It’s dark when I rise these days. Still night, really. Certainly too dark to step out on the deck and greet the morning (I stopped doing that a few weeks ago when I encountered a black, hard-shelled creature the size of a Volkswagen).
I sit in a wing chair near the window where, eventually, I’ll be able to see the eastern sky grow lighter, and reach into a basket next to the chair for my Bible, journal, earbuds, and my copy of Robert Benson’s Venite: A Book of Daily Prayer.
There’s a now-familiar lump in my stomach again this morning. I’m not sure if I’m depressed or discouraged, if I need to buck up or curl up. All I know is that I’m not the self I wish I was, and I haven’t been for months.
I read scripture and chew on it for a time. Scribble thoughts in my journal. Pray (that’s such a short, simple word for something that can be so deep—yet still simple). Listen to a webcast. Try to figure things out. Sip coffee.
Later I’ll stand in the shower, allow the comfort of warm water to rain on me as I lean on the wall, arms raised, tears mixing with the shower water, crying out in prayer. Help.
There’s a snippy little critical voice in the back of my mind telling me dangerous things I dare not pay attention to. It mocks me and the goals I set—especially the one about finding fresh ways to write timeless truth for the benefit of others. I struggle to write anything other than in my journal and when I do It comes out dark, like this post.
But maybe that’s okay in this literal and figurative dark night. Maybe someone else needs a companion when the happy-clappy kind of faith just doesn’t cut it anymore. Maybe being honest about the struggle and the weight and the heavy pit in the centre of me and the fact that some (or many) days I come out the other side of my morning prayer none the wiser or better for having spent the time but knowing I’ll return the next morning anyway will offer someone a measure of encouragement.
Maybe that’s enough.
I look left, and up, and there, just barely, I see light in the sky. Every morning. Without fail. After dark comes dawn.
The hard-shelled creature, an armadillo?
Thanks for the yellow rose, lit from within, a comforting thought.
Post launch let down perhaps? I can relate.
Take heart, dear sister. ((( )))
No armadillos in these parts. Just BIG ugly beetles. Post launch, pandemic, politics, all of the above and more. Thanks, Marian.
Right now I’m listening to this encouraging song and thought you may enjoy it too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4Ez8m2ozf4&frags=wn&ab_channel=FountainviewAcademy
Marian, thank you so much for sharing this. As I listened, with tears flowing, I was ministered to.
I know there are many out there feeling the same way, including myself. It’s just plain, hard times we’re in. Yes I smile, laugh and enjoy some things too, but there is the constant feeling that I need to watch my back. It’s all about the unknown and the ability to make plans for anything beyond next week.
“It’s just plain hard.” It is, as you say, Joan. And like you, I carry on day by day but carrying the burden makes the going slow sometimes. Thankful for like-minded friends like you who get understand and through that understanding, lighten the load.
Linda, if you take a glance at my site, you’ll see that it’s been quite awhile since I’ve posted anything. Why? For all the reasons you mention in your blog. In her latest book, The Myth of the American Dream, D.L. Mayfield says no matter how hard she tries, some days she can’t wake up happy. And I know that feeling. For me, I believe it’s the travel through a time like none other our generation has experienced. There’s the element of the unknown. I appreciate so much the link Marian Beaman shared; it helped me. I hope it helped you too! Join me in remembering that many of our online friends and fellow writers are in the same boat. Blessings and peace, Linda.
Sherrey, I’m going to look for Mayfield’s book. I echo her sentiment about trying in vain to wake up happy. I’m sorry you know that feeling too. There is comfort in knowing we’re walking with others who appreciate what it’s like and it’s one of the reasons I try to be honest and real with my writing. I appreciate you, dear friend. So much.
I think you are not alone in this, Linda. There are many of us in other parts of the world too who feel leaden, and laden … and who find it hard to shake off a sense of a nameless something that has a scent of foreboding, or as if the air has been washed with a tint of grey. Thank-you to your reader who sent me off to listen to “God will take care of you”. I have gone back to reciting bits of Desiderata (https://www.desiderata.com/desiderata.html) to myself. It was popular when I was a teenager), and find it settling at times. Thinking of you warmly, and thanking you for articulating your truth of now.
Ah yes, Desiderata. I think of Ehrmann’s words often. They have served as a guide through the years. I echo your appreciation for the link to “God Will Take Care of You”. Listening to it brought me to healing tears. Wishing you a peaceful day and week.
Lovely flower photo, Linda, that represents what you have written. God will lighten our shadows within. First we need to acknowledge those shadow struggles as you so well have shown!
Good morning, Lynn. I agree: acknowledging we are in shadow is necessary in order to walk through them. And yes, I said through. God doesn’t lift us from them, but walks with us through them. And in those shadows can come the most intimate truth and sense of abiding love. Wishing you a peaceful, joy-filled day.