#1 Rock Bottom Has A Basement
Friends, I don’t think I have a whole lot to say today. Well, I do and I don’t. It is, as they say, complicated.
I have not written for the last few weeks because I felt like I was at rock bottom. Exhausted, overwhelmed with the latest lousy news, burnt out. Then I found out that rock bottom actually has a basement. Just when enough was enough, we lost a loved one who suffered from a mental health condition and didn’t feel life was necessarily worth living anymore. It’s been heavy. Most days I think it’s too heavy and I want to call a time out.
So this morning, on the way to work, I told Emma that I wish I had a colonoscopy coming up. She looked at me like I had lost my mind and I laughed. “The prep is awful, but it’s the best 20 minutes of solid sleep I can hope for these days.”
God, please just stop the world for a moment so I can get off, take a break and recharge. Evening prayer is not enough time to process one day before heading into the next. I need free space to unhinge my head and dump out the contents of my brain.
#2 God’s Light Still Shines-but sometimes I have trouble seeing it
And it’s not that I’m not laughing and finding the positives and bright shining moments of God’s light. I am. There are beautiful moments to celebrate and progress to celebrate. No question. But these days (this year) feels exactly like sitting at the beach down the street from my house, on a sunny day. Eyes closed, I drench myself in the warm sunlight, and then a cloud rushes in, seemingly out of nowhere. It gets cold, fast, and I squint up at the sky, looking for the end of the cloud formation. When I find the end, and look at how slow or fast the clouds are moving, I can gauge when the sun will be back with its light. That gauge helps me to set my expectation for how long I need to hold on in the cold before the warmth returns.
Right now there are way too many clouds rushing in and the sun only gets to burn down into my being for minutes instead of hours.
The clouds all have names, but they aren’t cirrostratus, cirrocumulus or altocumulus. They are covid, election, civil unrest, black lives matter and equality. These clouds are exceptionally heavy and dark; the formation long and thick. I need them to disappear so my mind can rest and my heart can mend and my anger can dissipate.
But we all know that cannot happen.
We need to push them out with educated decision making, love for our neighbor, and a reminder that there is enough equality for everybody because equality isn’t a pie that gets sliced up.
We need to vote and wear our masks and give our neighbors the extra, extra, extra roll of toilet paper that’s deep in our closets.
#3 – These Three Certainties Remain
While this darkness is sucking the life out of me, three certainties remain.
One, God is not the reason that we are in this mess. (I don’t think He’s exactly thrilled right now and if he sits on a cloud, as he does in cartoons, it’s likely a dark one.)
Two, God created all of us in His image; beautifully and equally made; rich with diversity of color, thought, and perspective.
Three, God is the way out as long as we keep our eyes open for Him and do as he asks by walking in love and not fear.
So while I sit in my beach chair called life and the dark clouds of 2020 repeatedly block the sun (and since I’m not due for a colonoscopy for a couple of years), I’m going to look up as high and as far as I can, with confidence that God’s light will be there.
How are you coping these days? Are the clouds hanging around your beach chair or is the sun starting to stick around a bit longer? Let’s chat about it below!
I hear you and am mostly there with you, although I haven’t visited the basement yet. But seeing God’s light continues to be a challenge, evening prayers seem to fall flat and while I’m trying to add play, I often forget to invite God to join me. Wish I were closer and could do something concrete to help!
Many hugs to you Jen. Know we are all in the boat together, leaning on each other for support and love. Yes, God is sitting on those dark clouds and crying, but knows we can work our way out, we just have to listen for His words of wisdom. Love, Love, Love!!
Thanking God for you and the community we lean in to during the good and bad days.
Thank you for sharing this, Jen. I feel much the same. My own ill health is keeping me at home, and I feel so useless. But this very long year is just a blink of time in God’s perspective. The sun is still shining behind those dark clouds, and we will see it again!
Janet I hope you are staying well and leaning in to God’s promises. God is with us as we struggle through this pandemic.
Yup my sister/friend these clouds are heavy, dark and definitely put a gloom in our hearts, but I always look behind them, wishing and praying for the sun to shine through. And the best sign is when I see a beautiful rainbow!! The reminder of God’s promise to us! And I smile because I know that no matter what & all we are experiencing, He is Sovereign!!
Times are challenging these days, but the one thing that is constant and everlasting is Gods love for us, and the love that he wants us to have for each other. I pray everyday for this World of ours and that people turn to prayer and that we love each other, as God tells us to do. Thanks for sharing your words… God Bless is all!
Amen! God’s love sustains is in our darkest day!
Rainbows are a wonderful reminder of God’s love!
Jen, I love your writing and thought processes in it. I sit with you in spirit through the darkness of clouds and through the sun. I sit with you in the hope of Christ to right all the wrongs life has wrought.
May the sun begin to makes its journey to the front of the clouds, pushing them away so we can enjoy it’s warmth. Thank you for being here and walking on this path with me.