I'm feeling so lost, angry, frustrated, exhausted.
Why? It's hard staying put together all the time. I have a tendency to take care of everyone but it's extremely difficult for me to let people take care of me...including God, more like ESPECIALLY God. I tend to pray more in times of good than bad. It's really hard for me to let Him see me vulnerable and worn down. I feel like that's disappointing Him and then I'm like whoa girl...."
I was flipping through my journal earlier in the week and ran across this bit from some time last year. As someone who aspires to journal daily, but doesn't always succeed there are countless gems like these lining notebooks, doodled on napkins stuffed inside, and half thoughts that are no longer comprehensible. So why am I suddenly sharing these private thoughts with you after a year of silence? Well because today I give up... and I'm hoping to encourage you to as well.
For some time now, I've been in this dark place, a "funk" if you will. I wouldn't say depressed necessarily, but I have at times (more frequently than not) felt empty, lonely, lost, overwhelmed by the day-to-day grind, and most of all utterly exhausted mentally, physically, and spiritually.
Now history (and I have the journals to prove it) tells me that during these times of inner turmoil, I usually have a good cry, pretend to work everything out by pouring my heart and soul into pages upon pages of embarrassing stories and divulge all the inner most workings of my messed up brain. But where does that get me? If we're being completely honest, I usually find myself months later still unhappy and upset but somehow managing to fake it. "Fake it until you make it," right? Sometimes, that works. More often than not, the mole hills I've made into mountains disappear and I can genuinely move on. But lately, that hasn't been working... I haven't been able to shake this darkness surrounding my heart. To quote one Florence and the Machine:
"And it's hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off, oh whoa
And I am done with my graceless heart
So tonight I'm gonna cut it out and then restart
'Cause I like to keep my issues drawn
It's always darkest before the dawn"
So what have I tried?
- Singing Florence and dancing around in my underwear... Check.
- Journaling... Check.
- Spending time with friends... Check.
- Dating... (Don't even get me started) Check.
- Weekends spent creating the perfect imprint in my sofa watching The Walking Dead, CHECK!
A few days ago, while venting to a friend about a work problem she asked me, "What can you control?" Four little words that sent my already troubled heart into a tailspin.
RED ALERT!!! HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM!
Now, I truly believe her intentions were good in the fact that she was trying to get me to stop, breath, and see the bigger picture... I do after all have a lot of control at work. I was, in that moment, making another mountain out of a molehill. But that one sentence got me thinking and thinking BIG, much bigger than work. The issue at hand wasn't just a work issue, it was a life issue and it wasn't pretty. The bigger picture wasn't just a work problem, it was a ME problem. This has left me stewing for days...which brings me to the present.
Tonight was the last straw for me, I just lost it. Driving home from work, approaching my house I just couldn't bring myself to turn into the driveway. Waiting for me there was a long to do list: a yard that needed mowed, a dog that needed to be fed, dishes that needed to be done, bills that need to be paid, and a mountain of laundry that never seems to go away. So I did what any true procrastination station would... I just kept driving.
After mindlessly ending up at my favorite thinking spot by the water, Bible in hand, three hours and an eye opening conversation with God later... Here we are. But before I go on I want to reiterate a few keys points:
- I gave my heart to God almost 15 years ago.
- I am a sinner.
- I am no definition of the word perfect.
- I pray you continue reading with an open mind and heart.
Tonight, I gave up. After months of anxiety, grief, sadness, and pain, I whole heartedly decided to let go. Now you're probably thinking to yourself at this point... "After all this build up, that's it? I saw that coming from a mile away. Scarlett, that was staring you right in the face! You believe in God. You say you pray daily. You read the Bible. Come on now, get it together." And friends, you're absolutely right. This whole time the answer has been all but punching me in the face! How could I be so blind? It's been right there inches from my grasp, all I had to do was reach out and take it. But you see that's the hardest part.
Why is trusting God so terrifying at times? Why is it easier to say you believe in Him, to say you trust Him, than to actually do it? How can I have said for years that I believe God hung the stars in the sky (Genesis 1:16-17, Psalm 147:4) and painted every freckle on my face (Psalm 139:13-16)
but I'm embarrassed to share my worries/the troubled musings of my heart with Him? I've often been afraid to let Him have COMPLETE CONTROL in my life.
But tonight, I found comfort in this:
Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 1:7 " for God gave us a spirit not of FEAR but of power and love and self-control."
Psalm 34:4-5 says, "I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are RADIANT, and their faces shall NEVER BE ASHAMED. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles."
Isaiah 46:4 says that “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will rescue you."
I came home tonight, completely free and weightless. Do I still have problems? Of course! Those bills didn't disappear, the laundry and dishes are still there untouched and that only scratches the surface. There's still a plethora of questions I have unanswered, a million things I need help with, and things that are still going to take time for me to figure out. But its a start...
So maybe you are in your 'dark place'. Maybe you are mad, exhausted, angry, frustrated at/with God. Maybe you don't know WHAT you are yet... and that's okay too. But I hope you know and believe that God can handle it. He hung the stars in the sky, remember? He has the power to heal our hearts and slowly make us whole again...if only we let Him.
Tonight my prayer is simply this:
I am tired and my heart is weak, but I am Yours. I have been damaged, hurt, broken, and at times lost. I am a complete and utter mess, but I am Yours always.
In your Heavenly Name I pray,
Your Messy Daughter