It has been way too long since I wrote something. Trips and visitors and feeling like I had nothing to say have kept me away from this blog. Actually, I did sit down one night, attempted to write something, came up with a few paragraphs of absolute drivel, turned off the computer and walked away. Probably just as well - I have not been in a stellar state of mind.
These past few weeks have been an interesting period for me - while a lot of cool things were happening on the surface, beneath the skin of everyday life there was a cold-blooded sickness trying to make a home in my soul. I have never battled with depression or mental illness, but in the last little while, I felt like I could better understand how someone could fall prey to an unruly mind. My thoughts were barraged by scenario after scenario of every insecurity of mine being played out to its logical and disastrous conclusion. Before I could get a grip on my thoughts and say...wait a minute, this is ridiculous...they were off and running again and had written another chapter in the book of how my world was turning against me.
One of my insecurities is being alone and unloved and unwanted. Aside from the odd pang of discomfort or loneliness, it does not bother me much because I know the truth is that I am loved and I am ultimately not alone. However, those facts were hard to remember a few weeks ago when a tornado of negative and disturbing thoughts unexpectedly started whipping through my mind and I was caught unprepared for the onslaught. It was amazing how one look from a friend or the silence of the phone could be turned into a betrayal of epic proportions dramatized scene by painful scene in my always active but usually well-behaved imagination. The truth was somewhere in an internal cranial crevice, but I had a difficult time accessing it and day after day became a muddle of just trying to get through my tasks without descending into despair. I yelled at my brain, "Stop it!" I hit myself on the head hoping to jar it out of its delinquent behaviour (lightly, never fear), I prayed a sentence and tried to pray more but even found that difficult to do as my mind would not focus on anything but this hopeless inward dramatic tragedy for any length of time. And it was beginning to show on the outside.
Somewhere in my innermost being I knew this was a test, a battle I must win, a lesson to learn, a strength to develop - controlling my mind - but how does one do that? In the end, two friends prayed for me, infused loads and loads of hope and truth into my soul and over the course of an evening, the majority of the mind games left. The next few days, I still felt an uneasiness lurking around the edges of my thoughts and I knew I would have to take care of this last bit myself - that was my part, to keep the tornado from coming back through the swath it had already cleared. It is said that once your mind begins to think in a certain way, new neural pathways are forged and then it becomes a habit and a way of life that is incredibly difficult to break. There was no way I was allowing that to happen, so I made an effort to deal with these tendencies and weaknesses at the root.
1. I am lonely because I centre my world around people instead of around God. This sets me up for disappointment because people will always fail me at some point - they cannot be with me 24 hours a day and they cannot fill my insatiable desire for love and attention. My well-being must ultimately depend on God's faithfulness and presence, not those of others, and in order for my mind to accept this and operate from that standpoint, I must know it and believe it totally at the core of my being. I must give myself to this truth, sit down on it as if it were a solid chair, float on its liquid purity and trust that it will buoy me up, sleep with it wrapped around me knowing that nothing can harm me while I let my guard down.
2. I have dampened these cravings for closeness and intimate friendship because to do otherwise is too scary and after all, one must adhere to society's acceptable levels of affection, it is only wise. One need only read some stories about Jesus and King David to see examples of society's mores being smashed in the arena of seemingly inappropriate affection. In fact, I believe this whole episode I have gone through has been a sort of awakening of a long-asleep passion, a strong desire to give myself totally in an intimate way and in turn, to be wholly taken. A few days ago I listened to someone talk about God's heart for us as graphically described in Song of Solomon. Yes, it rings very true to me now. This strong sense of longing to be with someone is God asking me to allow him to be the friend that I have always wanted, the lover who never leaves, the intimate companion who never tires of my company, who knows all about me but waits for me to reveal more of myself to him, who never ceases to give himself to me, who sometimes waits to be pursued, but will always be found by those who search. The desire has been awakened, I cannot go back now.
I am my beloved's. I belong to him. I am not alone.