Fifty

This morning when I woke up, I lay awake for a while and started singing in my head “Your Love is Strong” by Jon Foreman. It was the song I played at my baptism and the first time in a long time that I had thought about it.

So I got up, fired up the old lappy, searched for Jon Foreman on Spotify, chucked on my good headphones and listened to that song. I really love listening to music through good headphones and doing nothing else, just concentrating on the sounds that come through into your ears.

I played that song, and then I played “The House of God Forever” which was also played at my baptism. There’s a part in it that says – Your shepherd’s staff / Comforts me – and in that moment, as the song played those lines, I felt God say to me “I know where we’re going”.

The last several months have seen some of the hardest minutes, hours, days, weeks, that I’ve ever experienced. One of the side effects of grief is being ripped away from a life that you thought was safe, that you could rely on, a life that you thought you were in control of. I’ve never felt so lost as I have this year, never felt this deep lack of purpose and meaning in my life.

Now I feel like it’s going to be okay. Because even if I have no idea where I’m going or what I’m doing with my life, that nothing I do will ever amount to anything, it’s okay. It’s okay because God knows where we’re going.

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Twenty Two

What is it about pain that makes us push away people who love us?

I’ve been keeping my family and my church at a distance because I don’t want them to see my pain. Now I think I’ve been doing the same with God too.

There’s just something so vulnerable about people who love you, seeing you in pain. You can’t hide your true feelings from people who know you. I don’t want them to worry for me, or try to fix me, or be pained seeing me in pain you know?

Why do I self-sabotage when I’m in the most need?

I need all that love, to fill the parts that were ripped out.

Two

A week after J and I broke up, I visited a church I don’t normally go to. During one of the songs, the pastor there came up to me, asked me my name and then described a vision he had of God making a daisy chain flower crown for me, said he felt God say that I was precious to Him, that He would bring something beautiful out of a place that’s been torn apart. The words that came to him (the pastor) were from Isaiah, specifically the part about beauty for ashes:

“He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion – to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” Isaiah 61:1-3

Since then, I’ve been thinking a lot about beauty for ashes and what it means. At first, I held onto it like a lifeline, repeating it like a mantra, trying desperately to find hope and peace in it.

Then, I became overwhelmed with sadness and amongst that, a lot of frustration and anger towards God for not delivering on this beauty.

Today I’ve been thinking about how ashes by definition mean that something has burned out, has died, and maybe that’s what I need to happen for beauty to come out of this shitty situation. I don’t know how I feel about this idea, because as painful as it is to be where I am at the moment, I don’t know if I can bear to let him go yet.

also don’t know how I feel about God and Christianity in general at the moment either. I was brought up in a Christian home and I understand most of the Christian ideas but often find it hard to reconcile the Jesus and God that I think I know, with the one that the majority of people who call themselves Christians say they follow. Anyway, deconstruction is a whole other topic that will probably feature in another post but in the meantime, how can I hold as authority something that I don’t even know if I believe? Maybe I’m just so desperate for something good, a reassurance that how I’m feeling now won’t be forever. Or maybe there is something worthwhile there? I don’t know, I guess we’ll find out.