My apologies, Reader, for my unexpected absence last week. I would love to tell you that it was just because I was tired (which is true) or that I was too busy (that too), but frankly I got slammed by a helluva one-two punch of events and this fell pretty hard off of the To Do list. Friday I got caught in a church management mess, and Saturday and Sunday I went batshit crazy.
The management mess was simply a whole heap of miscommunications that all intersected at once, leaving me very frustrated. If you’ve ever worked on a collaborative event, Reader, you’ll be able to sympathize. But the batshit crazy part is connected to a whole host of things I’ve been attempting to manage for a while now. The short of it is that I’ve created a divide between my mental and physical self so deep that I sometimes feel claustrophobic in my own body. This, as you may be able to imagine, doesn’t often end well, considering you can’t really leave your own body to take a deep breath in an open space before going back in. (Well, I can’t, since I’m not so much into astral projection. Perhaps you are.) It also makes relating to others very difficult, as the natural tendency of affection is things like hugs or pats on the back or whatever. If I have trouble with my own physical self, it is exponentially harder to bear the touch of others, now matter how unthreatening and well-meaning.
It’s a mess, really.
I do want to assure you that I’m working on it, but it’s a long, exhausting, and utterly painful process. I was trying to take a step forward on Saturday, but it backfired so badly that it took me two days to reestablish any kind of equilibrium. The mind is a powerful thing.
I say all of this partly to apologize for missing my post last week week but also to once more and always ask for your prayers. I would like to get better, sure, but even more than that I would like to be able to face this and work through it without forgetting that God walks in the dark valley with me. The scariest thing about diving off the deep end last weekend wasn’t the actual diving but the fact that I felt utterly alone in doing so. It wasn’t that God deserted me—I was just so wrapped up in freaking out that I completely stopped paying attention to Him being there.
I’m not asking to never doubt, and I’m not asking that you ask God on my behalf that I never doubt. That would be counterproductive for both of us. I have tattooed on my stomach “quoniam tu mecum es,” “for you are with me,” and I believe that. But this is never going to get better if, every time the needle drops, I essentially tell God, “Hang on, I got this, I’ll come back for You in a sec.” Just as I have to let my friends hold me accountable to the various things I should and shouldn’t be doing, I have to let God stand in the gap with me and, well, be God. I pray (not often enough) for the faith to trust that God can handle this even better than I can.
That’s a hell of a thing, really, and that’s not something I’m going to figure out tomorrow or next Thursday or when I graduate seminary. That’s something that’s going to take a lifetime of faith and wrestling. I know that.
I also know that I’ll take any help I can get. It was not so much a good weekend.
One thing I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after:
to live in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to behold the beauty of the Lord,
and to inquire in his temple.
For he will hide me in his shelter
in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
he will set me high on a rock. (Psalm 27:4-5, NRSV)