Sunday, 22 February 2015

Sitting in the ashes

So it's here again, people. Lent. A time of waiting (or is that just Advent?) Either way, a time for preparation and reflection.

These blogs are meant to be my reflections on the world (because I know people must be super-interested in what I have to say). They're generally fairly positive. But I'm not really sure why I'm writing this because (spoiler alert) I don't have many answers right now.

So here's where I'm at. Daily life feels increasingly like a complex obstacle course that I am ill-equipped to navigate. Some days are okay; some are good; some are downright horrible. I'm pretty joy-less (fear will do that to you) and aware that something needs to change. I know God is real and good and close by, but I don't really understand what's going on here, or why.

A phrase I've heard repeated several times is, "Faith is believing in the darkness what you have seen in the light". And I guess that kind of sums up where I'm at right now. I do have some hope that I can get better again; but on days when it feels like I am losing the battle I wonder how long it has to carry on being like this before I get to be 'normal'. Right now I'm in the Good Friday bit of the Easter story, and I don't know how long it will last. Or how many times I may have to revisit it.

When life is a struggle, when the joy gets sucked out of the beautiful everyday things, when I'm in 'survival' mode, I forget about hope. I'm so consumed by my not-so-pretty circumstances that my hope in what Jesus has won for me gets kind of sidelined.

I titled this post 'Waiting in the ashes' both because of last Wednesday being 'Ash Wednesday' and because it seems to express where I'm at right now. Sometimes I don't have any wisdom or answers. Sometimes there doesn't seem to be a silver lining or moral of the story. Sometimes, it's just hard, and that time is when I guess I have to sit in the ashes and wait, hoping that joy and hope will return.

"Let him bury his face in the dust— there may yet be hope.
I called on your name, Lord , from the depths of the pit.  
You heard my plea: “Do not close your ears to my cry for relief.”  
You came near when I called you,
and you said, “Do not fear.”

Lamentations 3:29, 55-57 NIV