunted me:

The music captures me. But it’s the lyrics that haunt me.

You are good, good, oh

You are good, good, oh

You’re never gonna let, never gonna let me down.

You’re never gonna let, never gonna let me down.”

With all of my heart, I want this to be the cry of my soul. I want to believe God is never going to let me down.

The problem is that what is so sure in my head is having an impossible journey the 10 inches to my heart. My heart feels so very let down. I stepped out in faith and plummeted into a pit. I don’t feel God’s hands holding me. I don’t feel anything.

I have listened to this song over and over and over again. I have blasted it in my minivan every time I make the drive to counseling. I will do it again today. I let my body feel the pulsing rhythm, hoping that on the 102nd time, the walls on my heart might begin to crumble.

I am praying it haunts me until I can believe it with arms lifted high.

P.S. If you don’t mind, I would love to hear your favorites too–your music would be a sweet gift to my weary heart.

I’m missing me. . .

You know when you’re in a dark room and you feel disoriented and can’t distinguish one thing from another? Even in a room you know well? In your bedroom, you know exactly where each piece of furniture is placed. You know where clothes are left of the floor and the spot where a cord reaches across in peril.

But when the lights are off, all you see is the darkness. There is a bed to walk around, but how far does it go? Clothes usually land somewhere around here. . . are they right in front of me or to the left? My beautiful smoky purple walls look exactly like my yellow bookshelf and my white mirror. The wall that was obvious in the light can only be guessed at by a hand reached out in exploration.

It takes so much longer to walk in a dark room. It takes so much energy to navigate around danger.

Depression is the darkness that darkens every room. I miss the light.

I miss joy.

I miss wonder and peace. And energy and vision.

Perhaps, most of all, I miss hope. Hope is incredibly veiled without light.

I miss how the funky nail polish on my toenails made me smile. I miss waking up in the morning with excitement for my day. Or even energy to want to get out of bed. I miss flipping through cookbooks, imaging flavors coming together and dreaming about when I could create in my kitchen.

I miss clarity of thought. And passion.

I miss me. A lot.

I’m a week into my intensive counseling. It’s been. . . intense. There is someone fighting to breathe hope into my heart. All I can offer are tears and exhaustion to join him. Just showing up is all I have right now. But I’m doing it.

Jumping

I just have to jump.

Jumping

This little spot in the online galaxy has been silent for a long time. Too long.

Reality is that I haven’t felt like I’ve had anything to say. Honestly, I don’t feel like I have much to say now. But that isn’t going to change if I don’t just jump back in.

The harsh, it’s-where-I-am truth is that I’m struggling with some trust issues right now. God hasn’t responded in a way that reflected who I thought He was. Shame covers me as I type the words. My heart is surrounded by sky-high walls. I trusted Him to stand up to my darkness, my searing vulnerability. I didn’t feel anything other than pain.

God is at work, I know. I see Him caring for me and redeeming those around me in a way that is only Him. What I long for though is HIs comfort. I want His peace and joy and rest. I want Him, not just His good and perfect will.

Today starts my sabbatical from work. Four weeks to sit and ask. Four weeks to dig back into my darkness without having to find the energy to put on work clothes in the morning.

Four weeks dedicated to processing. I have to starting writing.

Will you jump back in with me?