they tell me spring is coming

Internet issues and the busiest few weeks I’ve had in New York have provided quite ample excuse not to write, and I haven’t even felt like an undisciplined slob about it. It has been good.

Not because of writer’s block, either – no, I’ve had too much in my head to even begin to process for myself, let alone share with everyone. Much as I try to say the hard and personal things and it scares me sometimes, I am still determined to keep my blog and my diary separate. If in doubt, I let it be for a bit rather than dribbling it across this screen.

So I can’t tell you everything that’s made a mess of my head. Some of it is too private, some of it is just a really long story. Some of it feels silly, but it’s real to me – like the incessant grey of the sky making my thoughts and feelings too dense and foggy at the same time. A lot of it is the mess of my day-to-day life described in my last post. Because beyond the enormous relief of tying up loose logistical ends, the emotional bits are more unruly. They are not “resolved” according to a step-by-step timeline.

I have spent a lot of time, therefore, in silence, letting it surround me like a protective shield, a shield because I have found one word for how I feel these days: fragile.

It has been about a year since I first realized that I had to start saying things, that I’d been hiding all my life and it was time to share. That the truth is not the absence of a lie; you have to tell it.

All this time I have thought I would get to the end of this journey and go on to my next self-improvement project. Or something like that. And I have changed dramatically in the past year (a few weeks ago, I had a fight with a woman I barely knew, which is a twisted sort of speaking-my-mind accomplishment for me. PS it turned out very well for both of us in the end). But even though I’ve gotten better at being honest, it hasn’t gotten easier. 

Before, I didn’t speak my mind, say my feelings, tell my stories – I didn’t share with people and let them carry around those little bits of me – out of truly mind-numbing fear. People would hurt me. People would not listen to me. People would look at my gift and not think I was worth giving back to. Overcoming that fear, bit by bit, has been exhilarating, but now my fears have been realized in a really big way for the first time. The temptation has never been stronger to rebuild the walls and go back into my efficient, comfortable shell of self-sufficiency and a blank face. That place feels like a haven right now.

To be honest it is all I can do at times to stay in one place, feeling all the fullness of being hurt in a place of raw, tender new growth, without fleeing.

But, look. It’s Lent – a season of repentance, a time of renewed obedience. I made the decision around this time last year to get rid of those walls out of a sense that I could wait no longer, that I would die somehow if I didn’t stop cowering away from vulnerability, and that my Bible was pursuing me from every corner with one message: truth.

Now my obedience is different, more quiet and pedestrian, not flinging away bonds with both ecstasy and utter terror the way I have in the past. I am just at a point where continuing is costly; where I am weary of doing good. I don’t stare down fear – this is the gift of that earlier obedience, that bravery is part of me now- but I must face the pain itself. And I trust that there is a new and more beautiful strength in this quiet but open, surrendered, unafraid fragility.

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1 Comment

  1. Jacqueline in Atlanta

     /  March 5, 2013

    What an amazing person you are. Most people live their entire lives inside the fortress.

    Reply

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