So I have managed to appear to make light of very serious things. I have managed to seem to be writing about difficult things, like abuse and rape, without having ever experienced pain, grief, or loss. I managed to communicate a stigma that women are supposed to just get over being abused and move on, when my intention was not that at all. And I have also managed to gain the disapproval of a few if not more of my classmates.
This is not how things were supposed to go.
These were indeed the results of the critiques of the story I turned in last week. I felt a bit like a failure…okay, a lot like a failure. Like I’d tried to be vulnerable and talk about what Christ has done for me, and I got really really hurt and totally misrepresented Him. *Sigh*
And I have a basketball game tonight, and I’m of course thinking about everything except basketball plays and scouting reports. And I have a psychology exam next week, and I’m so far from thinking about the infinite number of terms I need to know. And I’m preparing to write a feature article for Creative Nonfiction, and yet I can’t create a plan of action for it, because my mind is in a million other directions.
I’m thinking about the fact that I have never gone through therapy, and that my studio professor says that PTSD never goes away and can never be healed…and yet I’m sitting here, growing in trust of God and healed of flashbacks and the like. Satan is still a jerk with my past, but has no power over me. I’m thinking about how glad I am I wrote the story, so now I have feedback on how to write it better and come back even stronger. I’m thinking about what God thinks about all of this, where He’s going with it, if it’s even worth pursuing, if it will “work”, in drawing people closer to Him, or if it’s really just about me. I’m thinking about how, with clarity and perfect communication Jesus relayed different things to the crowds and His disciples and they still totally missed the point, and how frustrating that must’ve been, and yet He still loved them. And here, my skill and communication, really, is what fell short, not the story itself.
Meanwhile, on the basketball team, I feel like I am in high school once again, with the hierarchy of sports, especially girls’ sports…and yet, regardless of the social stuff, I know that God comes into this area of life as well as every other, and that there is a way to love my teammates, even if they’re not too crazy about me.
And I feel a bit lonely. It hit me yesterday how I’m not necessarily on my own in how I think, in my relationship with Christ, or my beliefs about the Bible and the application of and faith in it, but it is still overwhelming, how out of place I feel in the midst of a lot of people who tend to think on the same wave length.
So much has happened in the last month, and I just don’t know what to do with any of it. So many hearts have been broken, and the oppressive weight of the darkness at Pratt (which sounds dramatic, I know, but I don’t know how else to describe it) seems to be getting heavier and heavier with each conversation I have about Christ. Why? My mom, Jacob, and a few other people in my life have said that God wants the light to shine where the darkness is, which of course makes perfect sense. But I’m struggling with thinking “Lord, I don’t feel very much like the light.” *Sigh*
I am being tested in what feels like all areas all at once. This morning, as I spent time with God, I had a hard and fast sense of hopelessness as I thought about how different things are moving in directions that seem, not unfavorable, per se, but hurtful, empty, ceasing at a “dead end” sign at the base of a long road.
And yet, God knows where all of those roads are leading, and He knows the hearts of those who walk them. Amazing things are happening, too. Jacob is coming to visit in a little over three weeks. Yes. Visiting Brooklyn and the people here 😀 And Taylor is growing. And Kat is growing. Even though things seem kind of hopeless right now, and even though I feel like I’ve just totally blown it, God is still bigger than my failures and shortcomings. I remember Paul, in his second letter to Corinth.
“Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test! I hope you will find out that we have not failed the test. But we pray to God that you may not do wrong—not that we may appear to have met the test, but that you may do what is right, though we may seem to have failed. For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth.” (2 Corinthians 13:5-8)
Even if I seem to have failed, or feel like I’ve failed, I want others to still come to and grow in Christ. And, honestly, how arrogant would it be for me to think that something I did can stop Christ’s reaching people here at Pratt, or halt the growth of those who are already growing in Him? Isn’t He so much bigger than just me? And isn’t the world so much fuller and wider than this space on which I stand? Didn’t He create it that way?
I’m not sure how all of this is going to go, but never have I walked through something difficult, even small, and God has let me down, or left me hanging, or given up on me, or let me give up. He is not done with me. And I am still growing.
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.” —John 10:27-28