I woke up in the wee hours of this morning. I couldn’t sleep. Yesterday had been one of those days. A volcano within me erupted and every feeling that had been pushed way deep down spewed to the surface in all of its glory. It was a long time coming. I got in my car and I drove, ending up right where I belonged. I needed a place where the tears could flow readily but that then once they were gone, I could just be still and feel the peace that it has provided so many times before this. I was reaching for the place that my dad has looked at his whole life, that my mom grew up around, that my sisters, brothers, and kids have all played in, and that holds some of my best memories. I needed to go down to that river bank and let it all come out.
I remember writing about two years ago, that when I hit forty that that was going to be my year. I had high expectations (first mistake). Hey, I made it through that year so I guess in many ways it was definitely my year, but forty wasn’t exactly what I was thinking and or what I necessarily wanted it to be. Then forty-one came...this year has held some serious highs, but also had its share of lows.
It is within these lows that many of us can get stuck, and for all of the intentional healing that I have done, pieces of me (not all of me) have remained stuck in my low. I’ve filled my life with a lot of noise in order to not feel everything that has been thrown my way. I have purposefully masked so much of me that I was too scared to start peeling back the layers of the proverbial onion because in reality I don’t really want to see that which I’ve kept hidden.
Yesterday I allowed myself to go to a place within my heart that I have avoided because I didn’t want to feel all of the fear, hurt, and plain sadness. Ashamedly, I was feeling sorry for myself, because of another small hurdle that was just placed in front of me. My own experience has shown me that the undercurrent of the deep waters rushing over you tends to carry with it an eerie silence that creates some of the loudest noise within our hearts and heads. Our natural tendencies are to want it to stop, to feel joy (of course), and to be done with the pain. Masking it can be our easiest solution. Over the last few years I have filled my life with chatter in order to make it all go away. No matter how hard that I have tried, once I have gotten to a point where I think that I can ignore one thing, I have had another thrown in my direction. This is not a complaint. I’m simply stating that my failure to properly release and let go of the things weighing heavy on my heart culminated in a day of pure sadness and the recognition that I have to sit in silence instead of filling myself with needless noise. I have needed to feel what I actually feel so that I’m not just surviving, I’m living.
I played these words from a song by For King and Country over and over again yesterday evening.
Don't let it arrest you
This fear is fear of fallin' again
And if you need a refuge
I will be right here until the end
Oh, it's time to
Burn the ships, cut the ties
Send a flare into the night
Say a prayer, turn the tide
Dry your tears and wave goodbye
Somewhere in the early morning hours long after the last tear fell, while I sit sipping my coffee, sort of praying, sort of just thinking, mostly just quietly listening, the thought EMBRACE IT and then RELEASE IT kept flooding my mind. I relaxed. We all need to take the mask off and feel, at least I know that I do. As the sun started shining this morning, flakes of snow were falling so beautifully from the sky. I couldn’t help but smile and to feel that joy so deeply. I got dressed and went out to feel the snow fall on my face. I felt freer than I’ve felt in longer than I can remember. I went back to the river today with the last three lines of the song in my head: “Say a prayer. Turn the tide. Dry your tears and wave goodbye.”
Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him