The How

“How am I doing? Ah, that’s quite the question.”

I lean forward, elbow resting on the edge of the light brown table - the table with the edges that have always seemed so crisp. so precise. so final.

“How am I doing…” my voice trails off, I know.  It trails off even as my thoughts seem to start on the trail and end on the off.  They seem to fall straight off the edge of the table yet remain on the floor as a cold, grey orb that I have to decipher and which I simply cannot seem to evade.

“How am I doing…” the orb sits there, anything but so crisp, precise, or final like the table from which it has fallen.

“Yeah, that’s my question, Deborah.” The grey, orb-like eyes search into me.  They’re seekers’ eyes that are at the door, at the door to my reality; they are waiting to see if the door is opened.  I can just tell, though.  They’re the eyes of one who will not bull-doze if the latch is slid open; they’re the eyes of those who will flood the entry with a torrent of warm care yet piercing truth.

I inhale. “Well, I doing…”

So much has been flooding my heart and mind in this doing that I feel incapable: incapable to articulate or discern what’s in this orb of dense thoughts, feelings, emotions, and subconscious realities that are beginning to emerge.

I’m afraid.  Afraid that if I try to articulate, it will all just come tumbling out in incomprehensible nonsense.  That these thoughts aren’t normal.  That I’m not normal. 

I’m afraid.  I’m afraid to bare my soul because my soul could be found lacking.  It could be not as special as I once believed it to be.  It could be just too different from the hearts of those around me.  It could be exposed and abused (but really sometimes I’m just confused).

You see, I know life is a journey, and we are constantly in the motion of such a quest.  Yet, here I am, just longing to feel the solid peace of a rest: something stable, something sure, something external from me.

Whatever I choose to pursue is that which is going to be pursued, and this is a heavy responsibility. 

To have your life in your hands — oh, how I am encountering my deepest fear.

I seem to hold oh so much of the power.  This means I can mess it up, or I can take it and run.  And I always envisioned myself running.  bold.  brave.  with passion. 

Sometimes, I just got to let it out.  to let it breathe.  to enable it to live.  to fan the flame.  to do the work that needs to be done.

“How am I doing?”

I’m learning to live in the incomplete.  No, I do dare say more.  I am learning to love life in the incomplete; I’m learning to embrace life.  Life’s messy.  I’ve got a ridiculous lot of questions right now.  Actually, my questions have questions that I don’t even know about.  But I need space to think and need grace with myself.  Yet I cannot get so locked inside that I refuse to be me — to let myself develop into who I am as I seek to pour into the development of who others are.

I’m learning to embrace and engage.  Whatever is sent on my path - I’ve got to embrace it (no matter if I like what’s in front of me).  I’m learning to engage with my whole heart; otherwise, the moments slip by and the days turn into months and life turns into death and living was actually more like dying.

I’m learning life.  How can one learn something like this?  Well, it’s something that we all must do, and maybe we simply have the choice to do it consciously or subconsciously.  I, for one, will tackle this bad boy head on; yeah, it hurts, and you can’t always tell the bigger picture of what you’re wrestling when you're caught up dealing with one part of the body at a time.  But wait, there’s more coming if you just keep fighting.  The big picture is there; you can sense it.  It might just be around the next psychological corner if only you’ll hang in there.  When God’s doing His work, just embrace it.

I’m learning that life is good and God is good and - maybe - it’s a natural progression that God is life — something maybe I’ve been too foolish, stubborn, and proud to fully understand and deeply embrace before.

I’m learning that my heart can be satisfied.  And oh what a glorious satisfaction it is where I am satisfied in all that my Savior is — just satisfied because He is God.  He is good, and He’s got it all in control.  This is a deep satisfaction, unrelated to externals, but it’s where my internal is full and enabled to be awakened in a whole new way.

"How am I doing?" 

I'm learning to break into the presence of my Savior and to find life in Him.
That is how I'm doing.
That is life.
© 2015 Deborah Hope Shining


  1. I so enjoy your thought provoking raw emotions, feelings and ponderings put to pen and shared with many of us!

  2. I so enjoy your thought provoking raw emotions, feelings and ponderings put to pen and shared with many of us!


I definitely don't want this to be a monologue. What are your thoughts? Questions? Ideas?