it is strange, how joy pains. in the burn of the ache, there is this unexpected sensation of immense moon slowly shrinking and God expanding, widening and deepening my inner spaces. is that why joy hurts - God stretching us open to receive more of Himself? - ann voskamp this morning, my eye caught on something i wrote in my journal on december 31: i need a lightbulb moment, i scrawled hastily in between the lines of a dirty page still dotted with dry tears. it was a heavy night for me. my heart weighed down with unseen force and i fought this inner battle i didn't even know how to wage. i felt the anger brim - the cynicism breathe in readiness. i knew i needed something, anything, to break through and shine a magnifying glass on my hidden deep.
now, a month and a half later, i'm forced to laugh. when i sent a plea for a lightbulb moment, i never anticipated the ripping open of memory. when the weightiness of an unseen force stopped me cold, i never imagined it to take form in buried fears and trauma. and when i believed in faith the lightbulb moment would catapult me into a period of longing and falling more in love with Him & His goodness, wading through knee-deep mud never crossed my mind.
but here i am.
i feel the widening and deepening constantly. and it's this joy-pain i cling to and want to throw away. it's just so uncomfortable to feel. i half consider the bliss of numbness until i read His words to me reminding me He went through everything and suffered so i would know it could be done [1 peter 2:21]. and isn't this the life i'm supposed to live? breaking and receiving glory to bring others closer to His healing?
well, yes. but this doesn't make it any easier.
some days, the lies pierce my heart skin before i even know what hits. i'm brought to my knees with the pain and sorrow. i'm frustrated with my own weakness. why haven't i learned this lesson? why haven't i crossed this mountain? i hesitate showing my scars and bite my lip from sharing. the last thing anyone needs is more of my tears. i hide myself from my love because surely he's exhausted from my own struggle.
and then i remember: it's okay to not be okay.
the weakening of my defenses makes me prone to attack, but my Protector stands at the ready. just like He did years ago, He holds His arms against those who come to fight me while wiping the tears from my cheeks. and the widening and deepening fill with an understanding of Joy and Hope. though exhausted, i'm left with the clarity of leaving myself in His care.
leaving my heart in His possession means a painstaking and watchful attention over my life. the protection i crave comes immediate. the release i fear eases me into a safety i never imagined. and though i know the pain comes in waves and the reprieve i know is just a moment, i thirst for more of Him - more of His fierce glory coursing through my veins and replacing my sin with His blood. i'm no longer timid but wild-eyed, running to His arms so bent on catching me when i fall. pain brings glory. suffering breeds intimacy.
my heart kneels in submission.
sweet Jesus give me more until there's nothing left but You.