these lyrics mean so many things right now:
“i never loved nobody fully
always one foot on the ground
and by protecting my heart truly
i got lost in the sounds
i hear in my mind all these voices
i hear in my mind all these words
i hear in my mind all this music
and it breaks my heart………..
all my friends say that of course it’s going to get better”
-Regina Spektor “Fidelity”
and Elisabeth Elliot in “Passion and Purity” (sweet soother of the protesting heart):
“The stories get very familiar. In the woman’s, always the ancient longing–“And her desire shall be for a husband”–the inextinguishable hope for recognition, response, protection. In the man’s story, always the restlessness to wander experiment, conquer, even though inside there is a:….”hunger of lonely men for a home and all that means.””
the words of the song haunt me. in my memory, knowing that i wouldn’t let anyone in and that that was wrong, a half-life. in my transformation, seeking to give myself openly to those around me even though i would very certainly be hurt. in my afterthought, having been hurt but even then only part of my heart and believing that i most probably shouldn’t have given even that much. i never meant for the lines to blur.
“he made the world a grassy road before our bare, wandering feet and crushed the stones into the softest sand between our toes, but we’re wondering where to sleep, clever words on pages turn to fragments, circles, points, and lines…” -mewithoutyou “Seven Sisters”
the strangest thing to me about being a believer is how utterly simple the gospel is and how utterly complicated it is see played out in our life. i want my life to sing with the good news, but over and over and over “the ancient longing” that Elliot describes has gripped at my attention and often held it fast for months at a time. and how ironic that this whole thing started in a desire to know God better, to look more like him, to allow him to empty me. i’m starting to think God really does have unique ways of dealing with us, but i also know that these contrary desires were always lurking beneath waiting to lull me into lazy sleep again. am i here because of sin or am i here because God brought me here? can i blame my pain on another’s restlessness and lack of spiritual maturity or must i focus fully on my wrong decisions, my distracted choices, my aching rebellion to for once not be the immovable one.
i think many things are true at once in this. God is like that. he is all-loving but also always just and he is full of wrath. he can be all these things at once. they don’t conflict because of his purity. i think that it is true that i am meant to be immovable in somethings. God chose me long ago to be strong in what i believed. he made me that way. it is only a burden if i chose to wear it so. but it is also true that i needed to experience emotions and situations that i could only pretend to understand before. i now see other people’s struggles more clearly, how conflicted someone can be, how easy it is to make the unwise decision in the screaming voices of the better lit path. i think my decisions were right and wrong, that maybe i made so many along the way that the good and bad mixed together and must now be pulled apart. i took a great risk at the mere whisper of greater happiness and have sacrificed much of the easy happiness i had before while watching any greater happiness slip like dust through my fingers of a treasure i grasped prematurely.
here’s to hoping that treasure is still out there. Elliot reminds me in her book that God who willingly gave his son to death for our sake will also certainly lavish all he has upon us. i could hope for nothing more than peace and work to do and a quiet spirit that rejoices. there is nothing to go back to. i am on a journey forward, and i must allow God to place my heart back in it’s tower, but i must also reevaluate what that means. this is where the double truth really begins to make sense to me. protecting my heart in some ways was never wrong, but i must give what needs not be protected freely. this is my new question and my great fright. my heart would very much like a long-term case of the forgetfulness and a quiet, stormy place to tuck itself away, but i have been called to greater things (as all believers have). i must walk forward in obedience and confidence in the good work being done in me. i love the end of mewithoutyou’s song especially as it is an allusion to the seven sisters, a story about feminine wisdom and preparation and patience that i really need to study more thoroughly.
“Come quick you light that knows no ending! Come alone to the alone! I have a thousand half-loves well worth leaving for to take your madness home, and you dance inside my chest where no one sees you, but sometimes i see you. Rejoice! the cleansing of my lips. Rejoice! the salvation of my soul! But i still have a thousand half-loves (oh my God! i want to shoot myself thinking about it!). And you don’t think i mean what i say? Well, I mean every word I say! I threw a small stone down at the reflection of my image in the water, and it all together disappeared. I burst as it shattered through me like a bullet through a bottle, and I’m expected to believe that any of this real.”
for all my best intentions, the journey before me is sure to have deep pitfalls. i think i will continue to question. the ache in my stomach is not subsiding. my heart still beats a little too quickly. i know i will continue to see more ugly in me come out before i might see a new, better me. but i will take this madness home.