Saturday, October 31, 2009

28 Days of Joy -- Day 13

I want to write.


I hate isolation. I want a heart to be right in the middle of things.

So I end up sitting alone on a "writing night" and wondering if I'm doing the right thing...conflicted and torn. This is what I told Sally yesterday on the phone. Um, says she, this might be a novel idea, but what about just asking the Lord what He wants you to do with these chunks of time? Ah, yes, duh. Then if He says to write, I won't feel like I'm being isolationist in shutting the world out. And if He says to play (or relate) I won't feel guilty over time "wasted". I'll do it.

So I lay down by the fire last night, being pressed on by a multitude of very powerful, fruitless thoughts. And find myself interceding for a family I've not seen for a year. Each of them, each of them so important to the Lord - each of them, each of them with no knowledge of this fact. And at the end, when I get up to cook the beet harvest, I suddenly know: that's what He wanted me to do tonight.

That was Your agenda!

Neither writing nor playing. Praying. And every lying voice of worthlessness and waste had been silenced.

Yes, but only silenced about that hour, that night. For in my bed, late, instead of sleep came hopeless thoughts of a bleak future. One night can be led and redeemed - but can a whole lifetime, especially if that lifetime includes none of the comforts I've always craved?

Suddenly - strengthened by Sally, by a spirit activated through the earlier hour, by the intercession Jesus is making for me - I will not stand for this! And straight up I shot, yelling in my covers, waking the neighbors. I couldn't stay in bed. Pajama-clad and alone in the house, I went to war.

It's like using a machete in thistles without muscles trained to swing. It stings to confess, repent and rebuke strange entities you've never wanted to even acknowledge. Fear of being diminished, fear of having to do it alone, fear that the movement of God depends on how faithful I've been... All this that I've been operating under - all these things violently pressed upon me - required a violence of opposition, and boy did I give it. All the while knowing that 1.) my neighbors might brand me as the crazy girl who yells at night, and 2.) my emotions were not keeping up.

But, I thought to myself, Isn't that best? This is a spiritual transaction. The emotions are secondary. How odd it seemed, even to me in the middle of it, to see myself in a physical state of war and thundering, and for the source to not be in my soul. I was not yelling because I was riled up, but because my spirit would not stand for any more.

And then, ending, confronting the biggest and most hurtful poison of all, where I thought the most violence would be needed, came the Lord's wise and knowing change of tactic. While I renounced, He drew out the thorn gently like my Dad used to draw out my splinters. Splinters were always my father's job - and he loved pulling out his little tweezers, reassuring me, urging bravery, holding my hand still, and ridding me of the source of pain and infection. He would not stand for a splinter to stay, any more than he would stand for spider bites at night. I remember mornings when we found a bite on our legs - his determined tone, his serious eyebrows, the mattresses on their ends with the sheets ripped off. No spider is going to bite "my little girl".

Pull it out, I agreed with him breathlessly, hoarse. Gentle Father, original defender of my soul and my body, wise in the healing, able willing and knowledgeable to remove thorns and draw infection to the surface... Pull it out.

And I slept to dream of looking for food for my fat white childhood cat, determined to feed her tuna if I couldn't find anything else, aware of how devastating it would be to ever be parted from her. And I woke to remember that she had been dead many years, and that her absence was not at all painful. Not at all.

We may feel soul-tied to the lies that cradled us since our birth into this fallen world, but freedom from those lies will be, truly, freedom... I will not regret them, nor long for past chains. And neither will you.


Anonymous said...

Amy, this endeavor of yours to choose joy is exposing some very deep truths. This route you've chosen is overgrown with thorns and goes through enemy territory. Few have the fortitude to take it and only the desperate choose this way. I've not encountered many who've walked it, but they are marked by confidence, peace and wisdom. I see these characteristics being developed in you.

Check out Psalm 18, particularly vs 31 - 35. This post brought that passage to mind for me. I'm also reminded of the passage I was reading this morning. Psalm 103:1-5. It spoke to where I'm at and it seems you're somewhere in the neighborhood as well. :)

I'll be praying for you.

D (a fellow traveler on this road)

Amy Rachel Peterson said...

So true, D. I want to be marked by peace (I once was, many years ago, and I'm taking it back), confidence and wisdom! Plus joy :) I love Ps 18's verses 7 and the Lord is "wroth" (what a great word for being righteously incensed!) at what our enemies are doing to us, and how He rushes in with all the frightening and glorious power of God to rescue. That whole passage just makes me feel like a safe child! And I feel like that is the power He is putting behind this quest of mine...and anyone else who is joining me in it. How then, can it fail?!