I write to process pain.
Hence the influx of blog posts over the past few months.
I wish that, as I typed, the pain would lesson with every typed word.
I have not been afforded that.
The past couple weeks have been filled with incredible darkness. Heavy. Suffocating darkness. The permanent ache in my heart returned. The nausea. The cloud. A thick cloud. Refusing any sunshine. Darkening every crevice of my mind. Destroying light. Obliterating peace.
And I realized something this week that frightened me. I realized this week that I don’t really trust God. Not really. And I realized, through sobs, that I am afraid of Him.
The past 5 years have progressively gotten worse. Pain followed by pain. By more pain. By worse pain. I will, likely, never be a “healthy” person ever again. I will more than likely be sick for the rest of my life.
I have continued putting one foot in front of the other. As best and as weakly as I could. Trying to keep going.
But there was no happy ending.
No ‘best life now.’
I crawled from one pain to the next. Each one harder than the one before.
And I realized this week that I don’t trust God anymore.
He did not protect me from pain.
He did not protect me from chronic illness.
He did not protect me from destruction of my heart.
I feel as though I have been beaten to a pulp and I am still expected to stand. To keep going. To keep boldly moving forward trusting the Lord for all that comes next.
But that’s what horrifies me. All that comes next. Because I can’t do it anymore.
I am afraid of what comes next. I am afraid He will keep allowing everything to get worse. I am afraid the rest of my life will be pain. 60 or so more years of pain. Unending pain. Heartache that won’t subside. Disappointment at every turn. Rejection. Life repeatedly and continually reinforcing my (false) belief that I do not matter. That my life is not worth anything. That I am nothing. That my life is just going to remain a compilation of shattered dreams.
And I sat in my car and wept. And I screamed. And I heaved as I yelled at God that I didn’t trust Him anymore. That He had torn me to shreds and that there was nothing more left to rip. But rip He continues and I wanted out. That I gave up. That I didn’t want to keep going anymore. That I didn’t want to keep crawling anymore. That I didn’t want this life. That I didn’t want His plan for me. That I hated it.
That I hated all of my books on Christian suffering. That I hated how I feel sick whenever I read verses on suffering. That I hated how all the verses and passages I have clung to as I have poured over my Bible that is, literally, falling to pieces, are just words now. That they offer no comfort. No consolation. They just make the pain worsen. Because they feel so untrue.
I told Him that I hated that He let me be lied to. And used. And thrown away. And that He won’t make the pain go away. That it only intensifies.
I told Him that I hated that every day is hard. And I get no relief. And that I have to keep going.
And I told Him that I hated that I don’t trust Him.
That I hated how I don’t trust God anymore.
The truth always remains the same. No matter what I feel. That God always does what is right. That His way is perfect. That He is always loving me.
Yet my heart feels like it is bleeding. The tears continue to fall. The nausea intensifies and my heartbeat quickens by merely the thought of trusting God with what comes next. Even writing that made a chill come across my body.
Because I can’t do it anymore.
I don’t know what the lesson is in this blog post.
I don’t know how to wrap it up in a bow. Because I am still in the muck. I pray one day I will write the blog on the other side of this one. But that’s not right now.
“I can’t do it anymore.”
Perhaps that is part the “other side of things” blog. That I can’t do it anymore. That somehow God is going to have to work in this brokenness. Because I can’t. And perhaps I’ve been trying and trying. And trying and trying. And perhaps that’s the problem. To cease trying–to cease striving. To pray for, as one of my professors always says, “A heart at leisure from myself.” A heart at rest.
I do not know. All I can say right now is that God is worthy of my trust. That He is always faithful. That there is truth that will always be truth despite every feeling in this sinful being. Truth does not change. And I still know wholly and truly that that is true.
But right now there is a war waging inside of me. My heart is in constant physical pain. Serving as a constant reminder that it is broken. And right now I am afraid. And right now it hurts every time I open my Bible and read it. And right now it aches whenever I pray because I am afraid to talk to God. And right now I am so so so sad because I don’t trust Him.
Because I don’t trust God anymore.
And yesterday I began asking God to help me trust Him. Not by proving His love. He has already done that on the cross of Christ. Not by giving me what I want. Or even taking the pain away. But to somehow help me hold my quivering hand back out to Him. To somehow keep taking another step forward. To believe His promises are true for me too.
To not be afraid of what comes next. Even if it is more pain. To learn to be okay with that because I trust the One who holds my world in His hands.
But right now, I’m not there. Right now I am wounded–afraid. Hurting. Weak. Grieving.
He continues to rip. And I struggle to trust His ripping. But one day. One day.
One day I will trust God again.
“The very first tear he made was so deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart. And when he began pulling the skin off, it hurt worse than anything I’ve ever felt…Well, he peeled the beastly stuff right off – just as I thought I’d done it myself the other three times, only they hadn’t hurt – and there it was lying on the grass, only ever so much thicker, and darker, and more knobbly-looking than the others had been. And there was I smooth and soft as a peeled switch and smaller than I had been. Then he caught hold of me – I didn’t like that much for I was very tender underneath now that I’d no skin on — and threw me into the water. It smarted like anything but only for a moment…I found that all the pain had gone from my arm. And then I saw why. I’d turned into a boy again. . . .”
C.S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader