I pick up my laptop, blankly stare at the fifteen open tabs, close it, and stare at the wall.
The blank pages stare back at me in my mind, screaming lack of productivity and laziness and falling behind in the rat race. Words and writing are how I process and find healing and wholeness, so if I cannot even do what feels most natural to me, well then, what can I do?
Nothing comes to mind except the guilt I feel for not writing more articles in an attempt to make more money so I can ensure we pay rent come March one. Or maybe I should pay five dollars for a Facebook ad for my photography business. Or maybe I should read the book I've been dying to dive into since I woke up.
I shrug and find the Amazon fire remote our friends gave us.
I've been binging on Gilmore Girls again. Guilty. Staring mindlessly at the giant rectangle hanging in the middle of our wall, offering false escapism and faulty numbing. The little ones fall asleep and I find myself sitting on my couch feeling guilty as I watch episode after episode, checking out.
Even just three years ago I would have silently thought less of someone for turning to tv instead of a book or the bible or their prayer journal. I was so good at being "good" and doing all the right things and I felt so proud of myself for that. It's easy to choose my Bible over worthless tv, I thought. You wouldn't have caught me wasting my brain and precious time watching anything on a television—we didn't even have a television for the longest time.
I guess, if I'm truthful, I absolutely am thinking less of myself.
Sometimes the pain in our little individual lives feels so devastating, we avoid it at all costs. We run in the other direction, unwilling to sit in it, because sitting in it means...well it means accepting the reality as real.
And then what? We have to do something about it? We just sit there? We think about all the ways the world is broken? We feel bad for feeling bad about our little life? I continuously try avoiding it all, with the subconscious hope it will just disappear and change. But I know better.
I am standing in the second row, metal folding chairs lined through the rented-cafeteria, the drums right in front of me, the stage up and to the right, worship music being sung.
Coffee in my hand, sometimes cupped by both, always ready for a sip. I vacillate in and out of the present.
The words leave my lips like whispers. I want to mean them in the deepest parts of me, and some of the lines I absolutely do, but others I am not there right now. I’m learning that’s okay and there is space for that.
Lyrics of His grace and forgiveness and closeness ring true and I believe them in this foreign, newly-found place, I need Him in my brokenness; He brings wholeness into all the cracks of me.
There are a lot of cracks.
His grace covers all the broken pieces of me, and I don't just mean the hurting pieces from loss that have fallen victim to the brokenness of humanity...I also mean the broken pieces that are hardened, shut off, and rebellious due to my own choices. The pieces of me betraying who I am and who I want to be, the places in my head and heart that do not reflect who I thought I would be today. The hardened and shut off pieces seemingly unable to soften... but I am sure I have control over myself enough to soften them...so why aren't they softened?
Jesus, soften my heart and turn it. But do I even mean this? I want to want to mean this, I'm just not quite sure I'm there yet.
I want to be rebellious in this way of choosing joy, to dance, to love my life and all the people filling it up full. Not the way I’ve discovered myself to be.
My heart has pieces hard and rigid, hidden and locked up, protective of myself and not about to undo their guard.
The pieces were hidden from even me until recently, and the uncovering of them has been entirely terrible.
It's horrifying to find your heart habitating a space you never expected it to be. In fact, I was confident I wouldn't land right here in this space. It's really uncomfortable confronting yourself in this way, being honest and truthful about yourself, and sitting in the mess of yourself.
But what I have consistently discovered is that the only thing that gets me to healing and wholeness and purity, is honesty in His presence. And what I found in Psalm 51, is the only way for Him to teach me wisdom in the deepest parts of me, is when I’m painfully honest before Him...and myself about myself. But that means I have to keep waking up to the hidden darknesses in me.
I guess there is hope on the horizon for those of us still waking up to ourselves.
Hope for tomorrow, that I will keep hollowing myself out, uprooting the darkness I didn't realize I was hiding from even myself.
Hope for tomorrow, because His mercies are new every day. He is so much bigger and fuller than the tininess of me. And He has yet to give up on me. His love...well it has yet to fail.
I've been reading quite a few books (currently reading three in between diapers and coffees and during car naps) — I would love to share them with you!
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