i have spent my life running from pain. stop the fighting. i don’t want hear the cruel things people say. don’t trust my friends, they’ll just turn away. i’ve spent most of my life numb. pushing any intense emotion away. i’ve spent most of my life dissatisfied. scared. sure i would lose everything. so i would grasp tightly but not look too closely. my only concession being that God could take it all anyway. he could rip it out of my hands, and i would accept it. but i wouldn’t give freely. not everything.
but i’m growing up. pain has a stronger voice than the childish hum i use to drown it out. ignorance can no longer pass for peace. i ask God over and over to let me see clearly. i can’t know truth with my eyes shut. and so the pain gets in. it is brash and quick and confusing. at first it stopped my breath, and i ran to God, begging him to breathe for me. but now i’ve had time to learn to breathe again. i can feel the desire to return to old ways. i pretend everything is fine again, do my best to ignore what’s broken, deal with the aftershocks. wait for the next good thing.
but the pain is too sharp. it aims straight at my hope. it sweeps swiftly into my heart. i’ve realized that i have to learn how to take a punch. i have to embrace the pain or it will break me apart. i’ll be a bunch of broken pieces pretending to be whole. i have to move with the motion, the way flexible things can take more impact than something thick and rigid. i can’t stand against the pain. over and over as a fresh wave hits the only relief i feel is running towards it. saying “yes, you are here and real. you might never leave. i will learn from you. you will not destory me.” and all the time running straight into God who knows all pain, to be part of him is to feel pain, to accept it. and i am safe in his arms. sometimes crying. sometimes singing. sometimes still in the very poetry of ache. for i feel stronger with each blow i take, instead of defeated. in his arms, i cannot be overwhelmed. in the center of the storm, i am safer than carelessly brushed aside by its arms.
this is my hope today: that pain will not overwhelm me. he cannot ask too much of me. he never would. everything i do is by his strength. how can i fail? i will not hide from him who tears down so he can rebuild. in the world i would be destroyed for destruction’s sake…..
still it’s hard not to wish we were all just okay. oh Lord, change my heart.