Old Habbits

October 8, 2008

Sometimes I wonder if it will ever become difficult, truly difficult, for me to shut down emotionally. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever be so alive that I can’t so easily deaden myself.

More specifically, I wondered tonight.

In our worship team briefing tonight, we talked a bit about solitude and silence. (Popular topic, considering our two months of voluntary 12am-6am silence as a community.) We talked about the way that, in the place of solitude, you encounter your anger and your grief.

Anger and greif… ick. Not tonight. Please, not tonight. I’m too tired for this.

Near the beginning of the set, I was talking to the Holy Spirit and I told Him I didn’t want to encounter my grief right then. I told Him I didn’t want to cry that night. I immediately started crying.

It was too much. I shut it down… as quickly as possible. I then proceeded to do everything I could to keep from ACTUALLY praying (i mean… actually talking to God… my friend, my Father, my comforter… the one I talk to every day). I really didn’t want to cry. I really didn’t want to feel pain.

It was an immensely boring (and frustrating) set. I tried reciting my Hebrews memorization for a while. I tried doing a lot of things… just to distract myself from accidentally talking to God again.

I realized a lot of things tonight. I’ll give you 10:

1. I don’t love Him when I don’t feel pain. I can’t. The only way I don’t feel pain is when I choose not to feel. All the words that I sing become empty… hollow. They mean nothing. I remember when they meant something, but they are just words. Gratitude is gone. I cannot love God when I shut my heart down.

2, Hiding from the Holy Spirit is freaking impossible!!!

3. Just whispering the words or barely forming the though of “I miss her” causes a surge of pain to rise up within me. I don’t understand it. But there is still so much pain there. It still hurts so much. I miss my mom.

4, I really do want to feel. I really do want to love God. I really do want to have an open and alive heart. No matter how desperately I may plead with God that I don’t want to feel. I always end up repenting and confessing truth, in the end.

5. It’s still really easy to fall back into my old “kill the emotion!” habits.

6. I’m really confused. I don’t know how not to be hypersensitive and still have a functioning and alive heart. When someone tells me that I AM hypersensitive, my first instinct (which I fall into even unconsciously) is to shut my heart down and not feel anything. I don’t know what it means to be healthy.

7. I’m scared. Really scared.

8. I always laugh harder after I’ve REALLY cried things out for a while. It feels good.

9. I kind of said this already, but I really miss my mom.

10. There are a lot of painful things in life. A lot of them.

So… it was an interesting night. I did (after much successful pursuit of distraction and lengthy avoidance of the prayer room and, especially, of prayer) eventually stop and talk to God. I felt. It hurt. I cried.

And there’s PLENTY more where that came from.



  1. amen.

    not feeling… boy, could i write books on that subject… but they’d be awfully boring books, i think. there’s so much alive in feeling; it’s really a shame to go without. even in trying so hard to not feel, i often wind up feeling (frustrated) anyway.

    we’re a strange bunch, aren’t we?

    we pray for you every night, for the record. reading where you’re at is helping us to hone those prayers in more specifically. i would still like to see your face soon. get better and come hang out with me! : )

  2. You’re in a tough place right now, but it’s good you’re working through it.

    For now, just let the “hypersensitive” stuff be. It’s sort of like you have an emotional sunburn. When you first get a sunburn; there is pain, even without the injured spots being touched. Even something soft like a cotton shirt touching the burn is excruciatingly painful. Even hot showers, which are normally relaxing and refreshing, cause pain. In a day or two (or three or four) the pain subsides, but it still doesn’t take much of a touch or bump to cause a lot of pain. That’s where you are now.

    You’ve healed a lot, but there’s still some sensitivity, and that’s ok. In fact, that’s normal. It’s also transient, so take heart. The day will come that the flesh of your heart will have healed to where there isn’t pain at each little thing that comes up. No one can say how long it will take, as you are unique, and God’s plan and time schedule for you is custom-designed. Be patient with yourself and give yourself a break.

    As for what “healthy” feels like, I don’t think anybody really knows. We won’t truly be healthy until the coming age. For now, just know you are on the road to recovery, and that’s a good thing.

  3. Moses had Aaron and Hur to hold up his arms when he was weary. Don’t forget that all the people who care about you are holding you up with our prayers. You are precious in His sight and ours. : )

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