My mess. What does it look like? Well, to be honest, I’m still working out exactly what happened. Basically, it comes down to this: I spent years wearing my rose-colored glasses, pushing through early marriage, my husband’s deployment, his injuries and medical discharge, his subsequent health problems, four miscarriages, mothering and homeschooling three kids, several moves and my husband’s on-going struggle with addiction and none of it lived up to my perfect expectations.
Sometimes before it gets better the darkness gets bigger, the person that you’d take a bullet for is behind the trigger. Fall Out Boy
I hoped. I prayed. I believed. And not receiving the answers I wanted eventually sucked the faith right out of me. In one moment, my eyes were opened to the reality of my life and I gave up. Those glasses fell off. And I am just starting to figure out how thankful I should be for that. Constructed from a combination of bad theology, pride and misplaced hope, they had hindered my ability to form honest relationships, to know myself and find my real purpose in this life – and, honestly, to be any good to anyone else. I crumbled into a heap beside the fragments of those figurative glasses and I have been slowly working to rise back up (Yes, like a phoenix, obviously) ever since. All of this has resulted in a rather unpleasant increase in the undiagnosed anxiety and depression that has come and gone since I was a pre-teen as I struggle to navigate through something I have never been before: hopeless.
Hello darkness, my old friend. I’ve come to talk with you again. Simon & Garfunkel
I wish I could put into words what it was like to be truly hopeless…but I can’t. I was empty, numb – until the other stages of grief kicked in, because that’s what I was really doing: grieving the loss of the life I thought I had. No words are adequate enough to describe what that was like. I was drawn to music. Certain songs were able to express what my poor, broken, wandering mind just could not. For better or worse. I’m sure there were some days that they helped, and some days that they didn’t.
Here’s to being human, all the pain and suffering, there’s beauty in the bleeding, at least you feel something. Three Days Grace
I felt like God had let me down.
I questioned whether he really knew what was best for me, or if he even cared.
I wondered if all of the devotion, the self-control, the goody-two-shoe thing, had even mattered.
And all of that doubt hit me like an avalanche – it was something that I had never experienced before in my I’m-just-so-sure-of-everything way of looking at the world. And I didn’t know how to think, how to process my circumstances, when I was suddenly NOT sure.
Sometimes to stay alive you gotta kill your mind. Twenty One Pilots
But like the crocus flowers that are going to start springing up around here any day, announcing that the cold will soon be over, little reminders that God is there, and, this, too, shall pass (one of my Dad’s favorite phrases) have been popping up through every step of my journey in this wilderness.
Which brings me to my last song lyrics – the ones that inspired the name of this blog and that I have played on repeat so many lonely, sad and dark days:
I’m lost without your creative spark in me. I’m dead inside, unless your resurrection sings. I’m desperate for a desperate heart, I’m reaching out, I’m reaching. All that I am is dry bones, without you, Lord, a desert soul. I am broken, but running, towards you, God, you make me whole.
I am a work in progress. Rebuilding a life with my hope in the right place, grasping those little flowers as if they were my life-blood. Because they really are. They are glimpses of the face of God. And I will hold onto every scripture I come across, every word spoken during a church service that seems directly to me, every timely word spoken by a friend or family member or posted by someone on Instagram, every ‘coincidence’ that occurs just at the right moment, every answered prayer no matter how small, every bit of evidence that God SEES me. Because I am starting to believe, again, that he really does.
“God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God’s Word. We can’t get away from it – no matter what.”