Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Prayer of Desperation

This move to NYC has been extremely hard on me-- I have no real friends like the strong group I had in Houston; I don't have Christian fellowship and accountability; I'm not plugged in to a home church; I feel defeated in my dancing; I'm not happy with my job; I'm always thinking about money; and to top it off, in this last week alone, I lost my camera and my iPhone, and I came down with a terrible cold/flu.  Oh yea, and it's dark, cold, and windy every day.  I'm usually one who tries to look at the bright side, but lately I'm struggling... 

I feel like I used to sing all of those songs back in Houston about "prais[ing] you in the storm" and "Jesus bring the rain" and "On Christ the solid rock I stand", but now I just feel like a hypocrite.  Now the storms are pummeling down, and instead of staying anchored in your truth, I jumped ship.  And as I let the rough waves toss me about, I feel battered and beat down-- hopeless and ashame.  Why would I ever try to brave this world on my own? How foolish was I to turn away from you during the time I should have been gripping on to you the tightest-- the time when everything that seemed certain and stable in my life was uprooted like large oaks in the wake of hurricane.  There were obvious things that I knew would be shaken-- not having my friends nearby, not having the same financial stability that I was used to-- but there were new, unexpected things that became unhinged along the way-- like not believing in myself, no longer feeling valued in my workplaces- both new and old, and most importantly, no longer having a deep passion for serving you and serving others.  I felt numb, and I didn't care.  The world was slipping out from beneath me, but I had nothing to hold onto. 

Repeatedly, this phrase would float through my head: "Nothing is permanent."  Which at one point, that very idea would have brought me great hope and joy, as I remembered that 'this life is only temporary' and that 'our citizenship is heaven'!  But in this situation, that phrase was not bringing me hope, but instead the dismal realization that everything that I thought was a solid cornerstone of my life was nothing more than 'sinking sand.'  And deep in my soul, I knew you were just waiting for me to cry out to you, but I was being stubborn.  I wanted to wallow in my self-pity, thinking 'what else could possibly go wrong?' or 'how much more would he possibly make me endure?'  And probably even more than wanting to wallow, I knew I didn't want your solution.  I wanted people to appear in my life who would fill me with joy and turn this experience around; or I wanted a new job to fall into my lap that would make my new life in New York seem effortless and fun.  But what I refused to accept was your seemingly mild and passive solution-- peace.  At the time it didn't seem like enough.  But I'm slowly remembering that sometimes your greatest gift to us is not when you've delivered us to the top of the mountain and all is right with the world, but instead when we're sobbing in the depths of the valley, and you simply put your arms around us and hold us-- just as a father would do when his daugther falls off her bike and scrapes her knee.  She doesn't need you to put her back on the bike and push her around the neighborhood to make sure she doesn't fall again, she just needs you to hold her and let her cry until she's ready to get back up again.  There is comfort in knowing that even in the darkest, most miserable places of my life, the creator of the universe has time to just sit and be with me.  There's not a guarantee that the circumstances will change, but even better, there is deep communion and fellowship with God-- which brings peace-- 'a peace that transcends all understanding.' 

Thank you Lord for allowing me to take the long, winding route home-- only to discover that you were what I wanted and what I needed all along.  Help this clarity to rest in me and transition me into a Part 2 of this journey.  Help me to accept this new reality that I'm living and learn to thrive in it just as I have thrived in other chapters of my life.  Help me to soak up this amazing dance opportunity that I have before me-- no longer comparing myself to everyone else around me, just appreciating the art and developing the craft.  Help me to find a balance with work-- that I can work enough hours to feel financially stable in this city, but that it is no longer taking away from the energy and passion I want to devote to dancing.  Help me to recognize the beauty of friendships that I left behind, and continue to stay connected to them, but help me to build a rich community here in NYC where I can start to impact and feel impacted.  Most importantly, help me to fall in love with you all over again.