Sunday, March 19, 2017

Learning to Praise

Do you ever feel alone?

I do.

Do you ever feel inadequate?

I do.

Do you ever look around and see a world that seems perfect and wonder how you keep managing to mess yours up? Do you sit surrounded by friends smiling and laughing but feel profoundly sad at the same time? Afraid to go home at the end of the night?

Me. That's me. me. me.

So this is it. I've landed on it. I've found the words to express what has been giving me so much trouble lately. I've been kept awake at night with so many thoughts. I have been worrying about so many things that wisdom tells me is best to leave unnamed. I have developed a defence mechanism to deal with these sorts of things and it is that I pretend that everything is okay, that its not real, or that I can handle it. I am trying to break that habit so I hate that I can't be candid with y'all. Because the reason why I write is because I don't want to be fake. I don't want to be one of those bloggers who has the solution for everything. I struggle too. I struggle so much. And it is so important to me that I share this because the ideal of a perfect image is probably the most damaging influence in my life personally - something I am hoping that my honesty will keep others from experiencing as well. But, there are times for everything and at the moment it is best to leave some things unspoken. Just please understand that my silence in this moment is not the same as me pretending. I am not trying to be perfect.


It is because of all these things going on that during the day little by little things have been slipping away from me. A shorter attention span, being easily distracted, just not understanding things. I forget things all the time and start laughing in the middle of class just because I had thought of something funny. Things that I used to be able to ignore I now get so hung up on. Like traffic. It didn't used to bother me but recently I almost called my best friend and ranted about the driver behind me who didn't pull over properly for the ambulance when it went by. People around me have noticed too. They've said things like "You used to smile all the time." I am not me recently.

On top of things going wrong in my head, my body has started to give up on me. I've been in so much pain this past month. I've had to stop taking notes in classes, I've all but stopped practicing piano. I've flinched in pain when washing my hands and I've almost given up in despair when trying to open the refrigerator door. I've delta with pain like this for thirteen years now so I thought I had learned to manage it. But its flared up again and I don't know why and this time I am afraid that it is worse. Because now I am beginning to lose the feeling in my fingertips. Will I be able to play piano? I am so scared. I've thrown myself into trying to repair my body. Swimming, stretching, taking supplements, visiting the chiropractor and neurologist, being conscious of what I eat. I am praying desperately that this time it will work. I am so scared, but I am trusting.

So I lay alone at night thinking about all of this. Especially when I am in pain. The greater the pain in my body the more torrent the storm grows in my mind. Despite the fact that I know what has been troubling me I wonder why I have become a stranger to myself. I have struggled before. I have gone through worse times than this. On the whole my life is pretty much in an upward climb at the moment. So I wonder why it feels like my world is falling to pieces. I begin to doubt myself and believe that I have just grown weaker and then it gets worse from there. I begin to wonder if other people think I am weak. I begin to think that I am not valued. That my friends don't actually care about me. I begin to think that if I can't be happy again that they will abandon me. If I can't do something for them, if I'm the one who keeps taking and taking from the friendship, constantly needing support, that they will get tired of holding me and they'll just let me fall. I have to be strong. I know in my head that its not true. But... I creep out of my bed and turn my closet light on so I won't feel so alone. I crawl back into my bed, tuck my chin to my neck, pull my knees to my chest and wrap my arms around my legs so that nothing can get to me. I don't want my feet to be too far away. I want to feel small so that my blankets can envelop me.

My life no longer requires me to be in survival mode. It was so much easier when all I had to do was stay alive. Now I have to learn how to live. So I begin to panic. I grab onto any problem in my life I can find because being not okay is so much more familiar than being okay. Yes there are things going wrong. And yes they're nothing to shrug off like its not a big deal. But do they need to consume me? Do my grades need to suffer? Do I need to keep worrying my friends simply because I am freaking out about things that I literally cannot do anything about? I know I shouldn't.

But I do.

Why can't I let go?

Writing about this here on my blog? What am I trying to accomplish? I don't always come to my blog and just spout off everything. I know I really wear my heart on my sleeve when it comes to this space but I do try to deal with things on my own first. I like coming here and having something positive to tell you. It is so much nicer to write about the struggles of my past and then say that it got better. I love to look back and trace Yahweh's hand in my life. When I see how He has directed every moment of my journey my heart overflows with praise. Now though I can't look back because I am in the middle of it again. Things aren't better yet and I can't praise Yahweh in His finished work. Maybe I need to start thinking as the Psalmists by learning to praise God in the midst of trials. I am trying to shift the focus of my blog. I have written about the past; it's a past that shapes the way I see my present so I am sure it will still find its way on here. But God has brought me through that and I am resting in the knowledge that He has freed me from the past. I hope that despite my heavy writing you have been able to taste a bit of this joy from which I drink so deeply. Now I have a new life with new struggles. I know that in the future I will be able to look back on this with joy. By God's grace I will learn to praise Him right now because I am confident that I will someday taste that future joy.

"For I know the plans I have for you," says Yahweh, "Plans of good and not evil. To give you a future and a hope." - Jerimiah 29:11 

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