Monday, November 29, 2010

Inspired by Permission to Speak Freely

I took my dog to the baseball fields for a walk today but first I stopped at Arby's to grab a quick lunch. I went through the drive thru and took my sandwhich to the park. I ate in the car while a) I listened to the radio and b) while Cole drooled like a fiend! Author and speaker Anne Jackson was on the radio. She recently wrote a book entitled Permission to Speak Freely. The whole content of the book and the interview was about things people don't feel safe to say in church. Callers were calling in commenting on things she was saying or what people had said in her book or just confessing things they didn't feel they could say in church. It was powerful. And it made me think.

It made me think about my own state of brokenness right now. It made me think of the thoughts that come early in the morning when I'm waking and my rawest voice reigns in my head. It made me think of the thoughts that come in my last waking minutes as I lay my head on my pillow in the silence of the darkness right before sleepiness settles when my spirit is still active. And it made me think of my almost breakdown today in my kitchen that I somehow fought back- choosing avoidance rather than confrontation. Confrontation with whom? I was home alone. With myself? With God? With my spirit that for the past two days is heavy and sorrowful and scared.

I'm not happy. I'm not happy with my life right now. I am hurt, wounded and somewhat broken. I feel like a failure in so many areas of my life and I see the emotionally healthy people around me and it makes me want to crawl back into bed, under the covers and hide. I remind myself daily that life is not about being happy. That is truth. Seek happiness and it will evade you. Think you've found happiness and eventually it will leave you. Happiness is not a faithful companion but a fair weather friend. Life, rather, is about holiness. It's about knowing Christ and loving him more each day. From that stems joy.

And right now, what I wouldn't say at church is this: God scares me. I feel like I've failed him in so many ways. Today was a battle just to get out of bed. The bigger battle was actually taking a shower and getting dressed. But the battle that I lost today was that despite doing each of those things, despite how hard they were, was the battle to be real vs. being numb. Today, Numb won. I am not numb. I think numb is a coping mechanism. Numb is so much easier than hurt. Numb is easier for those around me than scared and broken and self loathing. Numb is real for some people. For me, I wear numb as my mask. And it's easy to forget that it is a mask. Until the Holy Spirit caresses your heart and spirit in your Toyota Corolla in the parking lot of a park with your dog drooling beside you.

No, I am not numb. I am just scared and broken and somewhat depressed. What if God doesn't really love me like I've thought? What if all the things I've dreamed of having and enjoy doing (buying a house, having a baby, being able to buy Christmas presents for loved ones, not having to struggle financially, having a job I actually love and am good at and ENJOY) are just pipe dreams?

I'm in the process of job hunting and you know what? It sucks. I'm sorry, that isn't stated pretty or even well but it sure is true. Every resume sent that doesn't receive a call back feels like a blow of rejection. Every job description read beckons the call of the insecurity inside of me and says, "You aren't the right person for that, you don't have those skills, you are not good enough for that position." It's a battle. A full blown battle.

And even spending time with the Lord is a battle. It has lately become difficult to not think of God's voice like the rest of the voices that sing in my head on a daily basis- the ones that ridicule, question, and tear me down. And the only thing I know to do is to speak truth. It's so hard. It's not always the first thing that comes to mind but it's there. But also, it's a choice to choose truth. To choose to believe God at His word. Today, I did not cling to truth. But as I sit here and type, having poured out my heart in the quietness of this moment this is what I hear, "He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me... He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me... You give me your shield of victory, your right hand sustains me." Psalm 18:16-18, 35

Can you handle complete honesty? Seriously, because I'm letting it all out today- I want to delete this post. Wouldn't it be better for the two people that actually read this blog to not think less of this fumbling, broken, sinner? Wouldn't you like me more if I had it all together? But I don't. Confession: I want to delete that sentence, too. I don't have it all together. I am not perfect. My marriage is not perfect. My friendships are not perfect. My dog- he's the closest thing to perfection in my life and even he struggles. ha!

Today was a rough day. I still feel broken. I am still hurt. Still wounded. But not as heavy as I was 20 minutes ago. For that, I am grateful.