2015 came rushing in as fireworks lit up the neighborhood skyline. I didn’t care to watch this time and be reminded that beautiful things last only for a moment.
And then they are gone.
Instead, I sat with tears steaming down my face at midnight. Tears for the things that should have been. Tears for the things that were promised. Tears for those things that I had a hand in didmantling. Tears for the year that was supposed to be better than the one before. Tears for OneWords and promises from God that were as fleeting as the beauty of those fireworks. And likely just as costly in ways of the heart.
I decided I wouldn’t choose a word for this year.
I simply don’t have the energy to focus on something that is likely to bite me in the ass yet again. I’ve forgotten what it’s like to be excited about a word from God. Does he really care about something as small as a word? I just don’t know anymore. And I think that is part of the problem and why I find myself where I am. In this crisis of faith. Or maybe more accurately, this crisis of belief. I’ve always had a problem with the whole faith thing. I want to know when things are going to work out and more specifically how they are going to work out. It’s only been made worse when people tell me that things aren’t working out because I don’t have enough faith. Reinforcing the whole works based approach to God.
If I do enough good things then God will love me enough to work all things to my good.
But I found I could never do enough or be enough to make that happen. Yeah, I know that sounds dramatic. And for some of you, overly churchy. It sounds that way to me as well. Yet I have no better way to describe how I got here. At this crossroad. This proverbial fork in the road of life. Torn between the right path or the left. Which one will lead me to the answers that will satisfy the endless sea of questions? Are there ever any real answers? Does God ever throw the life preserver?
Or are we left to drown in the endless tide of doubt unless we make our own way out of the madness.
I simply don’t know anymore. I don’t know that everything will turn out for good. There are more things falling apart than being restored. And maybe that’s the point of all of this. That there has to be a falling apart before there can be a coming together. Death before life. The waiting and the struggle have become overwhelming. I’m tired of fighting against what I used to believe and all of the things that I know now that contradict those beliefs. I bought in, or sold out, depending on which side of the fence you are on. I drank the kool-aid and now I’m left with the bitter taste of something that’s gone bad.
I used to have that assurance however misguided. And now, I miss it.
I miss the person I used to be even though I was never really satisfied with who I was. Maybe I only miss the person I thought I was. The person that everyone else thought I was. The illusion of who I wanted to be. Now, I just don’t know anymore. So, instead of choosing one word and having that be my sole focus for the year there has been a phrase that just won’t let me go.
Be still and know.
I don’t know appears to be the theme here. It’s time for me to stop forcing the issue. To not only embrace the stillness but also the knowing that comes after the and. I think that’s the most important thing for me. Taking the time to sit still in this dying in order to know that new life is around the coner. Knowing that being still is not all there is. The and says that there is more to the story. More to my story. It’s time to let my story write itself the way it’s meant to. Hopefully finding my way back to the assurance I used to have. Not because I’ve bought into someone else’s experience but because I’ve lived my own. I want my faith to be hard earned. A living, breathing, progressive thing that’s borne out of the stillness. A faith that continues to grow after the and.