It’s begun. The messing with my theology—the complete and utter necessity for laying my soul bare and examining what it is that makes me say and do and think like I think—about food and addictions, about life, about relationships, about everything. You and I know that I have always been high-strung and contemplative, so my saying, “It’s begun,” has a bit of a ridiculous ringtone to it. Yes, I meant ringtone. You know, that annoying sound that you hear every time your past calls, and you hear the sound, and you groan, because you know what it is, and you don’t want to answer it to hear what it’s going to rattle your cage with this time. Yep, you’ve heard it all before. And so have I. What makes this time different, I ask myself? This time it’s different because it’s down to them or me. Either God and I figure this out and get it under control, or I can’t survive. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Cyn, that sounds a little hyper dramatic. Must you always get so emotional?
Well, yes. Um, hello. That’s who I am. In touch with nuances and shades and reflections and flickers of light bouncing off the waters. I don’t want to go through life blinded to feelings, unable to feel, unable to touch. Unable to love. So curse me for feeling too much, caring too much, loving too much. It doesn’t matter. I know this about myself. That part of me I am unwilling to change. Yet, there is a whole bushel of things that I am dissatisfied with, that I despise in myself and that I just can’t live with. I’m not suicidal. Am I? Does slowly and methodically killing yourself with sugar and fat and carbs count? Does wrapping your pain up in walls of thick, suffocating, heavy chains of cellulite do anything to give you life and make it worth living? Does it do anything to protect you from more pain? Do I have a death wish? Do I really not care whether I live or die, because I know my salvation is secured and I can go be with those I miss and love? I think it’s deeper than that. I do not have a death wish. But I am tired of living this way.
If this is painful for you to read, imagine how it is to write. And yet, I write. Because lately, the more transparent I have been, the more messages I get from people saying, “Hey, that really helped me.” So at the risk of sounding totally psycho some days, I write. And I share. It’s alienated some. Some can’t handle the intensity of it. Some are embarrassed for me. Some just shut me out completely. Because maybe I just mirror whatever demon their dealing with, and my coming to terms with things seems to make them uncomfortable. I don’t know. I’m rambling now, and it’s not the coffee. It’s the insecurity. But there’s a point to it all.
The night before Valentines I got a precious note from a friend. A friend who has been through some of the dark with me. Aren’t those the best kind? The kind that will sit with you in the dark with a flashlight and make animal shadows on the wall to keep you company when you’re terrified out of your mind for the future? Yeah, those are the best. I have several of those. This friend again offered his shoulder, his ear, his phone number, his help day or night. To which, through tears, I told him he was right where he needed to be. And I meant that. He is a knight in shining armor. He is an amazing friend. But we walk different paths, and we know it. Still, the comfort of his friendship and the knowledge of his love and the transparency of that is a very precious thing. You don’t find it everywhere. And I publicly thank you, dear friend.
I have other friends and family that wished me a happy day. I love them very much and am very secure in the knowledge that I am loved by them. I have family that would drop anything if I needed them. I have family that are tough enough to take me and my sarcasm and dish me out a dose of truth that I desperately need. The ones that will tell you the truth are the ones that really love you.
Which brings me back to this messing up of my theology. Which god do I serve anyway? Is it the god of my feelings, my pain, my addictions? Is it the god of selfishness and self-pity and woe is me? Isn’t the God I serve greater than these feelings of insecurity and loneliness and sadness that drive me to self-medicate? Because let’s be real here. That’s what I’m doing. Problem is, it hasn’t worked for 48 years. I’ve lain by the pool of Bethesda 48 years waiting for someone to save me—throw me in the healing waters—fix me. And Jesus has been here all along, saying, “Get up. You can do it. You got to let go of the notion that you are unfixable, unlovable, incapable, and all those other things you believe you are not and grab onto what you know you are, which is MINE.”
So Valentine’s Day dawns, and as I’m cooking bacon, the enemy comes to defeat me. “So, you wrote some pretty words. Is that all you got? Can you even live what you say? You can’t. You can’t love like that, because you are unlovable. You don’t even love yourself.”
And before I could even consider the answer, God intervened, shutting the enemy up, at least for the moment:
“No, you can't. Not without me. No one can. That's why it was necessary for me to show you what true love is...what sacrifice means...what giving involves... what it means to be reconciled. I am the only way you learn unconditional love. Give it to me. And I will show you. Without me, pretty words are just pretty words. But with me--they are powerful and life changing and life giving. Come, be with me and be my love, Daughter. I have much to tell you. Much to show you. Much to lavish on you--in this life even--and more in the life to come. You are the apple of my eye. I made the heart that beats within you. No one knows you better. No one loves you more. Come. Be with me and be my love and rest assured your heart and all you are is safe with me.”
I wish I could say that shut me up and ended the self-talk. As wonderful as it was to hear, I heard it but did not take it to heart. Instead, I immersed myself in self-torture, defeatist talk, forgetting the Valentine from the early morning hours, forgetting the love shown to me by family and friends. Forgetting that God was listening and watching and crying with me. Forgetting that one important thing—that above all else, I was HIS. For hours last night, I tried to convince God that it was someone else’s problem. That I had it together. But I didn’t. And don’t. I’m a work in progress. I’m a big tearful, sloppy mess. But no, I do not have a death wish. I have a life wish.
This morning I reflected back over what God had said yesterday. It’s still true. He loved me enough to tell me truth. Without Him, pretty words are just pretty words. I want life giving, life changing, and powerful. And it’s not in a bottle, it’s not in a pill, it’s not in a piece of chocolate or a DQ Blizzard or a casual fling. It’s in Him. I hope that my sharing has not been in vain this morning and that you take something with you that will help you. I’m okay, and I want you to be too. Love to all. ~Cyn