I want to stop talking about the darkness. I really do.
I have every reason not to talk about it. Life is not where it was only a couple of months. It’s a new year with new opportunities. I’m even planning, setting goals, which is a big deal for someone deathly afraid of leaving a record of his failure. There are dreams to dream and things to do and creative projects that have me truly excited. I feel like I’m moving out of the woods.
I don’t want to talk about the darkness, but the darkness isn’t going anywhere.
It hit me again this week.
I don’t know if it’s life right now or the nature of my day job, but the days are blurring together. For most of yesterday I honestly didn’t realize it was Sunday. It felt like any other day. Weekends and weekdays feel pretty much the same.
I was reminded, though, that it’s already one week into 2017. It feels like forever and yet it seems as if I’m running out of time. Again, I’m not sure where that feeling comes from, but it’s infuriating.
Because I’m making progress. It’s only one week in, and I’ve already set out goals. I’ve made a list of all my creative projects and I’m working on timelines.
I bought a whiteboard, which is a big thing for me. I’ve wanted one for a while. And Friday night I sat on my bed with all my Planathon notes and actually wrote out goals for this year, which, again, is a big deal for me. I was feeling good.
And maybe that’s why it found me again.
Because the very next night it felt like the bottom of the world dropped out for a second. I was journaling as I do every evening. My journal entries these days are somewhere between my own thoughts and a running conversation with, or at, God.
And maybe that’s why it happened. Because there are things we think in our heads that we don’t say to God, things we can’t, things we know we shouldn’t.
So, as I’m writing this journal, as I’m being honest about my thoughts and feelings, there’s a disconnect, however small, between what I’m thinking and what I’m writing. And that night the disconnect go so large I stopped writing.
That’s not really accurate. I kept writing, but it wasn’t words. Halfway through a sentence, the pencil stopped and instead of forming a letter scrawled a thick, uneven line across the page.
My hand rebelled. It wasn’t going to lie anymore.
If you think about it God should be the one person we can say anything to. It feels like God could take whatever we can dish out. But we don’t. I know I don’t, at least. We dress up our language, or we leave things unsaid entirely.
It’s not like God doesn’t already know, but somehow, in our heads, we think if we don’t say them then maybe they aren’t as bad as we think they are.
I asked God to show up. In truth, I’ve asked the same thing for months, with as much urgency as conviction as I did on Saturday night. I asked because I wasn’t sure God had shown up. It didn’t feel like it.
And before you start, no, I don’t want to have a conversation on not “feeling” God. I know every counterargument and objection. It’s because I know them that I usually don’t ask God that question. It’s why I don’t feel that I’m allowed to.
And it’s why some part of me refused to take it anymore, freezing the muscles in my hand until I had it out. Until I said what I was really feeling and not just what I wanted to be feeling.
I don’t know if we’re allowed to ask God to keep promises. I don’t know if it’s sacrilege, or just a bad idea, to demand God show up. I just know I don’t know what else to ask.
I’ve asked for patience. I’ve asked for faith. I’ve asked for hope. But one thing all of these have in common is that they look towards something. A promise, a truth. We should wait in them, but eventually something has to happen, otherwise all we’re doing is waiting. Something has to change, otherwise what are we hoping, having faith, and being patient for?
I don’t want to talk about the darkness anymore. I want the darkness to go away. I want to get out of the woods. I want God to show up and do something about it.
I finally read Rupi Kaur’s book, "Milk and Honey", this week. I picked it up and instantly knew it was a book I was going to be moved by. It has that look about it. (It actually reminds me of Kayla Hollatz’s “Brave Little Bones”.)
But I didn’t even need to get to the first poem to have my suspicions confirmed. The dedication got me.
my heart woke me crying last night
how can I help I begged
my heart said
write the book
And that’s why I have to keep talking about the darkness, writing about the darkness, because that’s how you get rid of it. That’s why I have to keep asking questions without answers, because that’s how you get the answers.
That’s why I have to keep asking God to show up, because maybe that’s how God does.
I don’t want to write about the darkness anymore, but that’s what the darkness wants. So I write, to push it back even a little.
But I’m not going to lie anymore, and I think God wants that. I think God would take anything over nothing. I think God far prefers our objections to our silence.