Tuesday, July 14, 2015

It's like walking into a scene from an adventure story. I tried to chase the fog down the shore. I don't win that chase. Sometimes I can't believe I live here. What is this place? What am I doing here? Who am I again? This still isn't the scenery I'm used to. It's familiar, but I don't think it's home. I don't feel like it's mine. Rather I have the gift of using this space when I need it. And sometimes I really do need this place to sit and be. As strangely foreign as this place can sometimes feel, I'm always at ease when I'm at the lake. Sunset is the best time to go. As the sun gets closer to the horizon I am certain my heart stops beating so wildly and my breathing becomes easier. No show or movie can compete with the view of the sun slipping below the horizon line.

I'm here for the show! I'm filled with a quiet anticipation.
I make my way from the top of the hill down to the shore.
Off we go down the coast...we're walking in golden light.
There's a patch of fog in the distance that I'm chasing.
The closer I get to it the farther it runs away. <<sigh>>
That's life sometimes.

I feel the wind against my skin and hair...
I see birds flying...I hear water hitting the shore...
Everything just is...perfect.
I love this part. Watching the sky begin to change colors..
I think of creation declaring the glory of God.
He loves sunsets too...or rather, I take after Him in my love for them.

It occurs to me that I'm part of this creation too...
Do I declare His glory? Does my existence bring Him joy 
Like the birds and the waves do?
Thinking is easier at the lake.
Questions are asked...memories remembered...feelings are felt.
I feel more like myself when I'm here.

This part never gets old...no show compares to the sunset.
When you're homesick it helps to be someplace beautiful.
That moment becomes a meeting place...
Where the words of my heart break loose.
Yes, there's a time and place for everything.
The time and place is the lake at sunset.

The unsolved things in my heart.

This past week was a doozy! I have moments where I feel like my soul is shriveling up and decaying. Everything in the world seems so bleak that I can't imagine that hope can exist. Then someone can speak words to me that give life. It's amazing what an encouraging word can do. So to my sister Jacqueline and friend Courteney...thank you for the time you took to listen, to respond, and for caring. And not just in the short term, but for the past 15+ years! In this season of life where I feel like I'm floating in a boat without an oar in a storm...I'm very grateful for the people who have already walked with me and continue to walk with me.
And for the written words that we have...these by Rilke, and so many more from so many books...these shared feelings and experiences help make this lost, floating girl feel like someone understands her heart and can speak the feelings I don't know how to convey. I feel encouragement in knowing someone else felt this way and lived to tell others that the questions we have are gifts.
I've been thinking of that a bit. I have so many unanswered questions. "Am I completely broken?"  "Do your ways really work, God?" "What am I supposed to be doing?" "Will I always feel so stuck emotionally?" "Why do you give me dreams for a life that seems completely unattainable?" Don't hate the questions...love them. For every question that painfully points me back to my God, the only one who can answer them in His timing, I should be grateful.

There's ever so much to learn. Always. My earthly experiences teach me to be frustrated at how little I know, and how far I have to go in my learning, and how at the end I'll still be asking questions. My worth is in my intellect and abilities to figure things out and get to the next thing. That little paragraph above leads me to think that our Lord tells me to realize that each longing and question is a gift designed to teach me about Him. To realize my dependence on Him. And that I don't have to measure myself by how quickly I can learn a lesson...God's value of me is based in how much He was willing to go through to have a relationship with me; not based in my performance abilities. It's funny. I want so very badly to be loved as I am, without having to hide, without having to be ashamed. As a Christian I KNOW God loves me. Why is it so hard to learn to be free in that love?

Childhood Heroes...

"Suffering passes, while love is eternal. That's a gift that you have received from God. Don't waste it." 
--Laura Ingalls Wilder

I know my writing here can be kind of sad and moody most of the time. I process things better when I get my thoughts out and can reorganized them and delete them and write them out again. The truth is that sometimes I do struggle with depression. I try to hide it from people because I desperately want to be accepted and liked and I believe the things I wrestle with make me less valuable to others.

So I love this quote...that love lasts after the suffering passes. I'm not the sum of my weaknesses. I'm not defined by my struggles. Love will conquer because God is love and He will win. And although it isn't appropriate or necessary to share my struggles with everyone I meet I can know that real love won't reject me when sadness in life leads to depression.

I think I trust Laura's words because she experienced a lot of sadness and loneliness in her life. I guess the bright side of experiencing sadness is you really can offer true empathy and hope to others too. I'm feeling pretty grateful for the recorded words of many people. I draw encouragement from them. There's comfort and even community in knowing you aren't alone in your struggle.