The long breaks are because I’m busy.
Sometimes this is true, but more often than not, I am lying to you. I am lying to myself. I don’t want to talk to anyone. I want to be depressed. I want to wallow. I want to be dragged down and sucked into the vortex of my own mind and over-agonizing thoughts. While it hurts like hell, the slowly numbing pain is easier than fighting. It’s simpler than pushing aside the black-out curtains of despair and stepping into the clarifying light. I don’t like the light. It shows me who I am. It reveals the truth from which I love to hide.
I adore the light. It means hope. It makes my steps visible. It allows me to see the care around me.
I have always been a bit mystical, if you will. Which wars with the intensely logical side of me. It confuses my cynicism. I do not like that because my cynicism is keeping me safe from my life. Until it is my life and I’m drowning in my own murky angst.
Whatever you want to call it: mystical, magical, aware of the bigger picture, imaginative, fantastical, I have it locked away in the tower. I let it out to play at library hour, where I pretend it is all fiction. I tell myself and the world that I don’t believe in it.
But believe I do! With the persistent part of me that loves the light and will not be banished by my fear.
I grew up hiding the knowledge in my heart that I my name had a purpose, a reason for belonging to me.
- Something to do with the moon. Which we all know reflects light. And makes some people crazy when out in all it’s glory.
All joking aside, it’s part of what helped me to survive the battering years of judgmental oppression. I’m returning to my childhood belief that God, in His ultimate wisdom and bottomless affection, gifted me with something that could not be taken away from me unless I chose to give it up.
The last 5 years have been difficult. My husband & I just celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary on the 10th of September. While I love him and would not give up our life for the world, being married is like laying a plain sheet of paper over a rough surface and running a crayon over it. The damage stands out in glaring relief and what was once perfection now bears the marks of who you really are. When you grow up with the warped and twisted philosophy that yours is the only family to whom God has given His ultimate truth, it both tears you down and builds you up. Problem is, that the wrong things are destroyed and the wrong things are enforced.
So God in His perfect foreknowledge gives us very small and infinitely valuable trinkets. Nuggets of encouragement to sustain us.
- I am bright in a dark home.
- I am radiant in the midst of parental abuse.
- I can shine though each child is pitted against the other.
- I am reflecting the light of a Creator though my ‘disposition is terrible’.
- I am loved when I’m alone even in the crowd.
- He sees what I will be despite what I am now.
“God sets the solitary in families.” (Psalm 68:6a)
“God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5)
Adulthood happens and with it comes reality. We lose the magic of being a child and seeing things for what they are. We lose the hope that a brighter future is ahead because we’ve reached the future and it is not shiny like we dreamed it would be. We’re growing older and what’s ahead of us gets shorter and shorter, ever narrowing the field of possibilities.
And then we acquire adult acne and weep in the mirror because the only thing we had left is now marred. No, really. I’m annoying. Incapable. Aggravating. Damaged. Stubborn. Mental. Etc. But for 5 minutes a stranger could look at me and kinda think I’m cute.
That’s gone. Vanished. Inflamed. Cystic.
A minor deviation from my carefully restricted diet and cleverly regimented beauty routine resulted in angry, aching facial breakouts.
Having reclaimed myself from paralyzing insecurity, the kind incurred by floor length khaki, I claimed a measure of pride in my “up by the bootstraps” success. I considered myself marginally tough.
I’m a jellyfish.
An oozing mass of self-pity.
This is what God has to say to me:
“God… has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.” (Ephesians 1:3)
“My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” (James 1:17)
So, I’ll wax a bit mystical.
Levi: joined, attached.
When I look at my son, or he looks at me and says, “Mom, are you crazy?!” (just happened), I remember that I am united with Christ. So I have everything I need. Simply because I am united with Christ. All of that. Every spiritual blessing.
Emberleigh: a smoldering meadow.
Matthew 12:20 – “a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not quench.” (or the story in Judges 15 of Samson setting a field on fire?) But no matter the weakness of the flame, He’s promised not to put out the tiny spark of hope I carry inside. In fact, my all-time cherished portion of Scripture is this: “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6) I see destruction and damage. He sees fruitfulness and worth. And I see a possible tattoo…
It’s in the bitterest of times that the sweetest things can be born because that’s when I’m at my most dependent on the life of Creator. “So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.” (1 Corinthians 15:42-44) ” The Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you…” (Romans 8:11)
Bringing me full circle to “every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ”.
While I still feel the pain, I can be thankful for the dark, for it lets me understand the Light more fully. I embrace the pain for the healing it brings. A surgeon’s scalpel and not a butcher’s knife. A gardener’s pruning shears and not a vandal’s axe.
I hold onto the light. Because it’s a gift.
I write through the tears because He meant for me to shine. Even if He’s the only one who sees the spark.