I am in a state of despair. I'm not quite sure how I got here but here I am anyway. It's too familiar.
I wake up in the mornings not wanting to get out of bed. I feel like I don't sleep all night. I drag myself out of bed because I have 4 kids and a puppy to take care of. I survive my days.
Survive. Not live.
What does that look like?
It looks like often doing the bare minimum to keep the house from getting out of control with messiness. It means feeding my kids and often not really myself because I just don't care. It means crying. A lot. It means watching the hours tick by, waiting for the time when I can put everyone to bed and sit and drown in my thoughts, contemplating my situation.
I am frustrated with myself. It's not like I don't know God is here. I know He is. Somewhere. I think I just saw this dark tunnel and thought "oh, what's in there?" and before I knew it, I was trapped. The thick darkness drew me in, grabbing me with tendrils creeping out behind me, pulling me in with a familiar feeling masking itself as nostalgia or some other comforting thing.
I can't believe I fell for it.
And through the darkness, I pray to God to help me find my way through, to strengthen me and protect me as I wander around in this dark place trying to figure out what I can take away from it. What can I throw in my bag of collected lessons and pains I've endured and everything else that has made me who I am? What can I give to Him to show Him I have faith? That I believe. That I will need Him for the rest of my life whether I'm in despair or not?
I look around through the darkness, gathering items for my collection. Trying to create something from them that I know I can be proud of; something I know He wants me to make from all of this. I stare at the vast expanse of black before me, sensing I am not alone but knowing there is much more in here than me and God. It's a difficult task to decipher the good and bad in the dark. I have to rely on my faith to find the light..... And on my strength which only comes from the One who loves me and will guide me through the darkness.
I am scared.
I have no idea when the darkness will end. It seems I've been in and out of it my whole life. I run ahead of it sometimes, thinking I'm far enough away but then it finds me; in the distance it is there somehow, waiting for me.
I am restless.
I work so hard to create what I can from my collection. I try so hard to do what I think I'm supposed to do. But sometimes it does not help me get out of this darkness any faster. And sometimes I can do nothing but sit and wait for Him to guide me. There is so much I want to do but sometimes, I just have to rely on Him to do it for me. There is so much that I think I need but I can't seem to understand, or rather I often forget, that He is the only thing I need. I often put my sights on other things- more immediate things- to fill this void I feel growing each day, to envelope the despair as it has enveloped me and destroy it as it has destroyed me at times. But they will always fall short.
What are these things?
They are my husband, my children, my family, my friends. My dreams and my wants. My past mistakes, my future plans. The pain I've endured and the joy I've felt.
They are my collection.
And I realize that I am in this darkness because I enter into it to find my collection after having dumped it out to give to God to do what He wants with it. I have left it to Him and in His control through my trust and faith in Him. But in my weakness and in my moments of doubt, I am frantic, trying to collect it again to do what I want with it; to get what I need out of it; to make it what I want it to be for myself.
The one thing I would like to find as I wander around in this darkness is the strength to dump my collection out one final time and give it to God completely, without taking it back. To let Him use it for His purposes in my life and to let Him be the only thing I look to for fulfillment of all my needs and desires.
Until then, I will just be restless.
"My heart is restless, O God, until it rests in Thee." ~St. Augustine