Saturday, July 5, 2008

Trust, Surrender

I would imagine God doesn’t really hate me. It’s just my perception based on where I’m at right now. Freshly graduated with a degree that makes me miserable, unable to find a job anywhere, sick as a dog (I am struggling with severe pain again and am losing dangerous amounts of weight inexplicably), tormented by my mind, stuck in my mom’s house until I can find a job…it’s just a lot to bear. For awhile, I prayed earnestly and with great fear, wishing God would change my circumstances. I have so much to offer; I am full and blessed with talent beyond measure and a heart that is seeking to do more with what I’ve been given, but I am being held back by things in my life. I have tried so hard to live like my mother – in complete denial of the power of the bad things. I used to say to myself, “If I wake up and decide to live like they don’t exist, they won’t.” But that just doesn’t work. No matter how hard I try to deny the bad things the power or try to ignore them and live anyway, they are still there, and I MUST face them, must deal with them instead of trying to write them off.

The flood really kind of destroyed every sense of stability I had in my life. I was actually doing pretty well for awhile, but now, not even close. I’m afraid to be alone. I’m afraid of water. I look above and below and behind everything to make sure there’s nothing there to harm me. I hallucinate like crazy. Every memory turns into a flashback. I’m scared. I talked with Kevin about this a little bit, and I came to realize that what happened is that the only hint of safety I felt in the world was right here in this house, but now this house has been invaded and I no longer feel safe anywhere. And that’s a rough place to be in. I want to feel safe. I want to trust that nothing bad is going to happen to me, but such is foolishness.

I struggle with the basics of Christian living. For awhile, I was reading my Bible every day, but it just seemed to make me sicker and sicker. Every time I think about reading, I am now filled with such joy and such dread that I end up just staring at the book for awhile and deciding not to risk it. I’ve yet to figure it out, but since the beginning of my walk with God, reading that blasted book has always given me a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. A friend of mine online blamed that on unconfessed sin or some other bullshit like that that’s preached in the more conservative, Bible-thumping churches. I’m just not sure how much I buy into all that. Maybe a little, maybe not at all. I don’t know. And I know my prayers are inadequate, they are somehow wrong. Like I’m not doing something right. For awhile, I stopped praying altogether, but I am trying to pick up the habit again and have succeeded two nights in a row. It just feels…petty, somehow off.

And part of all that is that I am feeling unworthy. Who am I that God should even care about me at all? The world has thrown me away over and over again, even those who were supposed to love me. There is something inherently wrong, then, with me. So why should God care? Many times in my life, I have come face-to-face with this problem. I have worked against my own best interest, convincing myself not to talk with doctors or mentors or professors or whoever, because I feel unworthy of their time. Because I feel like I am bothering them. I’ve done it with therapists, ministers (even you), all kinds of people. Several months ago, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and saw beauty, for the first time. I went around for several days, feeling like I was finally worth something, like I had tapped something deep within myself that mattered. It all made perfect sense. Yet I find myself struggling with the same issues all over again, and I don’t understand why. I fear it may become a lifelong struggle for me.

At the same time, God is definitely tapping something deep within me. This is where I struggle hardest to explain what’s going on. Something in my spirit is breaking, much in the same way it did with Kevin when he first showed that he understood more than I was letting myself believe. When I realized he was one step ahead of me, and something in me just broke and I sank back into his couch and took a deep breathe and finally just relaxed. It’s a similar process right now with God. I’m coming to realize just how far ahead of me He is, how much He understands, and to some extent, how much He loves and cares (which is a very scary thing for a person like me). I’m also realizing my own weakness, pride, sin, selfishness. Yet, I am pushing in the flesh to still do things the right way, to live my own life by the rules I believe I have set. I keep pushing myself to try to be “spiritual,” to act as I think I should be, all while hearing this still, small voice that says “just rest. You are tired.”

I am tired. And I am desperate. I am thirsting hard, but at the same time, I am afraid to let God come and meet my needs. It’s scary to give Him the chance to fail me. If we pray in earnest…but how do I know if my prayers are earnest enough? Should I speak louder or barely whisper? How much should I read? Out of all the voices in my head, is one of them God’s? Or doesn’t He speak that way anymore? (This was a point of contention in a conversation I had with a friend the other day – will God speak to us other than through the Bible or is that all we get? I believe there must be more.) Is His voice the one that settles the peace in my spirit, or is that just a trick of the enemy? I know God is not emotional, but how else can I feel Him if not through His peace and mercy? Why does He want to give me more than I feel I deserve, and how do I bring myself to come to accept that?

A couple of days ago, I allowed myself to just sit and wrestle with all of these questions. I took time to breathe, to tear down the walls and let the questions really touch me, come to realize the power they hold in my life. I ended up just crying for hours on end, but the whole while feeling that tingling feeling you get when you know the Spirit is near. It became for me a moment of repentance, a realization of just how little I was letting God do, how much I was holding Him back from what He wants to do in my life. And how sinful I was in my own pride, in believing I have the power to fix myself.

So I don’t know. I’m just wrestling right now, and I’m not entirely sure what’s going on. With circumstances the way they are, I feel cursed sometimes. I wonder why God is doing this to me. But maybe I’m doing it to myself. And I wonder when it will end.

I wish I could live in total surrender and give up all that I am fighting so desperately to hold on to. But I’m afraid I’ll be left with nothing. Is God really faithful? Who knows?

It’s like the flood – it took away many of the things I had of my father’s. And I’ve chosen to finally end contact with his relatives, to the best of my ability (I mean, if they e-mail me or something, which rarely happens, I will be polite and respond, but I’m done going out of my way to be a part of their lives). It’s like the events were God’s way of saying “You don’t need this any more; it’s holding you back.” It makes me wonder what else I have in my life that’s holding me back…and whether I can or am even willing to let go of them. To not let go is sin; to let go is to trust. And what abused person trusts so boldly?

This is a start. Maybe it gives you some idea of where I’m at. I hope so.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


I'm struggling a little bit right now, and I want to try to explain it (if only to get it out of my head for awhile).My heart feels more vibrantly alive than ever. Something in the Spirit of God is connecting deeply with something in the Spirit of Aidan, and it's really a beautiful thing. I can't really explain how deep this has penetrated me and my life, the way I am living and thinking and loving and feeling. If you've been here, I know you understand. The Spirit in me connects with the Spirit in you that has felt this.

And yet, I find myself struggling. I feel unworthy to pray. I feel unworthy to read the Bible. My heart is drawn to these things, and I am struggling and doing my best to wade my way through them. But it's not what it appears to be. As soon as my mouth begins to speak, I feel unworthy. But at the same time, I feel like I'm trying too hard. I feel God's hand on me, calming me down and begging me to be still and to let go and to stop trying so damn hard to do things the "right" way.

So while the flesh wrestles and seeks to pray rightly, to worship rightly, to read faithfully, and all the other stuff I am drawn to do, the voice of God whispers in my ear, " need rest."

And I do need that rest. My world has been very loud lately - something you could only understand if you were one of the thousands of voices living in my head. It's just...I feel torn in two different directions - both of which feel as though they are coming from God.

I pray for peace, and I pray for harmony, and I pray for wisdom as I navigate this desert and come to a resting place with my Father.