For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.
There were too many strikes against the wounded places in my heart this morning to sit through church. Already late from the effort it still takes to get everyone out of the house, which seems eerily similar to what it was years ago only in a different way, I arrived halfway through the one song I was hoping to sing.
Enduring the rustling and settling of the children who sit with us while hoping that the ones who do not were doing what they were supposed to in the back, I tried to focus on the task at hand and enter worship. I was frustrated and exhausted.
Darkness is familiar, and the deepness that it brings threatens to pull my soul further into a void. The constant struggle to remain upright and grounded is real.
It was a lifetime ago, yet I still grieve. What am I grieving? What feels life-giving? I held that tension in my heart while looking up at the glow of a single candle signifying the beginning of Advent. I stood and sat and tried to sing what was hard.
Your law is good. . .
I could not make it through all of the words. It was nothing less than a miracle that I sang that song from the stage last week when I was on worship team, revealing how well I can shore up and do what needs to be done in the moment.
Standing as Scripture was read, feeling the ground beneath me, I breathed in, holding hope that I could do this. I sat.
Words came at me, and I noticed them blurring together. It took energy and effort to stay present, and I was doing really well.
God expects full obedience to his commandments.
The sermon series on the Ten Commandments continues. Whatever week this is feels a week too long. Each week is too long.
I believe and agree with this. I am also deeply triggered by this. There were too many strikes against my spiritually wounded heart this morning to sit and hear the very verses about the law that were used to beat me into submission and rob me of life. They bring no comfort.
Maybe comfort is there. . . just not right now. Maybe there is hope for healing from an abuse of the law, but right now I need comfort and care. I did not feel it in this space.
I spend much time comforting and caring.
I found myself in the tension of longing to communicate, of pressing into the questions surrounding the fray while trying to contain all that was dumping out of my heart.
Is there balm in Gilead?
As a terrified sixteen-year-old girl I was trying to grasp the law on my own and be pleasing. As a forty-six year old woman living with the implication of this desire, it is difficult to see goodness. All I feel is sadness and deep pain.
I am aware that others are not responsible for how their words are inadvertently used to crash into my heart. It does not make the crashing any less painful. It was in the pain that I found myself sitting in the breezeway, ear buds in, listening to music while writing in my journal.
We are all full of stories.
Later I found myself sitting with a friend, hearing more of her story, asking her about hope.
Today is the candle of hope. The very questions I asked my friend, I ask myself. What does hope look like to you? When did you feel hope? What do you hope for?
This is where I am and what I will be pondering this first week of Advent.