09 August, 2007

Only strong swimmers are allowed in the deep end.

Last summer was kind of an intense time for me. I was at home, trying to spend time with friends and family, raising financial support and preparing to return to Croatia, and working through some Life Issues. There was also some Boy Trouble, and at one point something in particular happened that made me very sad. At the exact time, I didn’t really even realize how I felt about it, but later in the day as I reflected, it sank in and did not feel good. At all. It sounds pretty childish to me, the whole “Waaah. I feel sad!” business. But that’s the only way to describe it, and I think sometimes the most honest human emotions can only be described in simple terms, even though they surely feel complex and run around in the deep end where simple words can’t touch.

Often I try to avoid these complicated, deep running emotions because they are inconvenient. Inconvenient and managed only with great effort. So on this particular day I prayed a lot and asked God to help me.

I didn’t say this to Him, but I thought,
“I don’t have time for this. I don’t have the energy to feel this way and try to do the things I need to do- it’s just too much.”

Simultaneously I prayed,
“Jesus, please grant me wisdom and patience and help me to find joy in You. Thank You for using this to turn me to You, please help me to glorify You in it.”

And though I wanted those things to be true, I also thought/whined,
“It just isn’t fair! I’m trying to obey You, I thought things would turn out differently, I hoped this would be a good, restful summer but instead I feel confused and tired and there’s not enough time. Couldn’t You just change my feelings and at least make me stop crying? I feel so retarded.”

And He waited patiently for me to finish, and stood kindly by while my logical streak took over and briskly scrolled through options, categories, possibilities, and plans of action that I could take to paint a nice layer of calm, collected control over the whole affair. Heh. Over-analyzing seems to be a common pastime of mine (I tend towards the ridiculous), but sometimes a simple question mark is just so much better than Excel spreadsheets and bullet-points.

Somehow, probably because He is God, He communicated to me that all of the rehashing and grasping for control was hogwash and what I really needed and wanted most was a hug (preferably from God Himself, though one from anyone would really do) and to be told with certainty that everything would be okay. And He said that it was good to cry, not just about this thing that made me sad and disappointed on this one day, but also because I felt tired and stressed and overwhelmed by life. And because it reminded me that I’m not as grown up or as strong as I pretend to be. And that is fine, because I’m not ultimately the one in charge.

Thankfully, I currently feel fairly content, and much less dramatic. But there are a lot of transitions coming up so there's really no way way to predict the circumstances I may face or my own unreliable emotional reactions in the near future. And unfortunately, this side of heaven there is no guarantee that everything will be okay. Things could get a whole lot worse tomorrow and continue on roly-poly, pell-mell, tumble-bumble down the hill of hard things to go through until I get to the green grass and it all stops short. But that’s alright because I know that the time will come soon when all of this is over and done and life, as it was intended before we broke the world, will begin.

4 comments:

Matt Mikalatos said...

Boys are dumb, God is good.

Amen!

Taylor said...

You write well. :)

Slim said...

hmmm, tempted to overanalyze, but I shall learn the lesson and settle for offering a hearty "Amen" at several points throughout this and the preceding post.

francine said...

"this side of heaven there is no guarantee that everything will be okay...But that’s alright because I know that the time will come soon when all of this is over and done and life, as it was intended before we broke the world, will begin."

the best news i've read all day. i feel lame thanking you for expressing yourself. but relief followed by gratitude is what wells up in my heart when i read your words.

 

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