In this moment, I am keenly aware of my own weakness. Most of my body is pulsating with pain. Sleep hasn't sounded so good in a long time. I join in earth's labor pains for Christ's return; for heaven and restoration. Arms to hold me.
I long to be emptied of something. All of me trembles, and I wonder as to what I could release that would bring relief. It's one of those odd moments when I actually want to throw up; to dispose of whatever's inside me. Or maybe just cry. Long, wailing, freeing sobs. This longing has reached other parts of me also. Spending many a moment in a huddled mass of pain somehow makes you familiar with what's inside you; your true, unfiltered nature. I don't like what I see. I want to expel myself from my body, abandoning pride, self-reliance, selfish ambition, my so-called rights, my plans, my preferences, greed, rebellious nature, judgments, fears ... everything must be surrendered to Him, because I am unable to trust myself. I need Him to take control of my life. In order for me to grow, I must shrink. Less of me, more of Him. Emptying me of my self, to make room for Him. An infinite God doesn't fit into the tiny corner of my heart clearly labeled, "Religion." If I put Him there, I shouldn't be surprised if the only evidence I see of Him in my life is just as small and understated. Suddenly, the phrase, "full of myself" makes so much more sense.
I feel as though I've walked up to an ocean and removed a cup of water from it; emptied it somewhere in the distance. That is what it is like to become aware of the vastness of the dark within oneself.
"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." (John 1:5)
It has always been this way, the light being stronger than the dark. If it is my practice to empty myself one "cup" at a time of the darkness, and fill the empty space with light, I am a fool if I think it will make no difference.
I've started by being quiet. Words are such a major part of my life, I know full well the power they can hold. I want that power to be for the good. So I'm practicing. In the areas where my words could make a difference, I try and weigh them before speaking. I don't judge them by my own standards as was once my habit. I don't worry over what people will think of me. I go to God. I ask Him to weigh my words by His standard, and I pray that they would reflect well on Him, and not on me. Many times daily, my prayer has been, "Your words, or none at all." Because, again, I don't trust myself. I shouldn't. I tend to string a lot of words together, making them sound so right and holy, and then I gather up all the acclaim for myself. I hear to respond, not to listen, oftentimes. I rely on my own head knowledge and feeble strength, and it leaves me broken, striving for acceptance. In going to Him, I lay down my thoughts and preconceived notions, and I ask Him to simply take control; to fill my mind, mouth and paper with His truth and wisdom.
I cannot express how beautiful it is to hear His voice. To have words fill my mind, and to know they are not my own; that they are truth.
I've quieted myself so I can hear Him better. I pause the music. Certain music I stopped listening to altogether. I beg God to help me glue my bitter tongue to the roof of my mouth ... to stop the judgement, bitterness, resentment, anger, pride, and discouragement from escaping past my lips. I wish I could say that every word was swallowed. I haven't been writing here much ... realizing that here, my words have more impact than I can determine. I don't want you to open this page to read self-righteous words and almost-truths. I write at my weakest, because it is in it that His power is made most manifest. When I am already at the point of depending on Him to help me breathe through the pain, I find it comes more easily to sacrifice control in other areas as well. So I pray, and I write, and God, please use this. I've stopped sending the sweet little encouragement texts that were really just a way for me to hear from my friends and give myself a little gold star. I seek God now before sending words that speak of Him, offer advice, or encourage. May they hear Him and not I. The more I talk to Him, the more I am aware of my need for Him. The more I am aware of my need for Him, the more I talk to Him. It's the most beautiful cycle I've ever known. The dark is slowly backing away as it becomes evident that my heart is no longer its territory.
Silence has found new meaning to me. It is here that His still, small voice is heard.