Take it in…

The morning after a good cry my eyes are always red, puffy and gross. No amount of concealer or eye makeup can cover the fact that I just look plain awful. It generally takes the entire day for my face to look normal again, long after practically everyone asks that awkward “Are you okay” question I have no interest in answering.

Well, I don’t look like that today, but my soul kind of has that same red, puffy feeling. Like it has had a good, long, ugly cry…for about 11 years. Yes, you read that right. It has been quite a journey for me to get to here. And here isn’t really crystal clear, but it much better than where I was. I can feel again. My soul feels again.
I am actually tearing up a little as I write this because there are no amount of words that can express what this feels like. As I was driving to work this morning, I looked around at all the budding trees, cherry blossoms, and splashes of green in lawns that just a few weeks ago looked dead and lifeless. Spring has sprung. The air has a hint of warmth in it, and a lot of pollen, reminding us that summer is not that far away. Everything is coming back to life, and soon my little town will be bursting with lush greenery, and flowery displays of reds, purples and blues. This is a perfect picture of what my soul is feeling. Those first little buds are starting to make their way into the light, drinking in the nourishing rays of the sun.
I feel alive again.
It’s amazing that you don’t know how awful you felt until you no longer feel so awful. And then you wonder how you survived so long in that condition. Before I knew I was anemic, I walked through life like a zombie. I could sleep for hours in the middle of the day, and still sleep a solid nine each night. My body felt limp and weak, but I trudged through it. Since I also have Fibromyalgia, I just attributed it to that and moved along…slowly. When the problem was discovered and corrected I was amazed that I actually walked through life in that condition for so long. The awful felt awfully awful, and now if I even sense a whiff of that, I am on the phone to my doctor, asking if I need to come in, to adjust my medication. I don’t want to go back to awfully awful again.
Honesty is refreshing. It’s amazing what happens when you are finally at that place where you can sit down and say things to the Lord that have been bottled deep within, and feel the cool breeze of His grace blow through your spirit. It’s not like He doesn’t already know. How easily we deceive ourselves into thinking we can keep secrets from God. And how kind and gentle He is when we finally come to that “duh” moment, and just spill the beans. My emotional outbursts of the last few days constitute my most recent “duh” moment. Now I sit, thoroughly exhausted and think, “Why did I put myself through all of that?” 
Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom, and I feel that freedom right now.
Trying to be something or someone I’m not has led me down a dark path. The uncertainty and struggle of a few days ago is not gone, but I no longer dread it as I did. The confession, “Lord I need You” seemed to release the flood of grace and love, and He has richly poured it out on me. The questions, the searching, the inquisitive spirit remains; but it no longer feels pointless and aimless. It now is being guided by a love that has laid dormant for too long, covered over by a mountain of pride, anger, and a healthy dose of self-pity.
Of course, the realist in me (read: pessimist) is waiting for the other shoe to drop. I mean, feelings are about as reliable as the weather. Especially in my neck of the woods. It can bright, warm and sunny today and tomorrow a blizzard can roll through. Or a tornado. Or both. But for now, I am rejoicing in the fact that God is indeed on the move, regardless of how I may feel at any given moment. 
I’ll just live here for a while and take it in…

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