Saturday, February 24, 2007

Untitled Composition #1

Yes, I know that You have paved a path for me
Yes, I know that You see what I do and don't need
But when it comes to the deepest things,
I have a hard time relinquishing control
Letting go

(chorus)
God, it hurts to give You what I must lay down
But when I let go, freedom is found.
God, it hurts to give You what I've held so dear
Because of Your love, it's clear
I can trust You with this
I can trust You with me
I can trust You

Lord, I know that You are worthy of my trust
You have shown me time and time again
You're faithful And yet,
I'm so scared of letting go of this
Afraid of what You might do with it
How could I forget Who You are like this?

(chorus)

Me forsaking
Heart is breaking
I let go of what I’ve held so tight
Freedom’s mine now
For the taking
I move in faith, not by sight
Let Your will be done

(chorus)

--Rebecca St. James


There was a time in my life when I experienced more growth as a person than any other period of my life. For about a year of my life, I gave in to what this song is talking about, turning my life over to God's will as much as I was able and knew how. So many things I just decided, "You know? I can live without this and instead dedicate the energy I was focusing into that to God instead." It was something that I had tossed around in the back of my mind for a long time before I actually did it, but I was always afraid that I'd be giving up something that I really didn't want to live without.

When I finally surrendered, I experienced the most alive year of my life that I've ever had.

I'm so scared of letting go of this
Afraid of what You might do with it
How could I forget Who You are like this?
Those lines express my feelings so well. After having done that, then falling back into the comfortable "live life as though there's nothing more than what you can see" lifestyle, I still look back at that as the best year of my life.

Why is it so hard to decide to do it again? Maybe I no longer actually do trust Him? I don't think that's it though. I think it's that I don't want to live there. Part of me - that depraved piece of corrupted humanity in us all - would rather just live life being no different than anyone else. It doesn't mind being quirky, and it never hinders me from being the center of attention, but it absolutely hates the idea of being the person that I was turning into.

Who was I turning into? I was turning into a man of God. Someone unashamed of Who he served, someone longing for a deepening of the most meaningful relationship a person can have. When did all this end? Soon after moving to school I found myself away from all of the influences who helped me back home and I found myself in the midst of a whole new set of influences.

For the most part, I despised everything about these new influences. Many of them were vulgar, crass, and rude. I knew that I didn't want to be influenced by them, so I did the easiest thing I knew how to do - I withdrew. I closed myself off from as many as I could and retreated into the quietness of my own mind.

Except that's not what a Christian is supposed to do. We've not been called to retreat from the world or to alienate ourselves from it. We've been called to live in it, to touch it, affect it, send ripples through it, and be an influence to it. I can't imagine a single person on this campus to whom I've been an influence in any way - I don't know that I've had conversations about anything more interesting or weighty than the weather with more than...2 people on this campus. Both of them are graduated, only one of them do I keep any kind of contact with any more. Now I find myself just enduring school, hoping to graduate and be done with it so that I can just go home and be away from this place.

Home won't be the way I remembered it, though. It's changed, I've changed...the relationship that inspired such strong changes in me no longer exists....

Where does this leave me? I don't know.
Yivarechicha Adonai V'yishmirecha;
Ya-Ayr Adonai panav Aylecha v'yichunecha;
Yee-saw Adonai panav Aylecha v'ya-saym l'cha shalom.

4 comments:

JadeGordon said...

I don't know if I have an especially coherent thought to offer, but I can offer a collection of thoughts!

As of late, you've gotten a small glimpse of my background, and the dramallama that all was. The healing process was long, and is ongoing (it never really ends, I think). To learn how to cope so that it wasn't completely crippling me every day was a difficult journey. I think in some ways, it's easier to let go and give yourself up to lots of things when you're younger, but as you get older, and burned repeatedly (or simply exposed to more of the world), you can gain a sort of wisdom that helps keep you from being careless with your trust.

There's a bit of luck, a bit of a trick, and a lot of patience in not allowing that sort of wisdom to be overridden by cynicism. The notions that I cling to are letting go (ask Zillia sometime about who I was when she met me, vs. now), and refusing as many expectations as possible. Life happens, good and bad. Expecting anything just leaves one feeling disappointed and disillusioned on top of things going badly.

I do think you might be missing something. You may not feel like you've made connection local to you, but perhaps you were needed elsewhere? There is, I think, great futility in trying to touch people with goodwill who will outright refuse it or who are not ready, but where people will hear you, it's a wonderful thing to spread the happy. You have reached out and touched lives many miles from where you are, and touched them with good and positive things. That took place in a very not traditional form, but the positivity that you spread is as real as anything you could do in person.

My path thus far... Hope lingers - as does appreciation, respect, awe. Life is ever changing, horrible, wonderful, and complex. I suspect after a number of cataclysmic introspections, experiences, and revelations, my brain figured out that yeah, that's just going to keep happening, I can stop being reduced to utter panic and patheticness each time. All things shall pass. When the bad things pass, whoo hoo!! When the good things pass, I learn more how I could have taken the time to appreciate it, so that next time the good stuff doesn't slip away as easily (and it treasured as much as possible).

Hmm... well, there are a few things I told Germy a while ago. Maybe they bear repeating?

"... only ever known him to be amazingly patient, calm, kind, generous, helpful, funny, and sweet..."

"Whatever the differences may be with our ideology, I really care about him and respect him a great deal, and would only ever support him and encourage him to do what makes him healthy and happy."

And that's all still true. I am not religious in any way. I do, however, respect you and what you believe is right for yourself. I think what matters most is that you take care of yourself, care about who you are, and follow the path that truly makes your life peaceful and happy. There will be no shortage of people who will love you and embrace you if you embrace yourself.

Also... being quirky, and wanting to be something of a performer is not corrupt and depraved! I would imagine that within your faith, there is plenty of room for people being diverse, layered, and fun. (-:

Lori Ann said...

I've been a Christian since I was about 3. That is, at a very early age, I took a step to accept God's gift of grace. I have a strong Christian base in my family and the friends I grew up with. But I can't really say that I lived my faith until recently.
Oh, I was the first child, perfectionist, never-consider-serious-rebellion always color in the lines girl. Good grades, go to church, believe what they taught there. But it only recently came alive. I took part in a Beth Moore women's Bible study about the fruit of the Spirit that really woke me up. Before she dug into love, joy, peace,... Beth took us through a thorough description of the Spirit of God. And what hit me in Beth's message was this: God not only changes our lives, but changes our DAY. Right now, I can yield to the spirit that lives in me and my day can be radically different for it. Today! And, Trol, oh, yeah, can I identify with the Alive part. It defies words (really, right now, can't describe it).
So in response to what you've written, I offer this. The step back to that Alive year is not a grand, daunting one. It's a daily conversation.
Oh, and my last thought is this. At school, you may have retreated from those around you, but you haven't shut off completely. You've had us. And you've impacted us. And we've impacted you. And at this moment, we continue to impact each other.

TurboNed said...

Thanks for the thoughts...as always, lots to think about....

Winterson said...

In my experience the "alive" feeling is just that -- a feeling. It's kind of like the feeling of falling in love: intense, a little frightening, thrilling, very "real." And it's not something that can be summoned on command.

A while ago, I stopped trying to "feel" or "be" any specific way. You can't choose when you learn life lessons, you just have to keep living life. From the Josspel, Book of Buffy, Season 6:

"Life's not a song.
Life isn't bliss, life is just this, it's living.
You'll get along,
The pain that you feel, you only can heal by living.
You have to go on living.

...

The hardest thing in this world is to live in it."

-- Winterson