Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Compass in the Dark

My heart feels an emptiness I’ve never known. I trudge through desert sands without a compass. The slightest breeze tosses my emotions like chaff in the air. Tears confuse me like raindrops on a cloudless day. A sandstorm buries me alive. I am too weak to claw my way out. It’s useless anyway. I close my eyes and surrender. Trusting this avalanche of sorrow will not last forever. I will breathe again.

Ever felt this way? Ever had a weight in your heart and soul so heavy it renders you motionless? My son started kindergarten a few days ago. Although we both walked away with smiles initially, I suddenly feel mine painted on. This, and other recent changes in my life force an emotional tailspin that overwhelms me. Childhood wounds—I’ve neglected for decades—suddenly gush blood through Band-Aids, requiring a rush to the ER. My heart is pummeled with shrapnel. Sterilize the scalpel for open-heart surgery.

I am a terrible patient. I kick and scream as the stretcher carries me away to the operating table. I don’t want to be cut open. I don’t want more blood to flow. Under no anesthesia, I cringe as the blade draws closer. I feel everything and yet nothing. Joy is as elusive as my pulse. Guilt, selfishness and shame course through my veins like liquid from an IV. Why can’t I "buck up" and pull myself together emotionally? I’ve always been the strong one, so revealing weakness on my part terrifies me. But God is teaching me to repeat these words: “I cannot. God can. I am going to let Him.” I must surrender and trust my heart in the Master Surgeon’s hands. It has been such a struggle to trust, but until I get to the place where I surrender total control, admit my weakness and allow Him to heal my broken heart, I’m not truly letting Him be Lord of my life.

As a stay-at-home mom, I’m forced to confront the empty six hours until my son runs into my arms again. Being the perfectionist I am, I battle with an intense pressure to perform which impedes the healing process. Thoughts like, “I need to be productive! I need to be pulling my weight! I need to be BUSY,” amplify my anxiety and keep my God at arm’s length. Lacking a compass or roadmap yet, I feel lost and alone. I rely on my own daunting strength, which is deemed deficient. During these dark hours my mom says something encouraging: “Why don’t you read a book?” Six little words, so simple, yet so profound. A weight lifts.

Another weight lifts as I renew my hope in God. It dawns on me that maybe this barren desert is right where He wants me, so He can quench my thirsty soul, be my compass in the dark. Maybe He wants me to pause a moment so He can wrap His loving arms around my brokenness to bring the comfort and healing I so desperately need. Perhaps His finger is intentionally pushing the “mute” button to quiet the white noise that is distracting and drowning out what He’s trying to whisper to me: “it’s OK to rest and sit at My feet”, like Mary did while Martha ran around helter-skelter, consumed with worry over feeding 13 unexpected guests. Sometimes resting feels uncomfortable. But we must allow ourselves permission and not feel guilty. After all, Jesus rested and took a break from His ministry at one point. God rested after creating the heavens and the earth. Why is it so hard for us as humans to rest?

During this season of uncertainty and brokenness, I will spend time in prayer and worship, sitting at my Lord’s feet until He leads me in the direction He wants me to go. I will tune out any voices indicting guilt or shame, the loudest one being my own. His voice is the only one I need to hear and obey. I will not fight back tears. I will view this time as sacred and embrace the sorrow as a gift that means His healing hand is at work. I will be still. I will trust. I will wait.

And maybe I will read a book.

This Is Where The Healing Begins
“Be still and know that I am God,” Psalm 46:10
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight,” Proverbs 3:5-6

3 Spout:

Karen, your transparent heart is wonderful! Thank you for sharing the hope inside the hurt! Just beautiful!

I hope you are surrendering to Him more and more each day. My prayers are with you, that you may use this time for healing so that each day forward you are filled with his love and know that you are using your gifts for His purpose. So many of us have been in that emotional spot and I am inspired by your healing heart. What a gift you have been given!

Thanks, Jackie! That was such a DARK tunnel I went through! I'd never been in such a depressive state before and it was emotionally very scary! Such a FOG! But it has certainly lifted and a JOY I've never known has overcome me and taken it's place. It's so exciting! I feel right in stride with God's will for my life and know I had to go through that healing process in order to feel the freedom I have now! Healing is hard, but necessary for our Spiritual growth. Some would rather leave the past in the past, but unless we face and deal with the pain from our wounds and go THROUGH those dark valleys, we never truly overcome the pain and it just follows us the rest our lives like a dark cloud. It overshadows everything. Like history, if we don't learn from the past and face it, we are destined to repeat it.

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