I’ve been facedown in the dirt of my expectation and hope for about 10 months.
I’m not standing back up yet. But I may be in a seated position, clearing my head, looking around, taking deep breaths. Taking stock. I’m in process. It’s messy.
As recorded in this blog, the time before deployment to Kenya was rife with setting right broken things. I was engaging in life and open-hearted, soft, called, passionate, present, excited. I moved to Kenya trying to figure out how to live in the Freedom of Christ. Then I got my ass kicked. I was brave and I fell.
I slowly pulled back into my protective shell. It was subtle. I couldn’t have expressed it in any language. I stopped engaging. I stopped risking. I became less kind, less generous, less compassionate. I returned to a scarcity world view. It goes something like this: I can’t invest all of me here, because then I won’t have enough to keep myself afloat. I was pretending to live on the outside but facedown in the dirt on the inside.
Then I got bored. I could tell the difference. The lows weren’t low but the highs weren’t high and I knew that things had shifted back to a place I didn’t want to be. So I rolled over in the dirt to look at the sky.
Spiritually it went like this. I started praying honestly, saying, “God you’ve felt so far for a while now. I’m starting to realize that it’s me who’s keeping you at a distance. But I don’t want that. Let me become sensitive again to you and to your spirit.” It’s a prayer that God always says yes to. This was when I was first able to articulate that I wasn’t harboring resentment toward other human beings but I was furious with God. At some point I had chosen to believe that after all the pain and brokenness God had healed in my life he wouldn’t let me be heartbroken again. He would be the strong tower, my armor, my protector from everything painful. I’d forgotten his will is that I bring him glory not that I’m never hurt again.
As God and I have patched things up I’ve come to realize that the next phase in healing my newest wound is to acknowledge the severity of the injury. I exposed myself, in all my vulnerable glory, and got sucker punched. I’ve been bombarded with shame, doubt, and loneliness. Wallowed in it, actually. It has sucked. But I’m off my back and into a seated position. I’m sitting in the reality of my experience, calling it what it is.
I feel like I’ve woken up again. I cried for seven hours yesterday. But it was a cleansing cry, a purging cry, a freeing cry. I feel lighter, more open, more compassionate, more soft, more like the me I want to be.
I was brave. I fell. I rolled over. I’m sitting up. I will make it to my knees in time and I will regain my footing. Then, I’ll probably do it all over again. And if it brings God glory and brings us closer together, it will be worth it.