I sit alone after the children are finally, and actually, really asleep. After all of the books have been read, teeth have been brushed, baths have been spilled onto the tile floor, last gulps of milk swallowed, and every worry from the day hammered out, I am alone. My aloneness has always been a treacherous place. Past me’s have filled this time ambiguously, even destructively. My avoidance of any real self-examination took years to work out. Years and disasters. Marriages lost, too much time away from my precious son and thousands of dollars of therapy all made it perfectly clear that I, yes, the little girl who was fearless and genius and joyful, this “I” had grown up into as messy a person as can be found. And every moment alone, as good for me as it is, if not properly channeled can still becomes a barrage of self-accusations and a torrent of tears. And, good grief I have not even mentioned the vastness of my worries. The personification of these demons like a great army resembling Tolkien level terror and detail. I stare at them each with their snouts and their swords, and honestly, mostly, I just feel tired. I’m just exhausted of them. But this exhaustion, this is the worst place. No fear or anger, no sword in my own hand ready to take them down, I just want to lie down, let them run me over, fall asleep and put them away in the hurry and bustle of the next day.
But my mind holds no cavern large enough to contain these worries. Nor am I the Scarlet O’Hara type who can put just anything aside for another day. Although I do, I just don’t do it well. At least I can name these ghastly creatures. I was born right before the Milllennial generation. I’m fragments of two generations with a personality as puzzling as my guilty pleasure mentality towards facebook and disdain for Snapchat. And my worries and cares quite easily match the two generations I straddle.
Financial success? Yes, please. Now when will this happen?
How am I going to make an impact? Why is raising children not enough?
Who am I supposed to be? Is this even a valid question? Am I so coddled and American that I have missed the fact that to even ask this question is a luxury? Since I can, shouldn’t I ask it? If I don’t find the answer, is hell waiting for me? (This one goes on and on for lifetimes of good solid, hypothetical fun.)
What if I stall here forever trying to figure out who I’m supposed to be? What if this isn’t the right question? What if I’m a spoiled brat with no right to ask this question? (Here we go again)
I believe everything is spiritual.
It concerns me that everything is spiritual.
I love the fact that everything is spiritual.
If the G-d I believe in exists, as I know He does, will He give up on me? If not, how much punishment do I need to become the sort of human He wants me to be? Is it actually not God, and am I just punishing myself because I’m clearly, obviously, a mental basket case in this regard, and, as stated above, everything is spiritual?
Does God care if I get out of debt? Does he care if I ever do something I feel is meaningful with my life? Does He show up anymore? He used to. Where is he? Where am I? Oh bother. I don’t drink, but isn’t this the sort of conversation you have over a scotch and cigar just to freaking take the edge off?!
In the midst of the years of this truly clarifying discovery process (no hint of sarcasm here) I’ve also been given three of the greatest gifts. The first was to join in the throngs of believers who are discovering Biblical truth. The gift that I’ve been terrified of sharing, although it is the only thing I know I’m supposed to do without a doubt. Stunningly, this gift has come through no work of my own, except my now fevered study in the subject that has me rooted and grounded and in love in the best and only ways someone like me can be. The second gift was my incredible second husband, and the third being our lovely daughter. No doubt these gifts happening in conjunction with one another are G-d’s way of teaching me his provision and love and great gifting ability as the perfect Father.
But the first gift is the one that requires something of me in the world outside of my little family. This gift came because, well, I think it is because I asked G-d to reveal Himself to me. I asked Him to do something larger and greater in my spirit, because my divorce, my loss, was going to crush me. There was not going to be anything left. And this one simple request for revelation was granted. Despite the confusing questions that haunt me, the truth is, I’ve been allowed access to more information about the infinite than I ever thought possible. I don’t deserve it, but grace is more meaningful in the moment you understand what is and is not deserved. And my undeserving self knows it is time to give this information to others because it was given to me by such gracious teachers and by the ultimate Heavenly Father.
I also know that this knowledge of G-d’s ways has actually, in REALITY, changed my life. The promise of following Yeshua came true when I began to enact the ways of Yahweh. No, I didn’t become filthy rich. I am ABSOLUTELY NOT a prosperity gospel believer. No, this is far more meaningful. This is freedom and life. Accumulation of things will not give you peace, joy, fulfillment or freedom. But the ways of our Father will. It is the promise and He keeps His Word. Undeniably, the fruit of this teaching has been lacking from the American church experience as more and more “followers” fall into addiction and denial, eventually leaving the church for other, more true experiences. Like Yoga or meditation or therapy or the intellectual stimulation of atheism or Buddhism. And G-d? He has been lumped in with all of this. As if He is interchangeable, rearrangeable, cultural, social, and “ready to party” with any theory as long as our version of “love” is at its core. As if.
Now you may ask, “How can you of all people know anything about G-d. Your life is a mess.” How very astute of you, and yes, I have asked G-d this very question. But the truth is, my life in this moment, is not actually a mess. I am not at my ultimate potential. But I’m heading there. It is all, every piece of my past, actually being processed. Which is so much better than stuffing your old dirty laundry in a box and hoping it doesn’t stink up your bedroom over the years. It surely will. And one night, when the smell is as high as Heaven, you will be very sorry that you didn’t take care of it in the daylight when you had the energy. Love of G-d doesn’t turn you into a different person right away, it does something much more difficult. It allows your torturous self to become useful in the building of your perfect self. Your past is still your past, but it can become your becoming, your beautification, if you allow it. The old stories that you thought were just fine turn dank and dark and sad and then… they become your reason for gratefulness, your testimony. Your newness shines out so brightly that the old, worldly things that seemed to have a sparkle are as dull as dirt. Humility emerges as the most important tool that will allow you to work, to strive, to reach for the only Perfection that can perfect you. Anyway, some part of me has desired this renewal and there is only one name that can bring it about.
That Name called me out. And now, here I am, about to write to you with questions and teachings that will certainly have many church-goers, heck, even pastors, up in arms. But so be it. I will seek peace with every naysayer and track down answers to every good question. It is not about debating other believers, it is about discussing the part of us and of life that is everything. Our spiritual journey and our walk with G-d cannot be discounted. If G-d is requiring something, our answer can only be “Yes, Lord. Your servant is listening.” Or let us not call ourselves followers of Yeshua. Then let us be something else. For the sake of honesty, clarity and humility. We must be realistic about our pursuit and response to the Creator of the universe. To Him we either give a yes or no, even if you don’t want to admit it. There is never a maybe. A maybe is a no. There is never, I’ll think about it tomorrow. That is surely a rejection or a yes put off to another, more convenient, moment. Yes or no. So here we are with yes and with no and with pursuit or rejection. Whichever you choose, just at least be honest about your choice.
And this is why I’ve shared my story, my journey, and my loneliness at this very hour of writing. My honesty is not to encourage more worries. If you’ve never asked my questions you probably don’t need to. You probably have your own. No, I want to encourage you to face every one of your fears, in a present and pure state of mind, ask every question. And, if you intend to read the words I wish to share, first ask that G-d reveal His own nature and self to you. And test every word, every teaching to the word of G-d. There is no other teaching. Nothing can be added to it, nothing taken away. It is, it has been, and it always will be. It is only up to us to properly use it in teaching and instruction. May we interpret it with the eyes of the Holy Spirit as our guide. May we be given deeper understanding and knowledge because it is needed so desperately in our days and times. You are an important generation, an important human being and your mind is purposeful and useful and made for greatness. Even if this is just a challenge, I hope that you take it. This is my first letter to you. Now, we begin.