Tuesday, January 6, 2015

A Heart Cries Out

She can feel the heat rise into her face and her eyes grow hot with moisture. Her nose suddenly feels warm and the edges of her mouth turn down on their own, quivering as she fights against the oncoming tears, bursting into sobs. Balling up her fists, she pounds the mattress, kicking and screaming. Her dark wavy hair spills across the pillow as she buries her face trying to muffle the sounds. Her heart feels like its going to explode. She wishes it would.

She deprives herself of oxygen as she smothers her cries in the pillow, her breathing slowing and getting deeper. She begins to calm and imagines herself suffocating. But her body won't let her. At the last second, her head turns and she gulps in deep breaths of the cool room air.

A two year old's tantrum performed by a 43 year old on and off for the past seven years.

And now she's tired - tired of fighting with God, tired of questioning, tired of analyzing. She's reached a cross roads of sorts. She's either going to back down and embrace the faith of her youth, no questions asked, or she's going to have to chuck it all. She can't keep saying she believes something and then turn around and constantly question what she says she believes.

She wants assurance, truth, and freedom.

She craves rest, purpose, and fulfillment.


The overwhelming tiredness began about seven years ago when life really began to get real. All of a sudden life didn't seem mundane or easy anymore, it began to get hard: medical emergencies, surgeries, illnesses, and death. Bad news after bad news. She realized her life was not "blessed" anymore in the manner she thought she understood being "blessed".

During this time she gave in to her emotions as they seemed to be her reality. She started reevaluating everything she had believed, having a crisis of faith over and over again.

She got on and off antidepressants.

In the beginning, she would get long periods of respite where she thought she had it all back under control and was living peacefully again, "blessed" again. Then something else would happen, and over time, she would get glimpses of what she perceived to be the end of the quest only to be driven back when shaken. Every time she thought she got her beliefs sorted out, something else would happen to her, to someone else, or just in the world in general that caused another emotional upset and the questioning would start all over.

She spent hours praying and searching the Bible for answers, listening to podcasts on every conceivable spiritual subject, questioning and being mad and distrustful of God. She looked outside her faith at times, querying those who were not "believers", and imagined what it would be like not to live under or have to abide by, what she perceived as, "all the rules", really just asking the question, "What's' the point?".

During the most intense crying binges and moments of despair, her emotions convinced her that she truly wanted to end things (even though she didn't think she would ever have the guts to actually do anything about it). She played with the idea, got comfortable with the thoughts, considered what her kid's lives might be without her.

The thoughts of the kids struggling because of her actions were probably the best deterrent.

She got counseling, she read books, she listened to more unsolicited advice than she ever asked for or wanted. She wasn't asking for anyone to fix her, but she knew she didn't want to experience this anymore, this wallowing in self pity, begging for relief, constantly considering an escape.


Off to her right in her peripheral vision, He sits in darkness surrounded by a red glow. She can't see His face, and she doesn't want to. Vaguely she senses His throne; His feet and robes shadowed in a black and red haze. These are not the colors she would have associated with Him, but they are the colors He is using to reveal Himself to her now. Every now and then she wonders if she should turn and try to look at Him, seek His face, but she can't bring herself to give up what she currently has which feels like the shelter of anonymity.

She just couldn't live the way she was living anymore  - without joy, always anxious, relentlessly questioning, miserable. Something had to give. She needed to choose between going all in or just walking away, and since walking away would entail continuing the exhausting search for something unknown, she chose what has now become the path of least resistance; she's just too tired to search anymore. She has made what she hopes to be, a life changing decision. She has decided she is not going to question or fight anymore. She threw in the proverbial towel and surrendered her soul again to this Person sitting in a fog on a throne whom she realizes now she doesn't know very well after all. Her ideas about being "blessed" and assumptions about His role in her life will need to be redefined.

He has given her a strange tool to deal with the emotions that attack her periodically, the emotions that flare up when something goes wrong, or someone says something that sort of pricks her ears and offends her, or when random questioning thoughts pop up in her mind for no reason.

This tool might be considered more in line with an image. When these annoying things occur, she immediately, if she is paying attention, pushes them to the right of her vision at the feet of this Person on the throne. These things appeared as boxes. But as she kept pushing them to her side, she could sense them stacking up higher and higher. She began to fear they might eventually come tumbling down on top of her, burying her with a renewed sense of despair.

During one of these fearful visions of being buried by things that she was trying to overcome, a dark small hole formed in the ground and the boxes began dropping one by one into the hole until they disappeared. The relief that accompanied this minor revision to the image was huge, and over time this small hole became a chasm that was large enough to swallow all of her problems.

She wondered at one point why this image was off to the side instead of in front of her. But as she looked ahead and didn't focus on her peripheral vision, she realized that the path in front of her was wide and open, light blue with sunshine overhead, a rainbowy peaceful aura hovering in the distance. She could freely advance forward without the sight of the burdens or chasm in her way.


The night feels unusually dark and quiet. Awake and unable to sleep, she lies alone on the couch in the living room. Creeping out of the corners of her mind, the old emotions and thoughts try to revisit. Her mind is instantly on alert, fearful they are going to overwhelm her. She begins to struggle with them, fighting to keep the vision alive which she was given to deal with these types of attacks.

The emotions evolve into a large steel heavy mass in front of her. She can't move it! She pushes with all her might trying to shove it into the chasm. Finally, in desperation, she cries out for help!

All of a sudden the mass changes form and becomes round like a wrecking ball. Although remaining steel and heavy, if she really puts her shoulder and body into it, she can get it to budge. It gradually starts moving and rolling towards the large hole. The movement is loud and grating, but she finally pushes it in!

As it falls, she realizes the colors around the throne have changed from the eerie black and red to a bland beige. The haze is gone; shapes are sharper. While she still refrains from looking into His face, she senses that He is not as hidden as before...

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