Many mornings lately, I wake up with the feeling that God has been about the business of scraping out my insides all night long. Even after a good, solid night's sleep, I wake up feeling exhausted, weary, and empty.
There's more going on than I could adequately describe right now -- there are many things happening that I can identify as good: purgative, sanctifying things. Rooting-out-the-lies things. Starting-to-heal things. This is God's goodness. This is God's mercy. This is the healing process.
And it feels like hell.
I find myself holding a constant tension: between knowing the truth of God's presence and goodness and simultaneously holding such potent feelings of pain and neglect. Between the beauty of engaging fully in the process becoming who I was always meant to be and the terror and agony of what I face in this present moment: deeply embedded lies, the wounds that reinforced them, and the feeling that this will never end.
On the way into work this morning, we saw an SUV with the verse Job 42:2 painted on the rear window with big white lettering. I looked it up:
"I know you can do all things,
and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted."
James asked if that gave me hope.
I burst into tears. I know this is true. This should give me hope -- and in a way, it does. But the feelings held in tension with the truth are so potent and powerful, so purgative and so scraping, so readily present without my needing to do anything to call upon them that I don't know how to function as a human being in this world anymore. Doing anything other than falling in a heap and weeping like a baby seems like an utter betrayal of the truth.
This reminded me of a Rilke poem (that I believe Joelle posted awhile back) that speaks to God's presence in the night times we walk through:
God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.
These are words we dimly hear:
You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Flare up like flame
and make big shadows I can move in.
Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don't let yourself lose me.
Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.
Give me your hand.
Rainer Maria Rilke
It's not inspired. It's not Scripture. But something about that gives me hope. Just keep going. No feeling is final. ... Take my hand.