Thursday, September 13, 2018

beautiful, finally


I cried myself to sleep two nights ago.

The darkness around me didn't seem black but grey, grey even as my now coverless duvet was white on my new mattress that replaced the air mattress I'd used for ninety days. The air mattress was almost symbolic. A symbol of how I'd viewed this time as transitory: a place to stay, to sleep that will work for quite a while, but not something that smelt of commitment, of semi-serious settling.

My translucent tears, to me, seemed as wet, heavy droplets landing on my cheeks, illuminating the grey around me.

I'm not really a crier. I know this doesn't make it seem so, but it seemed that the past six months had seen more of my tears than potentially all the years before. When God is working deep growth in your life, it can bring so much new life and fruit. But, sometimes in the meantime, we are left in the pain.

I'd cried pain-tears. So, so many of them.

Pain that my life wasn't like what I thought it would be. I'm in a state foreign to my Midwest heart. I'm hundreds of miles from the places and people I love.
Pain that I didn't have some things in my life I thought I would. I'd been walking with someone, and he decided we were walking separate ways, and I didn't realize how deep I'd gone. Plus I hadn't written the book or chased the big dreams or started a company like I thought I should have. 
Pain that I didn't let people in like I needed to. I'd let phone calls go uncalled. I'd let phone messages climb over sixty daily.
Pain that I wasn't the fully-sanctified person I am ultimately unable to be here on earth. I was more aware of battles that I'd be called to fight against my flesh till my flesh did I part.

But I wasn't feeling the black hopelessness. Just a grey, almost neutral numbing like a medical procedure you know is necessary but which does not seem to have an end.

When I was eight, I had two racks of sharp points pushed into my back. My bare skin flinched against the cool, sleek nails the doctor called needles. I'd bit my lip and squeezed my mom's hand. I knew the procedure was going to make me feel better in the end. The rack would go to my back. It would show reactions on my skin. Then they could treat the allergies, and I could go free and be happily frolicking all my live-long days. In the meantime, I was helpless. Out of control, surrendered to the doctor's work. Enduring the pain. Enduring the reactions. Enduing the pressure points that lingered. Working towards healing, a healing I couldn't picture.

And here we are again.

The master surgeon is working. He's exposing things inside me through exposing me to new things around me. But the waiting is hard. My impatience is real. I want to know where we are going and when we will get there. And I want to have done all in my power to be there yesterday, because that would have been better (no best), right?

I called my parents the next day. I was floundering. Frustrated that I was getting caught in the details of a job and feeling like I'd pinned myself down prematurely. They talked me down. I'd danced it out. I'd kick-boxed my way through it (not even kidding. Y passes unlock a whole new world).

But it'd taken days, and it's taking days. Days to learn what dependence really means. Days to wait through the growing pains of what God's doing. Days to lean into what it truly means to follow Jesus when it doesn't seem like the following is bringing you what you thought, and instead, it seems like you're wallowing an awful lot.

But today I woke up. I woke up, and a song.

"Where will you run, my soul? Where will you go when wells run dry? When the wind starts to blow? How you gonna keep this flame alive? In the fading night when light is breaking, I know you will always be waiting. You'll always be there. I'm running to the secret place, where you are, where you are. I'll sing to you of all the ways you stole my heart, stole my heart. Better is a moment that I spend with you than a million other days away. I'm running. I'm running. I'm running to the secret place."

And I'd smiled. Not just on my skin but in my soul.
It was a smile of surrender.

Yes, I'd surrendered my life years ago, but apparently I still am very much a sin-sick soul in need of a Savior who is learning to surrender her days.

Thankful.

I'd been trying to start the first hour of the day with prayer and Bible for the past few months. Today, in the prayer all I did was thank. Thanking Him for the truth, goodness, and beauty that was all around. Thanking Him for the constancy of Him and the simplicity of that, praying to be caught up in eyes of wonder.

Sitting in the cubicle, later, surrounded by sharipes and notebook paper, I found myself viewing photos in backwards order of the past few months, my time here in this new city and state. Thankful. It hadn't left, and I was struck.

Who am I not to see how beautiful my life is?

And I ran to repentance, inside.

Yes, it might be grey around me, a lot these days. It might be grey and feeling like I have to fight it everyday. But He is faithful. He is good. He is holy, and who am I to fret and fight when the grey isn't gone immediately? Who am I to have a heart cry of anything more than thy will be done, even as I pray pray pray that life would settle, I'd have things I'm asking for, I'd feel established once again?

Who am I not to see how beautiful my life is?

My life is beautiful, with all of its impatient complexities because this is the life that He's seen fit for me to lead. No, more than that, this is the life that He's seen fit to give me to live with Him.

Thankful.

For I will not be lost in the grey, but I will surrender to a life of wonder at His greatness.

Thy will be done.

© 2018 Deborah  Spooner
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