Tuesday, September 9, 2014
I had an interesting experience Sunday. I visited a new church, not too different from my home church in its beginning phases. The church is located in a gym and full of young adults from the college. Walking in felt a little bit like going home except for the building was a sea of strangers instead of being a crowd of people I have known all my life. The anonymity is both difficult and comforting. The past few years have found me alone more times than I've ever experienced in my lifetime.
Home has become a more evolving concept for me as I age. No longer necessarily in the embrace of family and lifelong friends...although I often yearn for that kind of comfort.
The past few years have been a lesson in home being in your heart, and making the world around you home, no matter where you may be and how far from that you may feel.
New homes are harder. The people don't know you. Its not easy to find people who are willing to jump into an ocean of rocky waves with someone that they don't know and trust. It is much easier to "just be" when you know that the love of those around you never waivers. They love you even at your ugliest. They love you even at your weakest, even when you are frightened or scared or angry.
As you all know, anger has not been far from me in the past few years. I have held my shield high, angry at the world at times. Angry even at those I love. Angry because I am not home. Angry because I have faced a world of fears in a few short years and angry because its so hard not to have the fond embrace of home to envelop me when all I want to do is collapse in grief.
So much of the swim is done by wading and doggy paddling and just trying to keep your head above water with fear that if one more wave hits it will surely be the one that takes you to the bottom. Sometimes, you even feel as if people around you are willing you to drown, even tugging at your feet trying to pull you down. This adds to the frustrations and anger and grief.
The past few years have helped me find a faith and a strength I didn't know I possessed. I don't know yet the meaning of what I have been through or am continuing to go through. I know I am stronger but I do not feel strong. I still feel vulnerable. When people tell me how strong they think I am it is a reminder to me how close I am to drowning.
When I walked into this church, so familiar yet so new...a song was playing. It is called Oceans. I had never heard it and as I was watching the words of the song on the monitor and listening to the voices around me, all I could do was cry. The tears streamed down my face as I sat surrounded by strangers...I know God is the only force truly keeping me above the waves, and I felt like He was asking me to let go. I felt like He was asking me to hand over the pain and to quit fighting the waves and roll on my back and float for a while.
The hard part was that I felt myself fighting it. I hold the pain like armour. If I let it go, will I forget. I don't want to forget because it has become a part of me. Is it possible to surrender the pain and still have the knowledge? How can I stop trying to control it all? I might fail? How am I still in this place? Haven't I learned by now that I have no control of the outcome of things, and that sometimes, you just have to trust? That ultimately, it has nothing to do with me and what I do or don't do and that my plans and what I desperately seek are so small in this big big world.
Letting go is difficult. Just "being" is difficult. It should be the easiest thing to do, and it is definitely the most freeing. I know it will set me free. I know that without my clinched fists hanging on for dear life, that it will still be ok. There is beauty in the drifting.
I do know that it seems that no matter where I go, I am found. He finds me. No matter how small I feel, He sees me. No matter how far from home I am, I am Home.