Wednesday, August 06, 2003

The other day I spent a lot of time looking at this picture I came across in a random store. It was a black and white photograph of these incredibly tall trees that lined a road in the middle of nowhere. It was obviously a country road, and outside of the trees, the landscape was extremely bleak and desolate. The focal point was where the road met the horizon and you could see a person. You couldn’t see any of their features, just that they were there, walking or maybe running. And I wondered where they were going. And it felt a bit like my life. All that you could see in the picture were these giant, bare trees looming above, and this landscape that was blurred and washed out. You could see enough to know that there was nothing there, but not well enough to know why. But although it was bleak- there was a road. And it’s supposed to be traveled. God’s been teaching me about brokenness lately. It’s something that I’m not very good at allowing myself to feel. I think in some ways I’m walking a tightrope in my life. I may not know where it’s leading, or feel that it’s incredibly steady at all times, but my footing is still sure, and I feel like I’m getting to the other side. Then Someone came up and just shook it wildly. I didn’t fall off, but suddenly I was hanging on as hard as I could thinking this wire is what I’m supposed to be walking, and if I let go it’s going to hurt. No one can hold on forever though. It’s funny how sometimes I hold things in, even in my prayer life, as if admitting them makes them somehow something more than just thinking them. God knows my thoughts, audible or not. And He wants to teach me about brokenness. If people will open their eyes when they’re broken, they can learn things they never knew about themselves, and more importantly about God. Lately, I’ve really been hurting. In some ways, I didn’t even realize that I was. So it took God shaking that wire for me to realize I can’t hold on forever. The crazy thing is, I thought I’d finally gotten the hang of this tightrope. But I realized that that’s not what God wants. He doesn’t want me to get the hang of it. He wants me to fall broken at His feet. He wants me to admit that I don’t know what I’m doing, and even that I’m lonely. It’s a strange feeling to be surrounded by the people you love most in the world, who know you the best, and still feel lonely. To still be searching for something. Lately in my thoughts, I think I’ve been giving God my seconds, or just the ones that I’m ready to admit to myself- as opposed to my all, even those that I hate to own up to. I don’t think I wonder how it feels often enough, for God to get my seconds. It took me adjusting to being a “second” again to realize what He must feel all the time with me. Most people experience the transition that you undergo when a close friend gets involved in a serious relationship. I’m pretty sure that most people don’t get the *privilege* of experiencing it as often as I have. First there were my sisters, older and younger, so I adjusted to my sister's being married and having kids. I've moved from spending time with them alone, to spending time with the “marrieds” b/c the spouses and children are always included, I'm ok with that. I've adjusted to spending time with the couples when hanging out with my high school friends. I'm used to being the 5th person or the 7th when everyone is home for the holidays. I'm ok with that. I adjusted to being a second to the person I always thought I’d be with when he decided he'd rather have a boyfriend than a wife, I adjusted to my best friend when she started that relationship that’s “the one” and finally, I’m adjusting right now to another of my closest friends as she does the same thing. And while at least by now I know how it feels, it doesn’t really make it an easier transition. You go from hearing all the little details of someone’s life- to the stuff that’s still on their minds after talking to the other person. Don’t get me wrong, some of these relationships haven’t been hurt at all by this transition. It’s enhanced them for the other person to be experiencing something so different than what I’m experiencing not that it makes the transition any easier.

This time was different though. This time it made me wonder how many times, when I’m hurting I first go to a best friend instead of immediately going to God in prayer. And at the same time, He’s revealing other areas of my life to me, and I’m realizing that it’s ok to be broken. He’s teaching me in this brokenness that you have to allow yourself to hurt. And more than that, I have to admit to being someone who hurts. I need to admit to being someone who experiences loneliness. I need to admit to being someone who doesn’t know where God is leading them. And I need to be open to the possibility that wherever it is, it could be a world away from the life I have here. The lessons God has been teaching me lately, were honestly not even lessons I realized I needed to learn. I needed to fall off of that wire. I need to take a closer look at the “trees” that loom above and the path that’s at my feet. And I need to follow it. Sometimes we have to stop waiting to understand, and pray to just figure it out on the way. Sometimes it’s better to step blindly.

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
Hebrews 11:1


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