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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So What If It Hurts?

Lines of black
Lead to where
Visions fall flat
Folks forget to care

Lying hazily
In fields of white
Voices scream for meaning
Wishing for wings to take flight

All is starched clean
Perfumed with bleach
While underneath
Rotting sewage lies unseen

Can you taste the disease?
She’s coming on the breeze

Like bitter gall on the tongue
She’ll arrive with the setting of the sun


We’ve become so afraid of getting hurt we’ve boxed ourselves into little white-walled, cushioned caskets of what we think is safe. Minds overflowing with concerns for propriety, we can no longer enjoy the very people we got all dolled up to see and are trying so desperately to impress.

Dear Miami, I watched it happen. While we may have been the city of failures and dropouts, we were also the city of relentless dreamers. Having seen the worst come true, we could stare fear back into her prospective corner because so what if it hurt? At least we lived. There was the mettle that comes with knowing that no matter the outcome, the alternative of living wondering, wishing you had done whatever it was, or perhaps stood against the grain of whatever it was you felt pressured into, was worse than the initial trepidation.

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Beyond this, though, how often are we afraid to speak up or get close and open our hearts because of the mountains of what-ifs? What if (s)he gets offended or takes it the wrong way? What if when they see my heart, it’s too much for them or they criticize it? ¬†What if I get hurt?

While some of these questions do help in building the boundaries necessary for any healthy relationship to flourish, if carried too far they become walls against intimate fellowship in a way that truly is detrimental to our emotional well-being and our Christian walk.

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But still so often we let the fear win. We box ourselves in, and then from that fear, as a mode of both protection and justification we start looking for all the sharp pieces in others that could possibly wound us, neglecting to realize the barbed wire fence we’re slowly building around ourselves. And discontment is birthed.

Darling, don’t let discontment steal your joy in community. We’re all imperfect, carrying residue of our old selves. Look past mine, and I’ll look past yours. Give grace to the ones who’ve hurt you, whether intentionally or not, and return to your circle. Even if they be scattered about the country or globe, return to them. In the Age of Technology, there’s no excuse for scorning community. Granted, be prayerful about the companionship you choose, but when the Lord directs you to a person or people, don’t neglect that, especially not because of pride.

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