Saturday, April 2, 2011

Asking hard questions

Writing for me is expressing my heart in ways my mind can't form. To speak the words that my voice can't form. Either because it hurts too much, or because I don't understand what I feel until I write it out, or I can see Jesus more clearly when I write, or for other reasons unknown.

It's also a place that I find I can be in the now, present with right now. Being in the now is my word and goal this year. This is important for me.
I'm not so good at staying present in my mind with what's going on in the moment, which means I loose the precious gift of the present.

My mind was jumbled this week, my emotions all over the place, and I couldn't find peace. So I wrote. I wrote out what was all over the place in my mind. I sort out the chaos and in speaking through writing God often uses it to bring peace.

As a teenager and young adult (college age) I use to write poems a lot. Ugly dark ones, beautiful bright ones, and all kinds of in between. It was a gift to me, a way to get out all the thoughts and feelings that were swimming on the inside. I also journaled like crazy. More than not it was a way for me to talk to Jesus about life's struggles. I could express my hurts, my questions, my joys, things God was teaching me, gifts He had given, and other times it was a way for me to shout out anger and hurt that was boiling on the inside when life wasn't fair.

Looking back this week at some of my journals, especially my poem journal I can see growth and processes God had me in that I wouldn't have realized if I hadn't written out what was on the inside.

So last week when my mind was spinning with thoughts and my heart with feelings.. I wrote.
It felt good to express in poem form.
And after doing so I felt a lot lighter, and it seemed to clear up some of the confusion I've had on my mind lately.

I've been thinking a lot about having to struggle through with a mental illness. This is sure not anything I would have expected or anything I would have chosen had I had a choice, and I haven't come to terms with how or why God has allowed this to be.
But one thing I'm learning lately is that it's ok to question. I've felt guilty for wondering why. I mean, it's not just something I can "overcome" and it definitly doesn't leave much room for consistency, 2 things that are important to me. It feels like even my ability to be used by God is inhibited by this illness. Seems unfair when my heart's desire is to love and serve Him with my whole heart, MIND, soul.

So yes I am questioning, and yes I still feel a little guilty about that but I'm learning a lot in the process. My sister reminded me this week that even Jesus questioned God on the cross. And she put it into perspective for me as a parent as well. If one of my kids feels something is unfair or they don't understand why, I would want them to come to me and question and talk with me about it. I would want to experience and walk through them with whatever it was.

Being real with Jesus and allowing Him in on my grief (the current emotion I'm feeling about it all) isn't easy but it's been surprisingly healing.
Someone that I know from a blog online (Ann Voskamp's blog) reminded me of something today when he replied to my blog entry from the other day. He said
"Don’t forget in the dark what God has shown you in the light."
I'm going to remember and read that often because when I am having a bipolar episode everything that was true in the light feels misplaced when I'm in the dark. That is a beautiful thought to remember.

Another thing that God used this week to show me His presence was 2 sweet sentences a very special person in my life replied on my facebook page. I had posted that I was "overwhelmed". This is the most common feeling I have when I get depressed. Hal replied with "He is sufficient and He is crazy about you." That I needed to hear. In all the struggling to do better, to get out beyond my weaknesses I had forgotten that "God is crazy about me." It made me stop and breathe and it put what's important and true into perspective for me.

So even in the questions, God is showing Himself faithful and confirming in various ways that He is ok with my questions, and that He is VERY active in my journey. He is the one after all that is bringing me closer to wholeness in all aspects of my life.

In a sense it feels good to allow myself to "feel" things out... it's not something I do well. I am much better at stuffing things down in and not facing what is really on the inside, or when I do I am not able to express those thoughts and feelings on the outside (other than through writing). I do feel Jesus present and for that I am grateful.

I'm so thankful that it doesn't matter how well I am doing, He is still loving me just as strong as ever.

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