Where I am…

Preface

I hesitate to make this public because it can drastically change the way people interact with me. I write this not to get any pity or to even make others understand. I write this for those who have felt the same. I write this because it has weighed on my heart to share. So before you read the following, please know that this is how I feel sometimes (not always). Please know that God is good and righteous and I am grateful for the work he has done. Please know that this is raw and somewhat unfiltered.

“How are you doing?”

When asked how I am doing, sometimes I say that I am alright. “Alright” is the shortest distance between two points: the point of truth and the end of the conversation. It is the quickest way I can sum up my location.

Where I am…

I am in between the words of God;
Clinging to the last and awaiting the next,
Fighting for solace in the onslaught of silence,
Having conversations with ghosts about a benevolent God,
And hopelessly hopeful.

I stand as one with the melancholy sentiment of waving goodbye to friends as they sail out of view.
I am completely aware of the location of my lost-ness,
Alone in crowds,
Alone in thought,
And alone in the returning gaze of the mirror.
My face looks hauntingly familiar, but I can’t place it.

I am in a soundproof room.
I scream to get out a whimper,
I wrestle thoughts into submission for fear they will run amok,
And I am tired.
I am stuck in the shallow end of conversation for fear of drowning;
Talking about the weather outside,
Avoiding words that convey the storms in my heart,
Adrift at speeds, I cannot judge:
There is endless sea across the horizon.

I am on the verge of a madman’s fit;
Desperate and convinced that anger will stave off depression and fear.
I am starving for joy as though it were air, indeed to me, it is air and my lungs thirst for it.
I’m angry that I have nothing to be angry about,
A defused bomb with the clock still ticking down,
Fighting shadows and phantoms,
And my shoulders hurt from swinging at what isn’t there.

I am in the land of ruthless trust,
gripping tightly the only hand I can feel,
Repeating to myself with desperation what is real.
Trusting what I know and fighting to ignore the whispers that read into every word and every silence,
Every action, reaction, and expression.
I am wrestling a formless being in the dark;
Clinging, I won’t let go, and I will not tap out without a blessing.
Trusting the blessing is mine.
I know the blessing is mine.

I am in the promised land even though it’s dark outside,
I can smell the faint scent of milk and honey,
And I did not get here on my own, the land is littered with memorials and landmarks,
I cannot deny the words I have heard,
Good words haunt me and linger around me.
I am in between the words of God;
Clinging to the last and desperate for the next.

I am right where He wants me.
Hopelessly hopeful,
Inadequately enough,
Sufficiently insufficient.
I am right where He wants me.
His rules are righteous.
Where He has me is all right.
I am alright.

A Prayer for Protection

May I cut through the darkness with your word, and block flaming arrows with hope and resolve.

May passion for obedience guard my chest; that my heart might beat for you; that my lungs might breathe for you.

May your gospel bring clarity and soundness of mind, defending my thoughts from attacks from inside; that my thoughts may be grounded in your goodness.

May your peace guard and guide my steps; that I might stand fast and my footing be sure.

Be my Defender and Hope. Be my courage as I stand and fight.

Amen.

Conversations with Grief

I was up late last night having a conversation with Grief, Reality, Empathy, and Hope in the dark. Grief tended to dominate the conversation and Hope fought to get a word in. Grief sat like a giant in the room. His words fell out of his mouth like lead weights crushing the floor beneath him. Grief told me over and over again that life will never be the same, and all present agreed. Grief became desperate to be heard and exclaimed that I am lost, and most agreed. Grief got louder still and said that the pain is too much, that I will surely drown in it. Reality pointed out all the spinning plates that had fallen and crashed to the ground; my heart sank. Grief said that this weight is too much and I cannot carry it; all agreed.

After we sat in the dark for some time, Empathy spoke up. She said that she is with me and that others are too. Reality reminded me of names and faces. Hope started in with a soft and sweet voice. Her words floated in the air, some like bubbles that popped or dissipated, and some like balloons that lingered and clung to the ceiling. She said that these names and faces will remain with me and that there will be others. She said that even though the weight is too much for me, that others will carry it with me. Grief asked Hope if Certainty could confirm her suspicions. The room grew silent; the silence became deafeningly loud.

Hope admitted that she had never met Certainty. They had never been in the same room. But then Hope began to fire questions at Reality, not out of desperation, for she was not shaken. Her voice grew more confident and louder with each question as if she knew the answers before Reality could utter them. She asked Reality about what we have seen and about when Empathy has been there for me before. She said that she and Certainty had never been in the same room, but asked Reality if Certainty had been in rooms after she had left them. Reality thought, and then agreed that this seemed to always be the case. She then stated that where Empathy has been she has pointed to a greater empathy. She said that Love has called us all here. Love has known our pain and can see us through… Hope said that I am not lost.

We sat in the dark for some time. Reality sat calculating and recounting. He broke the silence and said that both Grief and Hope have evidence… And then he said that Hope has been right in the past… Why cling to anything else?

And as we sat in the dark, I smiled.

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