Letting Go

photo (31)I think I have to let go of what I’ve always wished for.

Isn’t Advent a season of waiting?

Waiting is hard. I’m not good at it. During the course of waiting, things that are unspoken surface: dreams, desperations, memories that I thought had long ago faded somehow come and and out of focus in differing intensities.

Waiting is the middle of the journey and I suspect it looks a bit differently for each individual. Some may be asked to trust God to do something new. Maybe it’s staying the course when everyone around seems to be moving on. Maybe it’s time to leave where we’ve always been. I would hazard a guess that we are all in the process of waiting for something or someone because we’re all traveling a journey of faith to get home.

I realized earlier that it’s possible this Advent season involves letting go of what I’ve always wished for and involves waiting for God to meet me in my grief.

Here’s one of the statements that stuck with me from a reading: I am come to find you wherever you may be. I will look for you till the eyes of My pity see you. I will follow you till the hands of My mercy reach you, and I will still hold you till I bring you back to Myself, and reconcile you to My heart. (Charles Spurgeon ,1861)

Maybe it’s time to allow myself to say goodbye to what has never been, to what is lost, even if it was just in my mind. What I couldn’t do before: to let go of the home I wished I had, the family I wished for, the life I thought I would have. I’m never going to have a family and maybe that’s okay. Maybe it is okay to grieve what was then and what will never be and believe that God will be there in both, as well as here now. Not be consumed with the longing and the grief and yet not avoid them either.

Maybe in the saying goodbye, in the letting go, true peace can be found.

Bad Dreams

Before I woke up from a bad dream feeling as if my heart was going to beat out of my chest I was dreaming and then remembering/feeling some of the feelings I had back then. How I felt abandoned and alone during that time.

In that pained quietness I heard the beckoning to trust God.

And my instant, gut response was but you’ll abandon me too.

It happened again this afternoon when the anxiety became unbearable when I was at the doctor’s.

Trust in me. Rest.

You abandoned me then too.

In my rational moments I would resolutely say that is not true.

But I don’t really know it obviously or it would not have been the gut response.

I cannot see God in those dark moments, in those memories. I have no sense that He’s there, and I’ve expressed before my confusion that (from my perspective) He didn’t do anything to help me then. Even now, when I’m mid-memory and I want more than anything to see Him or find Him in those moments, there’s nothing.

If I need, then I risk being abandoned. Maybe that’s why I resist any closeness. Maybe it’s why I hide and avoid. Or why it used to be simpler to just pretend.  Or why I internalize when things seem unbearable rather than reach out. Experience, even if my perspective on God’s role in it is skewed, is hard to dispute.

I know that the reality is that God will not abandon me. I know He will not abandon me or forsake me. I know how much I need Him…even if it scares me beyond belief.

I don’t understand why in those moments I don’t believe it. I don’t know why it’s so hard in the bleakness that it seems impossible to look into the face of acceptance and find rest.