Have you ever had one of those moments where someone says something offhand, that essentially accuses you of being a liar, that something you went through, suffered from, never really happened?
I just had such a moment. It wasn’t directed at me personally or to me in any way; it was just an off-the-cuff comment I saw on another blog directed to someone I know, but the way it read implied – initially – that what I went through, what I lost, the devastation and life-altering events I went through, didn’t happen like it did. My knee-jerk response to that is visceral and … feral. It’s the kind of feeling that makes me shoot first and probably not ask questions later. Part of the reason for my vehemence, I suppose, is due in part to the accusations I and Darc suffered at the time of the events from people who were supposed to be supportive. It’s like saying reality, my reality, isn’t real.
Turns out the comment made was not intended as it came across, which was a huge relief. The comment wasn’t a denial, it was sarcasm – but type of expression is hard to get through in text. Still, I’m glad it was clarified.
Which brings me to what I was initially going to blog about, and believe me, the irony doesn’t escape me.
This should probably be posted over at my faith blog but, what the heck, I’ll just post it here. I haven’t posted over there for a long time anyway. For any who may read this who don’t like the Christian stuff, you should probably stop reading now. You’ve been warned! 😉
For a long time now, almost a year, something strange has been happening to me. As I mentioned above, there were some painful events in our life that were pretty devastating. It left me with a huge hole in my faith. I clung to it, but it was the kind of desperation that knew I had to cling to it or die. My faith in Christ has always been a part of me, and I felt I had a very close and personal relationship with Him. But then these things happened, and it felt like when I needed Him most, He wasn’t there. I can only describe it as akin to losing your identity, or like Wil E. Coyote – you know, finding yourself suspended in mid-air and looking down. Whatever had been holding me up, my ground, was gone. Why would God allow these things to happen to me? Isn’t that always the 1st thing we ask? We’re so quick to blame, so slow to thank for the good things. Anyway, I struggled for a long time, years actually, in this desert of what my faith had been. So many moments of panic, fear and always silence on the other end. I felt like God had abandoned me. It was a pretty dark, and very long, time.
And then one day last fall – I remember it so clearly – walking around the grocery store and feeling almost drunk. That undercurrent of fear that had defined every moment of every day for so long was gone. Nothing was different, there were still cans of peaches on the shelves, but I was changed. I remember Darc asked me if I was okay and all I could say was, “I’m fine!” and smile at him. Which is no clue to him because I always say I’m fine, no matter what. Just ask him! We’d been talking about the election coming up and I said, “Oh, we’ll lose … but that’s okay, it’ll be fine, no worries.” He looked at me like I was insane, as I recall. I was right, we lost, but I’m still not worried. And that’s the thing – I should be worried about so many things right now (as some of you are aware), I should be in a nail-biting frenzy of panic, but I can’t find it within me to worry or be afraid. That feeling of peace and serenity that I have no explanation for, is still with me – even when I go through things that upset and frustrate me. It’s like a super thick mattress pad, or like being wrapped in the coziest quilt. My Comforter has returned to me in ways that I’ve never experienced before. I can hear Him whisper words of encouragement and hope. I can feel His presence. I thought, at first, that it was a momentary thing, that it would fade and go away – but it’s been constant for nearly a year. I can’t explain it and I don’t want to – there is no “why?” here, there is only gratefulness. And amazement that despite all the loss and agony and sorrow, there are still tears of joy.
There’s a hymn that popped into my mind when I started feeling these things last year. I went to YouTube to see if I could find it, and I discovered the circumstances of the man who wrote it. It’s pretty astounding. And the words, oh the words! It is well, it is well, with my soul!
It Is Well With My Soul