Herein lies the beauty of my faith: my hopeless moments, the moments of “lament”, do not leave me there. Whatever your belief system may be, I hope, like mine, that it brings you powerfully upward and onward from your despair. Everyone has moments of discouragement and depression, but faith takes us higher. I see a broader perspective, a more beautiful inheritance. I see the firm foundation that takes me to a Rock that is higher than I. I am never left hopeless. In light of this, here is a glimpse into my soul this evening:
I stare, empty, thwarted by a day of broken hopes and the shattered promises of my past. Physically at odds with the tenacity of my soul; the simple autopilot procedures of motherhood wear me thin: I am butter spread over too much bread, the fragile first ice of winter on a pond, a butterfly’s wing in a monsoon.
The book title eats at my subconscious as I consume my fourth meal of the day in a robot-like manner… I taste nothing. My mind wanders, and I briefly wonder if my bodybuilding goals have kept me alive with their nutritional demands.
These days I feel like a car crash victim, only my mind has whiplash and my heart is in a million pieces, like broken glass on a dashboard of memories.
These days I cling to the awareness that my spirit is not broken, and my soul is my respite. In the depths of my soul I find tenacity and reassurance; hopes unthwarted by life’s tempests.
The book still lies, binding uncracked. I breathe out audibly and begin…
for the next few chapters I stare at the dashboard, at each of those shattered pieces of my heart. I examine their edges, I see where they fit together, where pieces are missing, and I wonder if they can be recovered.
Each fragment cuts into me as I seek to hold it, feel it, understand it. Some pieces are still too sharp, my mind is not calloused enough yet to hold them; I leave them rather than risk the deep wounds I could incur. They will be there tomorrow.
The melodrama is not lost on me, I laugh at it, wryly. I step back, out of body.
I see a pretty girl, curled up in a childlike position in an empty booth in an empty store. I see her innocence; a confused puppy-like commitment to believe the best that has led to far too many taps on the nose and a cowering fear of rolled newspapers and raised palms. So much pain in those dark eyes.
I see her fears, the inconsistencies of her outward strength with her terror of the future: how to be alone? How to provide for a little one when she slips in and out of conscious thought during her days. How to move forward when she cannot yet remember how to breathe.
I see her brokenness. I recognize the depth of her daily struggle to make sense of the past with her childlike-mind, to accept what has been done to her. I see her fighting to the last moment of every day to believe that there is beauty, love, hope, and a future free of terror and pain.
I see how wrecked she feels, how she wants to flee. To recover; to sleep for a long, long time.
She can’t, she has to move forward. Her child needs her… and yet she cannot even find herself, cannot put together those pieces which still cut her so deeply. Cannot take hold of the wheel when she is still finding her feet.
How to drive when up is down, when left is right, when over and under and backwards leave you spinning in the dry cycle of life’s most painful moments.
These are the days I thank God for autopilot; for a child to live for. For the wild restlessness of my spirit that has at times been a curse but these days is my salvation.
These are the days I cling by my fingertips to truth, to faith. Courage is a lion, snarling at my back in my mouse-like trepidation, my unbelief in myself. It intimidates me into acceptance, into running, scared. Amidst the fear I notice that my legs are strong, that I am still moving. I notice that my breathing steadies, that my vision clears.
In these moments I realize that all that matters is that I keep moving forward, albeit in pieces.
“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed”.