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Quite Changed

April 7, 2008

In my delirious ramblings about knuckle crunchers, I mentioned some potential bad news concerning a friend. Well, the negative report we feared came later that night. I don’t really want to blog about my friend’s painful circumstances, so please forgive me if I am a little vague.

The friend who had initially alerted me to the circumstances was supposed to let me know when he heard something. As it turns out, bad news is hard to pass on. His text message was never sent, so I found out later that night, when he was at my house.

Unfortunately, a bunch of my friends were over at the house when I got the news. Not the greatest timing. I tried to finish eating. I tried to continue to be present and celebrate-y with the people in the room. I tried. But it wasn’t going particularly well.

I felt the look on my face. Do you ever have those moments when you realize that you probably look really angry? That was me. And I was beginning to feel it, too. I had that tense, angry feeling I get every time I am trying to push something down, every time I am trying NOT to feel.

Well, I decided a couple of years ago that I don’t want to do that with my heart anymore. So I had to leave.

I went downstairs and talked to my roommate (who was stuck in bed, sick) for a bit. I just needed to talk to someone about what was happening. I sat there, expressed my unbelief, and cried for a while. And then I realized that, as much as it sucks to be sick, it probably sucks more to be sick and have a crying person sitting on your floor. So I transitioned to the stairs. (I’m not sure why, but my room just wasn’t an option.)

After a little bit, I heard the door open. I wonder if someone just left or just arrived. And then I heard Darin’s voice. Darin and Kacie are here! Oh, Darin and Kacie are here!

I quickly cleaned up my face and excitedly made my way up the stairs. I really love them… and seeing them was somehow going to magically make things better.

OK, so maybe I wasn’t quite ready to come up the stairs again. Darin mentioned that he hadn’t seen me at work that day. Of course, the reason he hadn’t seen me was my sleeplessness in waiting to find out about my friend… the sleeplessness that led to my fun with knuckle crunchers. As I opened my mouth to explain, I lost it again and barely squeaked “I’ll be back” as I turned around and escaped into the bathroom.

I couldn’t stop crying. I knelt on the bathroom floor and the tears streamed down my face… a saline flood. They just kept coming… and coming. Crying is exhausting. Trying not to be heard by people just on the other side of the wall when hit with a tidal wave of emotion is also exhausting.

Fortunately, there was an eventual end. I spent some time talking with the amazing Holly Snow. And then I rejoined the festivities. Still hurting for my friend. But I at least wasn’t crying anymore.

Here’s the thing that gets me about all of that. 3 or 4 years ago, I would have gotten the same news and been like, “Wow. That sucks.” At most, “Wow, that really sucks.”

My heart was so dead, so dull. And I had worked hard to get it there. I couldn’t even feel the pain of my own life. I can hardly convey how little I was living… how incapable I was of feeling… how completely I had shut myself down.

And then, two years ago, I got a wake up call. A friend wrote something that really struck me… and I began to realize the state of my heart. And I was determined to say yes to the Lord in His invitation to revive my heart again. Determined and desperate.

I am still learning. I’m still becoming acquainted with my heart, with my emotions. But things like this, this week of little sleep and excessive tears, stand as evidence that the Lord is working. They show me how drastically the Lord has tranformed my life. I never could “weep with those who weep” before that gradual reawakening began. I never could feel. I couldn’t connect to my own pain, let alone mourn with someone else.

In the midst of that, I don’t think I could ever really long for Jesus’ return, either. I was detached from the reality of how desperately in need of Him we are. I didn’t realize how painful this existence has become. I was completely disconnected from the groan of creation. I had reconciled myself to injustice and concluded that things weren’t really that bad. I was agreeing with subtle lies. I didn’t think I needed a savior. I didn’t think I needed justice. I didn’t really comprehend just how wretched the present evil age truly is.

Well, thank the Lord for restoration… and for His gentleness and kindness as He restored me to reality. And… once again…

Come, Judge of the Earth! Come quickly, Lord Jesus! Hasten the day!

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