Below is a piece I wrote a few months back, when I was in a much different place spiritually and emotionally. I’m posting it here now because when I recently went back and reread it, I was stunned by the raw emotion within it. I have edited it only slightly for content, so please forgive the grammar. I have written a response to this piece, which follows this post.
I want to believe and trust in you Lord. I want so badly for this to be the norm to be who I am just like it was years and years ago – back when it was easy to trust you and I didn’t question everything. I just took your word as it came, realized and accepted that the promises were for me and carried on with life, trusting you for things. Oh, it wasn’t always that easy and simple – by no means was it that way. But at several points in my life it WAS that way, I did trust you and feel one with you, believing that you had my best interests at heart, believing that you loved me and cared for me. I guess deep down I still believe those things – that you want only the best for me. However, it’s so easy now to doubt all that. I’ve been through so many trials, so much heartache, so much pain and numbing depression for so long that I can’t help but doubt, can’t help but wonder what the reason is for all this. I wonder what purpose you could possibly have in mind for all this. I wonder why you don’t make it all go away. I believe that you have the power to make it disappear once and for all. You have the power to enable me to enjoy life, to begin each day knowing that there’s a reason, a purpose that I got out of bed, that it’s not just another random day in my boring, monotonous life. I believe that you can do all this, so why don’t you? Why don’t you allow me some happiness like I used to have in my life? Why did I have to peak at 13, 14, 15? I’m now 42 – that’s a long time to struggle and be unhappy. Yes, I’ve had a few good times, but they have been few and far between. And lately they’ve been very few with a lot of in between. I remember Daddy sitting on the carport almost every night after work, after a swig or two of whiskey. He’d drink coffee and smoke, just staring off into the distance toward the end of the lot. What was he thinking about all these years, when he was 50 or 60 years old? – after I’d already come onto the scene. Was he pondering his failures in life? Was he wishing that he’d never contracted TB and had to leave the city, bitter that he was living out his life in a podunk little town? Probably he thought about all these things and many more which I’ll never know about, never coming close to thinking about. What deep, dark secrets had he packed away in his head? The bigger question is this: will I be doing this same thing for the rest of my life? Will I sit and stare and ponder and regret and wish and hope – not dreaming, because those days are long past. It is too late for dreams now. They are things for youth, those who have energy and zest for life, those who have not been weighed down by heartache and pain and disappointment and depression for decades. For years now I have sat outside, mostly in the evenings, pondering, regretting, mournful about the past, bitter about the future, feeling stuck in a drab, joyless existence for the rest of my days – feeling powerless to change anything in my life, resigned to accept what I’ve got and drift along with the current through the rest of the lazy river of life, until I reach the end and have to turn in my innertube. It’s not been a fun ride. I thought these things (life) were supposed to be pleasant, relaxing, enjoyable. I look around and see others taking pleasure in their ride. They’re laughing with family and friends, enjoying a cool drink along the way, kicked back on their innertube, sunglasses and sunscreen on to protect them from too much of a good thing. Then I look at myself — I have none of those things. Yes I have a family to enjoy (which I do), but no cool drink, no sunglasses, no sunscreen. I’m squinting from the glare all the way around the path. And I’m not even on the innertube, just holding on with one arm while in the water, shoulders getting more and more sunburned. Yes, there are others I notice who don’t even have an innertube. They’re dog paddling, trying to stay afloat and conserve their energy at the same time, hoping not to get a cramp before they reach the end. Looking at their plight does, in a way, make me thankful for my innertube to hang on to, thankful for my family to talk to. But, it also causes me to question the ride, the whole experience. Why do these people have so little, when others have so much? Why is that elderly man so miserable on his journey, fighting to keep his head above water with nothing to grasp on to, when just a few feet away a 20-something sips his lemonade, holds hands with his young wife, and playfully dangles his feet in the same water which threatens to overtake the old man? Why was he not given an innertube as well? It doesn’t seem fair. Oh, I know – nobody ever said life was fair. But what about the fact that none of us even asked to get on this ride? We didn’t sign up for it, not me, not the old man, not the 20-something. We all just somehow found ourselves here, only in vastly different circumstances. We didn’t ask to get on the ride, and we can’t get off the ride (oh, there’s a way, but it’s not desirable). The old guy can question aloud why he didn’t get an innertube, but nobody has acknowledged him yet, much less given him any relief. I’d like to have some sunglasses, even a cheap dollar store pair, but so far nothing. I squint while another smiles with ease.