chronicles of a recurring thought

April 24 – May 2:

  • Monday, April 24: Met up with EnfJ at a Gainesville coffee place, rainy rainy afternoon. Talked about what’s been saddening and lacking and what my heart desires. Sadness. “Maybe we just haven’t evolved quickly enough for these suburbian lives!!”
  • Tuesday: Exhaustion and small group. Put on a brave face and talked a lot anyway.
  • Wednesday: Exhaustion and premarital counseling. Another good meeting, nevertheless.
  • Thursday: Exhaustion and worship team practice. Everyone seemed exhausted on this day, but the music was good.
  • Friday: Exhaustion and Netflix. A little less exhaustion, cause, Netflix. I worked extra hard this day because I wanted to forget about the exhaustion and sadness for a little while.
  • Saturday: HBC Ladies Tea Party. Ocha Tea with Sarah, (+Isaac, + Mark). Sadness, feeling too raw to share at the tea. Feeling too inarticulate to share with Sarah. Blab blab blah. “I, too, believe that God honors the desires of our hearts.” “God’s people are good.” “Maybe what you’re looking for is a best friend.” “It’s really not that far. I make the drive cause…it’s worth it to me, you know?”
  • Sunday: Post-church lunch with G&E. And…exhaustion. Asking questions, answering questions, making an effort. [Wait… Is this what MM feels like all the time?]
  • Monday: Work and a little bit of grace in the lifting of the sadness. Sarah celebrated with me. Wrote a thank you card and a Mother’s Day card, sat quietly and did some Bible study, caught up on life admin things. Recharged. “As randomly as it set in… It has lifted.” 
  • Tuesday: Small group and honesty. And vulnerability. And hope. Went in with a prayer for openness and totally got it. The sadness over the past week, seemingly random, wasn’t so random anymore but a little bit redeemed. “Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.” Eph. 4:25

P.S. It’s so interesting to look through the pictures that accompany these days. They are brighter and happier than I remember feeling. Is it the photos that are off, or my memory, or a lil bit of both?

 

[dts] rememberthis: when feeling like a brat

Today began as a mess of feelings — cranky about Mark’s tardiness, confused about how to plan for the Future (capital F), feeling preemptively tired and a little lost in the sea of small talk I’d have to navigate at church today.

Added to the mess as the service unfolded — unsettled about the state of my heart + God, even more confused about how to plan for that Future, still tired and lost-feeling about the sea. Throw in a dash of guilt in there, too, for feeling all of the above.

 


 

Today ended as a mess of feelings — sorry for the undue crankiness, grateful for the pause-y conversations with company to call “family away from home,” awed to receive yet another lil celebration for a birthday already a week and a half old, joyful to have a slice of scratch-made cake to come home to.

How is it that I am so blessed?

How is it that I so often forget?

pensive corridor meetings with my boss’s boss

In certain situations, there are certain adjectives that are just not preferable, no matter how accurate you feel they are.

In the situation of a girl without make-up: “tired,” “worn-out,” “haggard” are clear no-no’s.

In the situation of a girl on her period: “sensitive,” “hungry?” “cranky.” Nope.

In the situation of a girl having a crisis of faith, however small: “sad,” “dejected,” “so downcast o my soul.” Stop.

It takes a person of some wisdom to instead ask such a girl why she’s looking so…”pensive.” Instead of what she probably really looked like, which was probably something like “too apparently sad. and at work, at that. because she has no emotion filter.” or something like that.

It takes a person of some deep care to ask such a girl a few days later about how’s she’s doin’, still. call her “miss,” probably not even knowing how nice that sounds to her unattuned ears.

Cause then, that girl might just respond openly (albeit…pensively) and share with you her thoughts of late — about how there’s no archaeological evidence of the Jewish slaves’ exodus out of Egypt, about how she can’t remember those salient times when God seemed to have been real in her life, about how she’s still believin’, but how it’s just confusing and hard sometimes, but how she’s just trying to be honest about all that, instead of trying to be a preemie-wise sage, for once.

And then you might just proceed to have a conversation in a quiet corridor tucked away in the building next door, weirdly next to a mothers’ lactation room and a bunch of vending machines by which she keeps getting distracted. A place in this building that you’d never been to before, though you have worked at this place for 30-some years. You might just try your hardest to get through to this stubborn girl who isn’t even a nonbeliever but keeps asking you those nonbelievers’ questions — “how can you say this is divine appointment” “what if everything is just random” “what if I don’t believe in this whole construct so none of this makes any sense to me” — just because her heart feels hard and empty. You might still keep trying. You might remind her:

  • there’s something innate in us that causes us to have faith in a whole bunch of things that may or may not be reliable. such as other drivers on the road. and a whole lot of food servers in the course of a lifetime.
  • there’s something innate in us that rebels against death. it seems unnatural and wrong to us and we wish for some more time and we wish for more than just this life. (because we are eternal beings. we were meant for eternity, Ecclesiastes 3:11 “he has put eternity into man’s heart.”)
  • feelings are unreliable. they can shift about and make you feel so sure one moment, then so uncertain the next. so how can you base your faith on such a thing. how can you even trust that certainty in the moment. faith is not a feeling.
  • when God feels far away, it’s not He who has moved, but you. He’s holding ya in his hands.

Which are probably things she already knows, has learned before. But still, the reminders are good. They just might hit home and break the crackly veneer of hardness that was starting to choke.

And then, you know, she just might burst into tears right there in front of that lactation room and all those vending machines — so private yet so public — and you might have to offer her a hug and a prayer. Both of which she will gratefully and unresistantly accept, for the first time in a long time.

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With answers to questions she may have been searching for in her old journals or something.

looking carefully

There’s something about peering into the face of a person, up close and personal, as they say, and seeing a kind of beauty that just isn’t seen from further away.
And then, there must be a kind of beauty others see in me, too, when the face is peered into with care and unjudgment. Not cause I think I’m pretty (I think I am pretty, sometimes) but just by virtue of the first statement of this post applying equally to all humans, which is a category of things including me.
Like, there are sometimes when I catch a reflection of myself somewhere, under certain lighting or in a certain kind of mirror, and think: oh…yay!! And other times when the same situation happens, and my response, instead, is: …AW MAN. And I think that this peering closely and unjudgingly thing can have the tendency to elicit the first kind of response in people, of the people they’re observing.
Something very beautiful about that, right? Something like “Understanding leads to love.”
Not fully developed thought-connection that I think is related, but like I just disclaimed, not fully developed:
Per Pastor John Piper:

God is the only being in the universe whose display of his own glory is love. Display of one’s glory, done by anyone else, would not be love — that would be selfishness and pride and undue self-glorification. But God is unique in possessing this quality because the display and experience of God’s glory is the only sure source of full satisfaction of man’s soul (not to mention his chief end, right?) in this entire universe. So God must show himself as glorious and must require all his creation to sing out his glory. And in this, he shows LOVE.

Observing God, seeing and knowing his glory, leads to increased gain of love.
Looking closely at his humanly creations, peering close into moments of unguarded normalcy and undaunted peer-backs, leads to increased gain of love.
So maybe…by the law of the a = b, a –> b, b –> c, then a –> c ness of the logic of the law (dear math/philosophy majors, please forgive me)…maybe these peerings, up close and personal, as they say, are like…seeing moments of God in people.
Woah. Is that too bold? Either way, isn’t he beautiful, our God of love? Dah. I wish to peer more deeply more closely more intimately. More love-ingly.

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