Dark Hour Diaries

4:36 a.m.
I shouldn't be awake.
I don't want to be awake.
I am very much Awake.
Not to say that I am having coherent thought processes. No, ma'am. I stopped having those before I even got to midnight.
I unthinkingly ate something I shouldn't have. That didn't turn out so well for me. I spent the day hanging out with a varying crowd of people I'm not sure really like me. I tend to think that of a lot of people. When you know yourself very well, you wonder why people stick around. I mean, really, is the fact that I cry at literally anything and everything that appealing to you?
To add to my problem, before I gave up on the whole 'sleeping' notion, I took my not-so-happy medication. How it makes me feel is implied in my term of endearment for it. Mucho pain.  Mucho mucho. I take it before bed for a reason: trying to sleep through some of the worst.
Bang goes that theory.
2 a.m. found me sobbing. Thinking sad thoughts. Writing an email, and then only sending the not-quite-sad bits.
3 a.m. and I knew sleep was not happening.
3:30. I was on the floor in a ball, reading Psalms, sipping tea, listening to worship music, and still trying not to cry, and failing.
4:46 and I am here, writing. I'm calmer, but as I said, coherent thoughts? I miss them.
I am begging God to show up, because if I have ever felt insufficient, it is now. If I've ever felt weak, tired, broken, it's now. If I ever wanted to give up, it is right here and now.
My words are useless without Him. I honestly cannot make it through this day if He does not intervene.
I am so tired. And not just because I need sleep. I am tired of breathing. This constant inhale/exhale routine is driving me insane, and I don't know how much longer I can keep it up. Eating is a struggle, because it takes so much effort nowadays, and I've never really loved it enough to consider it worth it. So the pounds drop when they oughtn't, and I find myself a shell in more ways than one. I feel empty, and not in quite the way I wanted to.
There was this miraculous, beautiful time of filling up, and I know now, it was to prepare me to be knocked over. To be frank, I sometimes feel like my cup was smashed too, for good measure.
Pain escalated.
Support decreased.
Comforting things were taken away.
Darkness dared try to drown out the light.
Tonight, I felt sure it had nigh succeeded.
I've found the darkness inside of me is the hardest to beat. It's like preparing to battle some scary, obviously evil foe, and then suddenly facing a seemingly innocent habit of your own. That's what you're expected to fight. You feel confident, and then you approach it. You think, maybe you don't have to defeat it; maybe you can turn it into one of the good guys. Your guard is let down, and your foe swings wildly at you, showing the evil you denied existed.
Completely ridiculous. What the blimey.
So I cry on the floor of my sister's empty bedroom and I try hard to breathe.

... Time passes.
I unplug the laptop.
Unlock doors.
Walk outside barefoot, in my pajamas.
The ground is wet with dew, and my breath comes out like smoke.

It's almost here.
A sliver of moon shines brightly as I shiver.
I am waiting for the dawn.
Truth is, I've been waiting for it all night. I've been typing here with no clue what my conclusion would be. These words were me forcing myself to put my thoughts into sentences. Because my brain wasn't cutting it. This has been a prayer of sorts. Call me strange, but yes. I hear God best when I force myself to talk to Him in a way that acknowledges Him. My mind can ramble all night, but I encounter Him most when I speak aloud, put pen to paper, or fingers to a keyboard. Because this is me, admitting that my God is real and relevant.
I wait for Him in the morning. The sky is caught between gray haze and the brilliant coming dawn. I relate. The birds sing like madmen, and I have to wonder how I never wake up to their chatter, like a giant crowd speaking over each other, and yet unified.
Like prayer in the Dominican Republic.
I look at the sky again, and it makes me think: does the gray sky have any idea what's coming? In all it's dismal fog, I have to reason no. It's got no blubbering clue. Yet this insignificant girl with her glaring computer screen can see it: the tinge of yellow on the bright blue that is creeping over the trees. I can see how the night was worth it. I can see the beauty and restoration that was done. I feel the dew between my toes, and I know that the rest of the night was worth it. I know that God reigns supreme over the morning. Over the night. Over everything between.
And it's here, on a log, in a field, surrounded by half-light, kept company by a cat, rambling on a blog, that I am forced to acknowledge Him.
Don't think that I mean a shoving kind of force.
He was gentle. He drew me here, barely speaking a word, and just bid me look. And after looking, I am physically, emotionally, and spiritually unable to deny that He is good. I cannot say He does not care. Or that He isn't with me and for me in this and every moment.
I still await the sacred sunrise. The light is revealing everything already, but I want to see the shine; the moment when the sun comes up and all is glory and grace and I cannot help but be in awe.
I already am in awe. Completely stricken by the love of my Savior.
Oh, Jesus. I scarce can take it in.
Minutes pass. The sky turns purple. The cat purrs on.
A rooster crows in the distance and I'm plumb grateful for the patch of country I grew up in.
It's almost here. I can hear this truth as much as I can see it ... feel it, too. In the way the birds sing all the wilder. The way the gray completely dissipates. How I'm no longer shivering.
My heart takes a note: the birds aren't waiting til the dawn is fully here to sing. They've been proclaiming it's coming since they woke up to find darkness.
I think of our coming Lord and I can't help but grin, to think of a Light far more brilliant than the sun I can't yet see.
I practice waiting.
I wish I could show you the way the tiny clouds above the trees are reflecting the light; heralding it's coming as if to drown out the voices of the naysayers, to give faith to the doubter, hope to those who have been waiting all. night.
It's coming.
Just wait a minute more, darling.
He'll show Himself. But He's been here all along. Look.
I stand up, stretch stiff bones, crane my neck because it's here, but it's not here yet.
I climb a hill on my tiptoes. Almost.

I am back in a cold bedroom with a hot cup of coffee. Because my laptop fell asleep. One of us had to.
I stepped backward farther, then fully turned around and realized where I was headed: the garden. The product of hard work, faith, sun, and rain. I sunk my toes in the dirt and examined the things all a'bloom. The green tomatoes. The flowers on the squash plants. More truth of God's faithfulness was rising in my mind and heart, and then I saw it.
There was no dramatic "ahhhhhhhhhhhh" moment as the sun glamorously ascended over the treeline. No. Just three beams breaking through the clouds. Radiant, simple daybreak.
He is here and the earth? Well, it never stopped singing His praises. Can we blame it? I'd rather join in.
6:29 a.m.

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