January 05, 2010

Renewal

I think that I have been living life in a fog for a while. One of those fogs where you just spin your wheels as fast as they can go for days and days on end and still can't find the clearing. Only I think that I've been spinning for months and in the last 2 weeks it has all crashed down on me. Sadness, grief, stress, longing, worry... they've all had me in their grip. And the grip was hard. And it wouldn't let go. It held on to me so tight sometimes I felt like I just couldn't breath because I was surrounded. It sucked the joy right out of me. I am not a person who battles with depression or anything. But I am prone to letting "life" build up to the point where it breaks me.

And boy have I been broken. Dealing with a death. Having a child so far away. The need in the world is go great, it physically hurts me, sometimes. It sits on me like a boulder. This waiting game we've been playing in almost every aspect of our lives had just taken over and exhausted me.

So I spun my wheels trying to break free. I thought if I could only spin fast enough, I could somehow just work through it. But I couldn't outrun it. I couldn't busy my mind to the point where I could get all the monkeys off my back. All the busyness just served to exhaust me more and I fell deeper in. It's been a vicious cycle. Today my heart screamed out for rest. So that's what I did. I took Noah to school and spent a few hours alone for the first time in almost a month. I had been looking forward to this little mini-retreat for days. I had it all planned. I was going to do all the Christmas gift returning. So I loaded up the car with all the returns. But then at the last minute, I decided to grab a CD to listen to in the car. Sometimes when I just need to mellow out, music really helps me. I popped in the CD and before I got to the end of the street, I was crying uncontrollably. With my grandfather's death, I've done a lot of crying lately. But this crying was completely different. This was the kind of crying that pours out in search of renewal. I stopped at the stop sign and just sat there for a few minutes to compose myself.

I think that sometimes when our hearts and minds are heavy and need to rest, that that is the time you need to let everything else take a break and let your soul do the running. My soul has been depleted lately. I've tried. I've done a lot of praying. I've done a lot of bargaining with God. I've gotten mad at him a few times. I searched for him, but couldn't focus long enough to find him. But I haven't just flat out cried out to him in a long time. So that's what I did. I sat there at that stop sign and just cried out. Then, I did what my soul has been craving for so long- I stopped. I sat still. I sat there with God and listened and felt and just finally shut up long enough to feel the things he's been wanting me to feel.

And it was great. To get back in control, I finally just had to be still long enough to surrender it all. I had to let go of the control and just admit that I can't do it all. Faith is a tricky thing like that. I was teaching my Sunday School class a couple of weeks ago about the kind of faith we're called to have. I was thinking about the Christmas story from Luke, when it gets to the part at the end of the story that says, "And Mary pondered all of these things in her heart." I tried desperately to put myself in Mary's position and just couldn't do it. She was only a human, yet she gave birth to a son who would rule the Earth, that she would ultimately have to give up to save a fallen world. As a mom- I think the enormity of it all hit me. How much faith does it take to say, "Okay God- I love this little baby you gave me, and here he is. I'll give him back to you so he can die." I know that if I had been in Mary's position I could never do what she did. If God came to me, and said he needed Sadie, or Noah, or Miles- I couldn't do it. No way. I can't wrap my head around it, much less my heart. But really- that's the kind of faith that we are called to live. The kind of blind faith that says, "Lord, I don't see the big picture here, but I trust you with it." I know that I don't always have that kind of faith and sometimes it makes me mad that I don't. Sometimes I am there, but it always seems fleeting. Then life gets in the way and I lose sight of it. But I guess the whole point of it all is to never stop striving.

And sometimes striving means standing still and resting in the fact that sometimes God will say, "Take a break. Rest. I've got this. Just breathe." So today I'm going to just breathe. Because some days all you can do is breathe in and out and rest in Him. And wait for renewal. And, oh my gosh, the renewal is magnificent!

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