Thursday, May 11, 2017

not like this.

 I'm not quite sure how to chart the words filling my brain.

Every time I think I've found the one or few that can adequately explain the way i feel, the way i sink, the way i'm caught underneath of something, they become a sentence, a run-on, a paragraph of incoherent babbling. And I keep tracing back to this line in a poem by Kate Hao that says "all my words sound like attempts to outrun what has already caught me. The problem, i don't know what IT is anymore.

I'm just so tired.

Tired of living in my failed attempts, in my excuses. But they've built a home inside my chest and it's hard to get the windows back open and the doors unlocked. Hard to roll out the welcome mat, when all I want to do is hang more shelves on the walls so each failure has a place, so the excuses will no longer clutter the floor. But what's the point,  It seems, as if, I won't be letting anyone back into this place.

It's easier that way. To cut my heart from my sleeve and shove it back into my pocket. It's easier to shove things down deep where people can't see them, it's easier to hide, easier to let things sit in the dark. To let the loneliness cover me more and more each day. Because really nobody wants to be with someone who is sad all the time. No one wants to have coffee with a person who just wants to cry directly into the mug. And it's easier to retreat inward, than trying to explain, when I don't know the words, that I'm pretending to be happy, I'm pretending like everything is awesome, that the smile on my face isn't genuine, but one I have to draw on in the mornings. Because I don't know why I'm sad, I don't know. I don't know. I don't know.
But in reality I think, even more so, I just want somebody, anybody, just once to tell me to turn out my pockets because they truly want to see what's in there. Because they don't mind tears in their latte and a jumble of confusing words as they try and map their way through to help me seek out why I feel so cut off from God, so cut off from people. just cut off, even when surrounded. it's become harder and harder for me to connect with people. And loneliness as become my sort of companion.

In one of her novels, Tahereh Mafi explains loneliness in the exact way I feel it.
"Loneliness is a strange sort of thing. It creeps on you, quiet and still, sits by your side in the dark, strokes your hair as you sleep. It wraps itself around your bones, squeezing so tight you almost can't breathe. It leaves lies in your heart, lies next to you at night, leaves the light out of every corner. It's a constant companion, clasping your hand only to yank you down when you're struggling to stand up.
     You wake up in the morning and wonder who you are. You fail to fall asleep at night and tremble in your skin. You doubt you doubt you doubt.
   do I.
   don't I.
   should I.
   why won't I.
   And even when you're ready to let go. When you're ready to break free. When you're ready to be brand-new. Loneliness is an old friend standing beside you in the mirror, looking you in the eye, challenging you to live your life without it. You can't find the words to fight yourself, to fight the words screaming that you're not enough never enough never enough never enough.
    Loneliness is a bitter, wretched companion.
     Sometimes it just won't let go."

Maybe that's what IT is. The loneliness that just keeps clinging on like noon-day fog. Thick and suffocating.

I'm crying out to God, give me a sign something, I'll take anything. But His silence is deafening and my throat is soar from screaming: Why! What about the deal? This wan't the deal. 26 wasn't suppose to look like this. What about the house with the yard and the dogs and the kids and the husband and the thriving career. What about that?!?! It wasn't suppose to be like this. Like negative in the bank account with no food in the fridge. Like scraping by with fingernails and thousands of dollars in debt from a degree not being used as I flit from job to job to job.

 And if i'm being honest here, if I'm really going to be real and raw and leave no stone unturned. I haven't been able to write in so long because all I want is a different life because I feel like the one I am living right now is just not enough. It's strange to admit that. That everything I've done in the past 26 years has been so outside of this box that I felt like people tried to push me into. But now I feel like I need to fit into it. Now that things are just not what I expected, that absolutely none of my plans have worked out.

I want so badly to climb inside that box and close the lid. But I don't fit. My angles are off, my edges too sharp, parts of me are just too big. I can't climb in and I can't close the lid.

Because I know the truth. My life was not made for a box and neither was my God.

I hear the stories though, of the miracles, of the check in the mailbox for the exact amount of rent. for the healing of the broken body. and I clap my hands and say "Praise the Lord" when I hear them, but they aren't my stories and honestly it kind of pisses me off. Because the words "just have faith" or
just pray and believe", like it's something simple, like it's something that can be summed up in a "just have" sentence. but my mailbox is empty, my body still broken, and God is still silent.

And I think the biggest struggle I have is that I do believe. God, I believe. but it's in my unbelief, that little seed of doubt, that loneliness that just seems to grow like a weed into the soil, and I'm trying to prune it back, trying to pull it out. But I am not the Gardner here, so the weed grows.

I know in the past He's pushed through. God's grabbed those shears and cut that thing right out. But this season, these trenches have been long and deep. But I cannot not believe. It's the prayer I've been praying for almost two years. "I believe, help my unbelief."

 but God, I'm tired of praying, but I know, even in His silence, pray more. and God, I'm tired of searching, but even in the darkness, I search more. Crawling toward even the smallest bit of light. And I'm scared that this is what my life will look like. Because how much longer can this go on? And I know what God Can do, but even if He doesn't, I still shall praise Him.

Maybe this is my sign. that i wrote. that i'm finally processing. even if it makes no sense. even if my keyboard is drenched in tears. Maybe even the smallest thing is a movement. Maybe I'm just not really looking. Maybe I'm just not really listening. Though the seasons are long and the trenches are deep His love is longer and deeper still. Maybe I'll be here for a few more months or years. But God, I hope that when people look at me they aren't seeing the loneliness clinging to me. but they see Jesus; even when I can't.

May I be bolder in the battle. Pick up my sword, my shield, my armor. Clinging to His word, knowing that He is pushing back those weeds, clearing a path to my heart. flinging wide the door; where the floor is covered in excuses and the shelves are filled with problems; I can see the light is on, and there He is, feet propped up, like it's the coziest place He's ever been. "Take heart, dear child."



May I continually look to the One who is First and Last. I've been drifting for a time. But He knows my heart and He knows I'll return.


Finding my way back,


HIS and yours,

 Cami

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