gifts

Posted: January 20, 2015 in Uncategorized

I was in the middle of a long patch of loneliness when God spoke quietly to my heart, words I could scarcely process:  “Loneliness is a gift that I give to you, in order to draw you to Me.”  It took hours of listening and pondering and writing and letting go of thoughts to just sit with Him, before I could really grasp the truth of it.

Eventually, it was so obvious:  when I pushed into the gift by seeking Him, I encountered Him at new, deeper levels of intimacy.  I found peace, and joy, and even healing, even when circumstances didn’t change.  I experienced the truth that I was truly NEVER alone.  When I tried to fight it, attacking it as a problem that I needed to solve, the pain dug in deeper and bit me with more ferocity.  The fight left me weary and inevitably frustrated.  It twisted my thoughts around so that they were daggers stabbing at me from within.  It left me achingly lonely, feeling singled out and misunderstood, even in a room full of people who loved me.

Understanding this gave me a new appreciation for loneliness.  When I found myself overcome with it, I could stop and remind myself of what to do:  run to Him.  I didn’t have to focus on the awful feelings or spend hours listening to the same thoughts in my head, repeated over and over, sending me spiraling downward.  No big dramatic search for the “true root cause” of my feelings, with all the awful replaying of bad memories and related swirling emotions.  No speculating about how much longer it was going to be this way, or believing the ridiculous-but-somehow-always-believable lie that no one else was lonely like me or could understand my pain.

Just:  run to Him.  Tell Him how I feel.  Cry to Him.  Sit with Him, saying nothing, thinking nothing…just being with Him.  Read some scripture to help me hear Him.  Sing to Him.  Write to Him.  Fall asleep talking to Him.

It didn’t make everything easy or instantly solve all storms.  But there has never been one single time that I have regretted running to Him, while there have been too many times to count, when I have tried to solve things myself and the story had ended with me filled with remorse, regret, and apology.

Today it occurred to me that I might want to consider what other gifts He might be giving me to draw me to Him.  Specifically, I’m thinking of my physical pain issues.  My body and I are not on speaking terms right now – we are archenemies at the moment, despite several years of diligent work done toward the goal of letting Him teach me to love my body.  There is so much going on with me physically these days that I’ve grown weary of the conversation about it – when I start to tell G the latest thing going on, the sound of my voice irritates me.  I just DON’T WANT TO HEAR IT ANYMORE.  It’s all so dumb.

None of it is “serious” in the sense of life-threatening or whatever.  It’s just that death-by-a-thousand-cuts thing.  Lots of mornings at breakfast, I am silently cataloging in my head all the things that hurt or don’t feel right or don’t work correctly, starting at my head and all the way down to my toes, and the list is ridiculous.  It makes me want to roll my eyes.  It makes me want to lecture myself to buck up and get over it.  I realize that if anyone else were making a list like this aloud to me, I’d think they must be either a hypochondriac or in great need of attention.

I’ve just been muddling through, intensely aware of walking in what feels like complete failure on the physical front, but not really sure how to punch my way out the wet paper bag into which life seems to have stuffed me.

What if all of this is just a gift to draw me to Him?  I mean, I’m pretty good these days at running to Him with the need for emotional and mental healing.  There is just work going on in my head and in my spirit ALL THE TIME, on those fronts.  Some of it is beautiful, and some of it is gruesome, but it’s a constant forward-motion and transformation kind of deal, so despite the awkwardness of it, I marvel at the process.  But when it comes to physical stuff…the truth is, I don’t run to Him about it.  I just don’t.  I talk to poor G about it.  I think thoughts to myself about it.  I blog about it, and then want to kick myself when people who have read the blog try to be kind and compassionate in asking me about it in person (I’m thinking, “Don’t you want to smack me by now and tell me to get over it?!”)  But I don’t run to Him.

What if I started running to Him over every detail, big and little, about my body?  What if I poured my heart out to Him?  What if I meditated on scriptures about what He says about it?  What if I brought the pain with me and just sat with Him, quiet and waiting?  What might I encounter and experience, then?

Maybe I’ll give that a try.

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