I went into this year more excited than ever. But right now, I feel like I’m hobbling to whatever finish line we’ve got here. With my hair in a ponytail that resembles a bird’s nest, holding my aching sides, looking around waiting for someone to just grab me a wheelchair. Where is it?! Why hasn’t anyone brought me a wheelchair?
When I was in high school and envisioned myself playing soccer, I remember a day at camp when we had to do sprints. By the second time through, I couldn’t keep the pace. I watched my teammates go by me, and I knew it right then that I wanted to quit that day. So I went home, and I quit. I never went back. I hardly even looked back.
Quitting feels like something I want to do right now.
Last week, my body literally “could not even” anymore, and I got sick. While I was holed up in my room in my bed, forced to sleep more than I have in a long time, it kept going around and around in my head: You’re failing. You’re failing. You’re failing. Like a carousel that plays terrible music.
I’ve made it here, to December 5, and I just knew this was coming. Seasons ebb and flow. I entered into this one on cloud nine, but I knew that cloud nine does not last forever. Eventually the cloud comes back to earth, and things get hard. Interactions with people become more difficult. Stress invites itself in at some point, and instead of enjoying the work that’s in front of me, I’d rather hide from it. I grab my sides in exhaustion and look for that place to lean, and I realize it isn’t there.
This is the moment when I want to quit: When it gets difficult.
When the “high” ends and reality hits. When someone has an issue with me. When roadblocks arise. When people stop showing up. When I feel like I’m standing alone, caring about all of my things, and no one else seems to be standing with me.
I don’t want to be the one with the mess, but I am. I am a mess today. I don’t want to look at my email or my text messages or my Facebook messages or my voicemail. I would rather hide. I don’t like the hard parts of being involved in things that I love and care about. If it could only be all the great and wonderful parts, sign me up for THAT. This feels like business and adulthood and hard work.
(Do I sound like a millennial yet?)
Glory comes from the dirt. The flowers grow through the soil to reach the sunlight.
The sun feels farther away today, as though dirt is on top of me, and I can’t quite reach the warmth. Like a flower that is slowly, ever gently, maneuvering its way through to get to the sun. To the glory. That’s where I feel like I am. There’s a lot of muck and seeming disorganization and cluttered thoughts, but Lord Jesus, You are not a God of mistakes.
It is December 5, and I am a mess, but thank you Lord that I get to grow through the dirt. The sunlight is coming, and just as I am anticipating another heaviness to overthrow me and keep me from seeing Your face, You make a way to me.
This is hard. This is not easy. But You, sweet Father, You didn’t promise me only easy times. You promised to be right by my side in every second of every day of every moment, mess or not.
Hobbling. Messy hair that I don’t want to talk about. A tired body.
Lord, You are my crutch that holds me up. I don’t have to wait for anyone else to come and keep me walking. You already do. You already do.