More on my current season – this difficult chapter in my twisting turning up down and around life’s journey. Even without details, I hope that many can identify with the struggle. What it feels like when moving forward involves changing direction while still trying to keep the focus on the goal. What it really means to “press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Phil 3:14
I watch it go around and around, a cycle. Kind of like watching someone on a merry-go- round. I see, I don’t see. There, then gone, then back, then gone again, over and over. It really makes no difference because I don’t know what I’m seeing anyway. No reference for it, no comparison to it, no logic with it. And then there are those ribbons of white, wispy, thready scariness, weaving all around, above, below, beside me, surrounding me. Unknowns. Everywhere. And the ever present heavy sadness hovering above, looking menacing and threatening like an approaching storm. Dipping low and falling upon me, then rising back up again.
I feel like I’m constantly dancing. I’m a terrible dancer, but I do my best to dance all around the frightening tendrils of unknowns, trying to avoid them because when they meet my heart the impact is horrific and overwhelming. Yet I’m already overwhelmed as it is with all this dancing around and watching the merry-go-round and keeping the sadness at bay and longing and yearning for peace.
Close your eyes.
What? Why? That makes no sense. I can’t do that. In my analytically driven world where I must see to breathe easier, that’s beyond all limits. For things to make sense, I must see. And I need things to make sense. I need that stability. I’m looking for it. I have to keep my eyes open to see so that I can look for some level of… something. Something that is… I don’t know, Consistent. Normal. Predictable. Safe. Sure. Different. Better.
Hmmm. So how is that working for you?
Well, OK, so it’s not working real well. Oh, all right, it’s not working at all. But if I keep straining my eyes to see, ever so often I get rewarded. The merry-go-round cycle provides a brief glimpse: here, then gone. A flash of bright in the gray undefined nothingness. Then I see what I believe to be true and I’m reminded. Or I see very briefly what I wish was true and I wonder. These glimpses bring pain and the uncertainty brings fear and confusion. Yet I keep straining to see. Maybe if I open my eyes wider? Or look in a different direction?
My life is like walking through FOG. Not fog, but FOG. Deep and solid and dense. Like when it’s foggy and I’m driving and I strain my eyes to see more than the fog allows even though I know it’s useless. Yet, there are those spaces where the fog does not reach, but then it’s foggy again. There are those brief moments of clarity in the chaotic confusion where I live. But it’s not enough. A brief glimpse periodically is like a drop of water when I long for an ocean. And I’m exhausted.
And I know. Though my actions don’t show my knowledge, it is there. I know that I do need to close my eyes so that I can truly see. I know what I am trying so desperately to see is not seeable. Not on my own. This is beyond my ability. Yet, I hesitate. Why? Because I’m afraid. To close my eyes means to embrace the unknowns – those intangible ribbons that contain doubt and fear and worry and turmoil that I try so hard to dance around. I must willingly hold what I fear the most, while trusting in the truth that is the only way to freedom and peace.
Close your eyes and hold on to Me. I’ve got this. You will find that you will see as never before because I will be seeing for you as you rest in Me.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matt 11:28-30