Updated: Dec 30, 2019
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The dichotomy of the impossible explanation of the way I am being pulled apart while the walls close in on my soul make me realize the season I am enduring. It's just a season. Not permanent. But when darkness closed in, I began desperately running into the walls of the past, cursing the Lord when I felt He didn't show me the grace necessary for escape.
People want the next part of me. They want the best part of me. But what happens when you put a ceiling over a tree? The tree grows and grows until there is nowhere left to go, so the tree turns on itself, questioning why it pushed forward in the first place.
I look in the mirror and see three versions of myself. The voice in my head tells me who I was, the reflection tells me who I am, but the tear reflects everything I fear grows in vain. For years I tore the world apart until the world clapped back and tore me apart. I was left in pieces in January, not knowing if there was even light for me to put them back together. But now I'm like Iron Man in his early days, knowing the very thing keeping me alive is killing me.
But I'm afraid. It's okay to be afraid. It's okay to hop back in the cocoon as an unfinished mess, body torn apart by an everyday trial we no longer knew how to face. But that's part of the restoration. That's part of growth. Necessary but difficult. And, ironically, knowing that suffering is a part of the process is encouragement through times of darkness.
I've had to say goodbye to people I love. It's torn me apart, but when the cross stands in the way, I know it was necessary. I'm so angry. It's easy to point out nobody is listening when I don't want to face the very insult I hurl at those whose inconsistencies I never seem to miss.
I'm not afraid to say I'm broken. I'm not afraid to say I'm scared. But I keep running back to the well of poison. Each return trip increasingly shorter as each return visit fails to satisfy my soul. People are telling me to worry about the bread, but they won't even break it. Take time to concern yourself with your mental health, but don't focus on giving that time to anyone else. I got people asking me if I am saved, but they aren't really concerned about me living saved. As long as the prayer has been prayed, then give a handshake, a head nod, and go on with your day.
The devil wants me to buy in the past is habitual, unavoidable, and that my brokenness will not yield restoration. And for once, the devil isn't lying, not if I walk by the hand of my own creation. But there is a reason even in darkness we need not fear, even if we cannot fathom how restoration comes in those moments. Only when the walls finally cave in, and we succumb to the notion that our perception of who God is might have to change, replacing our own take on God for an actual depiction, will we start to see growth. Perhaps the hardest reality to face is the happiest moments of our newfound faith might be the very things that led us to the darkest cave we will ever face.
But the love of God overcomes. It expands beyond the very depth of the darkest sins we do not want to come to light. It pierces that false depiction of God we craft in our head that looks a lot like a cartoon but has bafflingly similar ideas on everything as we do. Sometimes humility decreed through God's providence looks a lot like us making all the right decisions, ending up with nothing, and cursing the very God that had allowed our demise for our salvation. It is a lot easier to say God works together with all things for us when we think all things will turn up aces. But for Him to work all things together, it takes a lot of humility to accept it means all things, not all things where we can see how this ends up in our favor.
The next version is meant to be the best version. It is entering into solitude under God's provision. It is trusting in His providential wisdom. It is allowing Him to take me into some very dark places knowing that on the other side will be a relationship that brings me a lot closer to the Father. And if suffering is inevitable, and God knows I deserve to suffer for my sin, glory to Him that it is in this lifetime and not the next.
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