Midway through the month of August, I wrote about walking through the wilderness. I even used distancing language, in a vain attempt to avoid the admission that I am, indeed, in that place. Because its hard to find anything pretty about my here and now, and I wrestle with wanting to look like I have it all together, and August was another messy month. Everything was late and rushed and busy and some was left half done, and here I am completely and totally undone, again.
I realize that I have been here for awhile now, stuck in a revolving door that dizzies between so much faith and so much anxiety. I lift my hands in worship and experience the beauty of surrender and the power of shaking the gates of hell for an hour and a half on Sunday morning, but inevitably, Monday morning pounces and the lies creep in again and I fall back into the pattern of too much to do and never enough time or energy. I read blog posts about how precious time is, and how the true key to joy is found in slowing down. For a moment, I lavish in the thought, but eventually, bitterness seeps sour into the crevices of my heart and I gnarl to myself that there is no way that the person who penned those words could know anything about me and my life. Slowing down is always easier said than done, because faster is always made to look more attractive and productive.
The truth is, I’m a mess. Seeking some solace, I picked up my friend Holley’s book “You Are Going to be Okay” last night and turned the pages in search of answers. In the first chapter, Holley writes of a conversation she has with Jennifer Dukes Lee in which Jennifer says that we don’t have to be citizens of wherever we are right now. I quickly shut the book and replace it on the dresser, singed by conviction. Its a dangerous thing to pray for answers. They almost never show up where I expect them, and almost always reveal some harsh truth about my flesh. I didn’t want to come face to face with the realization that the overwhelming majority of my difficulty lately may very well be from browsing the real estate catalog and renting a post office box in a place that was never meant for staying.
Perhaps it is the season of life I am currently in: desperate to put down roots anywhere, seeking meaning and identity and purpose wherever I happen to land. Because I want to be so much, but mostly I just want to stop waking up in the middle of the night with the feeling that I’m drowning. My spirit is wrenched by the current, and fear and doubt make for a horrendous ball and chain.
The mantra that has defined my days has been one of rebellion: one of no, I’m not okay. I meditate angrily on the same page, repeating the words until I can no longer catch my breath for the panic that has invaded my cells. I wonder, could it be that the remedy to this madness, the map to turning the page and healing all this hurt is to say it is well?
It is well, even when the pain overwhelms and nothing makes sense. It is well, even when I don’t know which way is up, because the Savior is always reaching down. His plan, even for this place, is good — but that doesn’t mean that He intends for me to stay here. At some point, that truth became blurred. It might be easy to stay in the wilderness, getting just enough manna mystery for the day, but we were made for more. I was made for more than just getting through the day. It might be easy spin my wheels in the desert, but I was made to move forward, knowing not just in my head but in my heart as well that no matter what, I am going to be okay, and that yesterday is well, today is well, and tomorrow will be well with my soul.