Sick Day Ponderings

Am I enough? Am I doing enough? Am I doing enough the right way? Or am I simply a messy failure of a twenty something?

Lately I have been rediscovering myself, as a desert rose does after a long and cruel winter. I suppose moves away from familiarity always raise such introspective ponderings. In this period I find myself continually inspired by anything green. Green is life, pushing forward to the new. On the good days, this is. On the bad days, I lean towards charcoal.

Life is found on the road of these curious insecurities, of thwarted desire, as we press on towards truth. To deny myself to feel the pain of betrayal, of disdain, resentment, and the continual sense of being not enough is to deny myself the joy of honest kinship, of mutuality, of watching as He fills all the places I’m cracking like delicious frosting fills a cupcake. These triumphs can only be reached through taking the painstaking journey of walking through the hurt with open hands, as He takes apart each memory and emotion and illuminates them with truth.

I have been hurt, deeply, by one I thought would be there till the end. But that does not make the desire for sisterhood unnattainable beyond that which already exists. I have one friend who has, in these short years I have known her, utterly changed me for the better and continues to show me through insane acts of selfless love what friendship looks like. I am well aware that never in my life will I have another sister like this covenant friend. She is the Jonathan to my David. When Jonny and I moved across country, I felt God was playing a trick on me. “How dare You,” I would whisper at Him in the dark. “At last, you bring me the kind of friend Solomon would write about, only to move me thousands of miles away from her. What kind of sick joke is this one, Lord?” Cheap comfort was the reality that FaceTime and cell phones make these things easier. What’s that to the joy of her presence? Slowly I’m learning the tragic truth that it is the same thing which makes this distance so hard as what makes our friendship so beautiful.

Pain and beauty, on this Earth, seem to always intertwine. We will always be left desperate for more. A few days after a date with my husband and I’m aching for the next one. I look into his eyes and wish I could jump inside those forests of gold, experience the depths of his soul in it’s fullness as he explores my own.

I used to spend entire nights gazing out my bedroom window as a little girl, in the room painted to be a fairy hut, dreaming of fauns and centaurs and voyages to the land where stars go to rest, wondering why we could dream up and imagine such things if we could never reach them. One day the deepest tragedy struck: I grew up. Now He’s bringing me back to this world of desire, this time with the resounding truth, echoing into the soil where these bones take root, that the time is coming.

These desires, ravaging our souls and playing tug of war with our emotions are the signal that we were made for something, somewhere, Someone, so much more than what we have here in this life. The solace of a covenant friendship is but a shadow of the companionship He designed us to experience with Him. The intimacy I enjoy with my husband was created as a shadow of the intimacy we are meant to know with Him. Even the wonder of our childhood years was destined to awake in us the realization that there is more to come. In the words of C.S. Lewis, “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the only possible explanation is that I was made for another world.”

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Seasick.

More times than I can recall in this past week I have abruptly changed subjects from depth to superficialities, and I’m ashamed to admit it. With oceans raging inside my own brain, any drop of water outside felt forceful enough to drown me. This morning the Lord confronted me with the simple truth that until I unloaded on Him, it would always feel that way. Salt was drying out my skin and coating my tongue till it was all I could taste. Thinking it was a way of moving on, that it would help me forgive because I wouldn’t be as focused on it, I had stopped bringing it to Him. Instead, it remained in the forefront, growing ever larger and darker outside the light of His power.

“Search for the Lord and for His strength; seek His face always.” – 1 Chronicles 16:11 


How often do we do this? We fill our minds and conversations with fluff to cover the jagged rocks our waves of consciousness don’t dare confront. Meanwhile He’s standing in the depths, longing to teach us to walk on water. It started out as a joke between friends, but the continual punch line of “Our God is an awesome God” inserted after any frustrating event or act of clumsiness has become a sweet reminder that Yaweh remains stalwart in the midst of what we’re facing; He is good in the midst of the storm.

“Though a thousand fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand, the pestilence will not reach you.” – Psalm 91:7 

This storm is wilder than any I’ve yet sailed. Looking out my window all I see is surging black tides threatening to wreck this young ship. The scent of fish ravaged by the tempest assault my senses, auguring their fate upon me. I am not much stronger than they. Seasick, I return to my bunk. Maybe I can sleep, and when I come around it will all be over. The clap of thunder wakes me from this dream. He’s teaching me to handle things I never thought I would face.

“Now to Him who is able to protect you from stumbling and to make you stand in the presence of His glory, blameless and with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority before all time, now and forever.” – Jude 24-25 

The irony of it all is that, for both my husband and myself, this is the most amazing season either of us can remember. For the majority of the day we dance to the ebb and flow of the flood. When the water rises, knocking us to our knees, it is sent to strengthen these tired muscles, to train these bones from the art of running away. This is the life we were called to, and in the midst of these gales it has proven to be more fulfilling than either of us could have imagined. 

“Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will act, making your righteousness shine like the dawn, your justice like the noonday.” – Psalm 37:5-6 

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Our God is an awesome God.