wandering the desert

Sometimes the days seem dark. Might be the holidays, might be what’s going on in the community, namely Connecticut. Might be the revelation that nothing is going to be perfect. As long as humans are involved, no institute, no church, no meeting, and no family is going to be perfect. At times I need them to be. Christ is the only perfect thing in my life and He seems to have taken a little time off from me and so I feel like I am alone. My kids and husband adore me. My family loves me so much. My friends from back home warm my heart when I hear from them. So that leaves me, I’m the one who’s unsettled, sad, hopeless and no person or situation to blame, it’s all me.

Last night I told my husband that it might be beneficial to put the kids in school for a semester while I “checked out” and succumbed to the sadness. I know it’s not a good idea, but it felt good to think that I could sleep for a good few months. I have come to the end of myself. There’s nothing left to complain about or be mad about. No one left to feel animosity towards. Although, the hurt feelings I’ve experienced in life’s journey have bruised me, and they are still fading. Forgiveness doesn’t mean “magic”. For a long time it killed me that human beings I trusted more than anyone just stopped talking to me and never told me why. The only solution I could come up with was that I was going to do something different than what they do. Maybe it didn’t agree with them that I questioned why we were doing something, (when we were still a “we”)? I still have pain and wonder if any of it was real. Does the institution prevail? No, Christ is the King over all of it. Maybe I should have just chanted the chant. Maybe I should always agree and never ask questions when I disagree, but that’s not freedom at all and I thought I was supposed to have found freedom at this point in my journey. Maybe I will always have pain until the memories fade. Maybe there’s something there that needs to go and until it does, I am locked into sadness? I have forgiven everyone who acted opposite of Christ, I think. I have forgiven myself because there were times I walked in the flesh and I truly thought I was walking in the Spirit. Unforgiveness is like cancer of the soul. Could my depression be a cancer? I reached out to a friend last night and was reminded of the death that we all go through if we believe that we are in Christ and we share in His death and His sufferings, which I do. The mere reply of this person brought me to sobbing tears, as if the Lord Himself were showing me that the depth of emotion is somehow linked to Him.

Not all people feel this. I have had many friends that have never had these feelings. So I know that it’s not some sort of prerequisite to being a Christian. But, the darkness and blindness are related to Christ. When the sadness has lifted, I’ll see Him and that He was here the whole time.

One of the more awful feelings I own is guilt. I have super-duper magnified feelings of unworthiness when I can’t be the crafty parent I want to be so bad. I can’t wake up early. I can’t get excited about going anywhere and only leave the house when I have to make a trip to the library or post office. So heaps of bad mom condemnation is dragging me down.

As my dear friend reminded me last night, there are spiritual tools at my disposal. At times I try to be so unreligious, I forget that there is some great Christ in the bible to be had. I have the mind of Christ. Yes, I am sad. Yes, I am not #1 parent of the year, but many people in our past history of the Christian faith dealt with death, wilderness, and times of despair. I will not try to escape from sadness, because it’s okay that I am going through this dark time, but I will not stay here. I was never meant to stay in one place. One of my favorite quotes by I-forget-who is that we can’t experience the mountain peaks without experiencing the valleys too. Guess I’ve got Mount Everest coming my way. Existence is lifeless and the days are long and dark, but Christ reigns. I am thankful for the friends and family who don’t stop loving me. I am thankful that it is Christ who binds me to other people. I am thankful for the people who lose themselves to Christ, because they are Christ for me.

I hope my kids see that. I hope they know that there will be people who empty themselves so that Christ can inhabit them with His Spirit. I hope that they get to be those people one day. I hope the Lord shows Himself to them through more good than bad, but in all things. I hope that they know that He shows up, even after it seems like the desert has gone on for 40 years.

Thank you for reading. I hope you have a wonderful day!

Love,

Jackie

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