Sometimes the words that flutter nearest the surface are not as true as what lies deep within.
Sometimes the darkness seems a little stronger than the light. Even when it’s not.
One of the values I hold dearest is being authentic. That doesn’t mean I say everything I am thinking. It means that I try to live my beliefs and be who I am, even when it’s hard.
And it has been hard. A lot of hard.
On the surface, all is well.
-I have an amazing new job with people I am beginning to love.
-I get time with my sister and her family and this brings me such joy.
-No snow to shovel this past winter
-Cute little apartment
-I am well loved by so many amazing people.
-I am forgiven and being made new by the King of the Things.
But I stopped writing. I stopped writing because I think I stopped living a little and I didn’t want anyone to know. I didn’t want anyone to know I was sabotaging my own health journey. It has been easier to just hide at home than force myself to do all this newness alone. The more I stayed at home, the angrier I became that this was where I was in my life. 58 years old and alone. Coming home to an empty space. No money saved up to make my retirement possible. Ever. No kids or grandkids to love on and spoil. No hope of the seeing a long-held dream and promise come true. No one who really knows me without my having to give all the back story. There is such power and strength in being known.
And I realized, once again, that some very difficult, long ago experiences and choices still shred my heart on occasion. My loneliness and anger were fueled anew by long-simmering, ancient storehouses of pain and unforgiveness in my soul. Loneliness + anger + unforgiveness = Robin eating her heart out. Food becomes the friend that stills the voices of fear and longing that echo deep within me. Well, at least they are silenced for about five minutes or until I am done eating. Then I sleep. A lot. Instead of moving and finding the light.
So why am I writing this?
Many of you count on me for words. And many of you have prayed for my journey. Recently, I realized I was withholding until I could get myself back on track. Until today. Today there has been confession, and a few tears and struggle and honesty about the fact that I cannot do this alone and I am NOT alone. The God who has set me free will do that once again. I followed His leading to move here to Tennessee and I still know it was the right thing. And even as I type this, I am very aware that part of what He may have for me here is to truly learn to trust only in Him. That HE is the reason I am still alive. That God is not put off by my messy, lurching, stubborn journey. This place He has me is showing me that my worth and value is not dependent on being known by anyone but Him. And that even if I fail, even if I am faithless, He is faithful. And so I write.
I write to let my fellow strugglers know that sometimes the journey ain’t pretty.
I write to put a stake in the ground that says, “This far my God has brought me.”
I write to put a marker up that lets the next person know not to give up.
I write because words give me power to BE and to DO.
I write to remind myself I may feel defeated but my God is NOT defeated.
I write to speak out truth and break off lies.
I write so that those who wonder how they can make it another day will please choose to make it another day.
There is power and hope and healing and LIFE in the light of God. So today, I choose to write so that I can choose light.
I don’t write to gain comfort. I am finding that at the feet of Jesus.
I don’t write to get response. Otherwise I would put up something political (Come on, you smiled just a little)
I don’t write to gain sympathy or garner praise.
I write to be real.
I have gained back weight; weight I worked so hard to get rid of.
I have stopped working out much.
I watch a lot of TV.
I have given depression the upper hand.
I write to take it back and give God control once again.
And along with David, the Poet from the Ancient texts of the Bible, I say, “Why are you downcast, oh my soul, and why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” (From Psalm 43:5, found in the middle of the ancient text called the Old Testament, in the Holy Bible.)