I’ve been silent for over a month. It’s hard to write, to speak, to think, to feel. I’ve tried but stop after a few words. I want my blogposts to have a thread, a conclusion, a meaning. The same goes for speaking, doesn’t matter who I’d speak to, I want to be able to tie up loose ends and show that I’ve gone from A to B. Thinking is tangled, and as for feeling, well, I really don’t want to go there.
I work. And then I distract myself. I realised today that if something scares me at work (usually the small things, like sending an email) it takes me on average two or three days to get around to sorting it, faffing around with other work before finally dong the thing that scares me. I do other work instead. I just use the other work to distract me from the really scary work. At home I knit, usually with episodes of Friends or Harry Potter films. I don’t read, sadly. I’ve only been able to finish one new novel in over a year. Sometimes I just do nothing, although that’s only when I’m really low. Knitting has been very helpful, I think I’d probably have fallen over some unnamed line by now if I hadn’t learned to knit.
I’m finding this hard to write. I should be asleep but I tried and couldn’t even lie still, let alone do my usual playing dead thing, waiting for sleep to overtake me. I should just say it. I want to lead up to it, y’know? Gently introduce the topic, then explain the situation over the last month or six weeks or six months and then slide into a conclusion and leave smiling. But I should just say it and stop pretending it isn’t true, at least here. I’m really, really down. Far more down than I’ve been in quite some time.
A couple of weeks ago I was singing in church and we sang a song with the following words:
I see you there hanging on a tree
You bled and then you died and then you rose again for me
Now you are sitting on Your heavenly throne
Soon we will be coming home
You’re beautiful, you’re beautiful
When we arrive at eternity’s shore
Where death is just a memory and tears are no more
We’ll enter in as the wedding bells ring
Your bride will come together and we’ll sing
You’re beautiful, You’re beautiful, You’re beautiful
and my voice cracked because I want to go home now please.
Not much about my faith in Jesus has the power to move me anymore. I’ve found myself wondering if I’m actually still a Christian. If someone doesn’t pray, doesn’t read the Bible, doesn’t feel God’s touch in any part of their life and isn’t sure God actually exists, then what part of that person is still a believer?
Well, I guess the small part of me that is still a believer is the part that really wants to see Jesus smile at me when I go home.
Over this last week some emotions have been stirring. Some of them have been pretty big emotions. They’ve been big and sad and fierce, after some news that has rocked my family to its core, news that has made me determined to trample all over anyone who dares hurt my family in any way and at the same time left me reeling at the horrible, twisted cruelty of life.
A knee-jerk reaction that I now fight against whenever I’m awake is that I don’t want any part of this life anymore. It’s too big and too sad and too fierce and I want it over. I don’t know how I fit. If I saw a place for myself maybe it would be easier. Yes, there’d be sadness, but I’d have a place, something to do that would be helpful. But I’m a useless non-person. I’m an embarrassment. I flap through every day, not really sure what I’m doing, facing every email as though it has teeth, afraid to answer the phone, counting down the hours until I can hide again.
And I think I should be doing something, anything, something better than this. I should do … *insert all the things here*. I’m 30 and there’s even more reason for me to be doing all the meaningful things because I’m childless and will always be childless. But it’s just become a stick I beat myself with, one of many. I wish I could divorce the spiritual from my life. In essence that’s what I’ve been trying to do for months. By doing what I have to at work and then distracting myself at home I’ve avoided looking at anything scary.
But just last week an album came out that I’ve been waiting for. I went to the live recording. It’s called Let It Be Known by Worship Central. I remember that evening. It was a Friday and I was tired after a long week and really just wanted to go home. Hubby and I met up with my family and I tried to be cheery but had had enough of noise and traffic and people. When the music started and everyone seemed to instantly relax and enjoy themselves I stood stiff as a board. Slowly the music and the words penetrated my tired mind and I relaxed. I don’t remember much after that but I’ve been waiting for the album since then. Before the album came out last week I hadn’t listened to much Christian music for a while. Actually I hadn’t listened to any music. As I’ve listened over the past week one song has settled:
You go before me, you’re there beside me
And if I wander, love will find me
Goodness and mercy will always follow
You go before me, my Guardian
So when the bombshell hit last week I clung to this song, playing it over and over again. It is my experience that fear can either propel into action or freeze into paralysis. Fear seems to drive most of my life so I can only assume that it is fear that causes my current paralysis. I’m not sure what I’m afraid of with God and right now I’m too cowardly to try and find out. I feel like I’m sitting still, refusing to take any action at all. The line that stopped me in my tracks at a train station a few days ago was:
And if I wander, love will find me
It’s so easy for me to forget, in my guilt-ridden state, that God is love. I’m not sure I ever really got that, I’m not sure I ever really will. But I really, really hope that line is true, that love will find me, that I’m not too far gone. I have nothing in me now with which to search for him, I feel like a dry, cracked and empty shell. Is this what a believer is when she’s not sure she believes anymore? When she’s done being angry with God for not answering her feeble prayers, when she’s sad, broken and frightened enough to break her self-imposed silence, when she’s staring into another day on not enough sleep and has just had enough, when she doesn’t know what anything in the Bible means anymore, when she doubts everything she’s believed all her life, when she’s longing to be found because she has no idea where she is, is this what a believer is? Someone who asks the empty space around her for a smile.