Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Reduced to a single word


These last couple of weeks I've noticed that most of the time when I try to pray, my mind gets all jumbled. My thoughts get mixed up. Connections don't connect the right dots. I've struggled with depression off and on for most of my life (only realized in hindsight), but one of the things I know about the bad bouts is that feeling that you are truly, literally losing your mind. Like you are somehow aware that your mental capacity is not functioning like it is supposed to be. I'm not talking wondering if you shut the oven off or not. I'm talking about something so much deeper and bigger that I don't even have an example.

So these last weeks, probably months really, I've prayed a lot of

helphelphelphelphelphelphelphelphelphelphelphelphelphelphelphelphelphelphelphelphelphelphelphelphelphelphelphelp helphelphelphelp prayers.

It makes me think of Romans 8:26 "In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words" Because sometimes I can't even really articulate any words at all.

I find it ironic because I can sit here and articulate the problem to all of you, but I can't even ask God to do anything more than Help me right now.

I was thinking about this the other night as I laid in bed, waiting for sleep to show up. I think the difference is that He truly sees right through me. With most of you I can fake it. I can be ok when I need to be, I can shed a tear or two, I can be honest and tell you I'm doing fine. I can be strong and get through the day or situation or conversation and save The Ugly Cry for later. But when it comes to Him, there is no hiding the shattered heart I'm carrying. There is no 'being strong.' There is no such thing as 'small talk' with God. You don't say "How about the Brewer's?" when you approach the throne room of heaven. There is nothing else to say or see or acknowledge but your deepest heart and Who He Is.

In all honesty, I don't want to talk to Him about the weather. I want to talk to him about how much it hurts right now. About how I don't understand, and I don't want to hear the oversimplified bumper sticker answers people toss around. (I actually haven't had a single person give me a bumper sticker answer, but I hear them in my head). I want to hear that He Still Loves Me. That He Still Has A Plan for Me. That He is Still In Control.

That this was not a cosmic accident.
A cosmic accident he'll apologize for when I get to heaven.

The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away.
Blessed be the name of the LORD."
Job 1:21

I hope that this sad time is the worst I'll have in my life. Even after I typed that some part of me thought "You know that isn't even possible for this to be the worst ever."

It sounds incredibly presumptous even to myself, but I have a slight twinge of Job-ness right now. That I can continue to write in spite of the hole. That I can continue to pray in spite of the lack. That I can continue to praise, without the blessings.

There are so many bits and pieces and starts and stops and nonsense and gibberish in my head. I continue to be reduced to that one word. Or sometimes, that one sob. And when I can see the light, I am so very grateful that he doesn't require eloquence to respond. That he does see right through to the core of me and loves it in all it's brokenness and ridiculousness and selfish-pettiness. That he understands the spiritual translation of that sob. And responds to it. That he feels and understands my hurt. That he is doing what he can to comfort me and lessen that pain, while still being the God that He is who is In Control and Knows What's Best for me. I am trying to rest on that.

Psalm 27:13
I would have despaired unless I had believed
that I would see the goodness of the LORD
In the land of the living.
14 Wait for the LORD;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the LORD.

1 comment:

  1. Anne Lamott wrote that the two most honest prayers are "Thank you! Thank you!" and "Help me! Help me!" Hoping for more of the first in your near future.