painful

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The buzz of my phone on the nightstand wakes me up for the second night in a row. My thoughts are slow to form, and I might be having some kind of vicious déjà vu.

“This cannot be happening. This cannot be happening. This cannot be happening again.”

The next words on my lips are profane, and yet they somehow feel like a prayer. I’m not addressing them to the God I used to believe in, to the God who watched me like an angry father waiting for me to fumble. Instead, I’m swearing in a small voice to the God who wept for Lazarus. To the God who sees me, even here with only the light of the screen of my phone to see me crying.

This is not a gnostic moment. It is aching with the holy and the profane, all at once. It is aching to be redeemed into something good. Something that can turn my face to His. But in the midst there is fear and exhaustion and anger. There is me, feeling clumsy with the worry and pain that are not my own. I do not have the words, so I read them. I read them again and again from 2 Corinthians, remembering that the cracked places let the light out.

I am selfish. I guess I sort of want the light to stay inside. It feels cold and dark in here. I could use the warmth. It takes me two hours to tell someone. It takes me two hours to ask for prayers. It takes me two hours to tell her that I’m sorry, and that I’m praying for him. It takes two hours for me to let the façade crack, and start to fall away. It takes me two hours.

It takes two minutes for the screen of my phone to light up again. And again. I guess I forgot that the light gets in as well. 

We are not alone in the dark with our demons. Which is not to say that they are absent. Which is not to say that it is bright and warm. It is what it is, and we are only alone when we are hiding.

It’s hard for me to draw you a map of where my heart is right now. It’s hard for me to explain to you how the new, kind of fragile joy is mingling with the worry and the hurt and the darkness. And I don’t really know how to ask you to pray, because I don’t really know how to tell you all of the things here in my heart. I don’t know what to tell her, or him, or you or………

I am fumbling for words and prayers and gestures. I am unsure of where to be and what to do. Some days I am not sure if I am looking down from the ledge or if I am fighting my way out of the water. It might be that I am suspended somewhere in between.

But I am not alone. And I just wanted to tell you how much that has meant to me. 

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