I have written dark days and good. I have flung myself open, wide and vulnerable for the sake of building understanding. I have scrawled grief and joy and the sweet intermingling that makes a life of love. Doing so has created space for conversation and dialogue and awareness. These are good things. Shedding light upon dark can unveil something good.
These days, however, I escape into fiction. I carve out stories that could create similar spaces, but in a way non-fiction cannot. In many ways it is more suited to me… the telling of a story that isn’t mine.
My story feels dark and sorrowful, wrapped in fear and pride and a resolution to go down kicking and screaming if it kills me. And it might, if this continues. I’m not enjoying much these days, certainly not the endless waves and relentless stress. Anxiety clamps down on my throat and people ask what they can do and how they can help and I have no reply. I don’t know. I simply do not know.
I am broken and powerless. I am unable to ease my husband’s suffering. I am unable to look into the future and picture improvement or beautiful quality of life or a renewal of the things he once loved. I am shattered, some days, by the sorrow of it. To hear from the experts on his condition that what we are seeing is the natural progression of his genetic disorder, to see the look of powerlessness in their eyes as well… something breaks in me. There aren’t words, only a chasm of dark sorrow.
Historically, as a blogger (I say blogger specifically because we write to a specific audience with a specific set of expectations) I would wrap this up beautifully with the perfect text from Scripture and a trumpet blast of hope. A neatly bundled, carefully juxtaposed collection of grief and gospel. Here’s the hurt. Here’s the hope. The end. Let the reader click the browser closed feeling comfortable. ‘It’s all good. Her perspective is on point. No need to loiter.’
Today, however, I am having difficulty blogging because nothing is tying up too neatly. My thoughts are jumbled and angry; my prayers (when I manage them) the same. I feel like I’m lashed to a boat on the roiling sea of Galilee, the waves intent on drowning me and my Saviour asleep in the hull. I’m about to drown and I’m saving the last of my energy to hold my breath against the next barrage and I cannot summon the strength to scream for help.
I could tie this up with such a lovely ribbon. I could. It would slip from my fingers to the keyboard almost by rote. Paste the verses from Mark 4 into the post, draw some wide loops of analogy to storms and struggles and trials in our life. I could post some song lyrics perhaps… “I will praise You in this storm”, or maybe the lyrics ‘the wind and waves still know His name’. It would fit. My way with words would draw it all together in a cute little package.
And yet, these day, I’m hung up on Jesus’ question.
Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?
The disciples don’t answer the question, and neither can I, it seems.
I don’t know, Lord. I don’t even know anymore… please… just help.