A little Tea and Poetry
I am going to die alone. I am sure of it. I’ve never been in love, so don’t think this is a case of the broken-heart blues. I just miss my people. Last night I set my alarm for 7am. I had a plan. ” Wake up, have a quiet time, drink some tea, clean, and be out the door by 8.” Well, that didn’t happen. I woke up at to the sound of christmas music (because guys, it’s time), and was overcome by the same thing that seems to creep up and steal joy from me every day. Loneliness.
My younger sister is still gone visiting family, and my other sister in town is preparing to move an hour away. This morning the Christmas music I thought would cheer me just led to memories I know will never be the same. My sisters and I were the ‘Paul Reveres’ of the Christmas season. (Just imagine us galloping into your neighborhood on horse back yelling “CHRISTMAS IS COMING! CHRISTMAS IS COMING!”) We went caroling, giggled together and sang songs around our home as we decorated, When the first snow fell, we ran outside with a wide-eyed, The Hills Are Alive kind of zeal. (I just wanted an excuse to use the word ‘zeal’; but it’s true – we did. )
I miss that.
I wish could’ve know how special those moments were. I wish I could bundle up my favorite memories, and go back for just one day with that knowledge.
“‘Live in the moment.’ he’d tell me.
As if we had a choice.
Minutes are rolling storm clouds and seconds.
Bolts of lightning.
They’ve no concern for moments.” //klr
We’ve all felt this way. I take a sip of my lukewarm earl grey tea (I never drink it fast enough) and consider putting on warmer socks, as I trying to remind myself of the bright side. We all have some happy memories we cling to and I’m thankful that God, in a sense, does let us relive those moments. Whenever we need them, the memories are there. It’s just that today, my memories feel like a loyal puppy that is underfoot: Their constant presence prevents me from getting anything done.
I spent the first hour and a half of today lying in bed, checking Instagram, and wishing I could teleport myself to where the fun was happening. The FOMO (fear of missing out) is real, and it is stealing away my life, second by second, lonely sigh after lonely sigh. After D.M. “I miss you so much!” number five, I knew I needed to get out of my head. So here I am, pounding out my thoughts for all the blogosphere to hear.
Okay, pause while I go get those warmer socks… Brrrr. (I don’t care how long I live in Minnesota, I will never get used to this!)
Now We Get to the Good Part…
Okay, tea is re-microwaved (never the same-but we all need redemption), bunny-face socks are on, and I grabbed a blanket for good measure. Let’s do this thing.
I know we are never truly alone. I believe that what the Bible says is true and that Jesus is always with us and never forsakes us. I am not trying to discredit that truth, but I am having a really hard time believing it. I’ve known these things my whole life, so much so that it all feels cliché to me and I tend to ignore it. But I have been pushed lately to question if these things are “far away” truths for me.
Let me put it this way:
I believe that the Grand Canyon is real. I believe it is beautiful and lovely and breathtaking. I believe that if I went to it, I would have a new revelation of some kind and learn more about God. So, why am I not planning my trip? Because I would have to work for it. Because I can keep myself busy with Instagram, my blog, work, church, feel-good movies and reading Christian books. I don’t go see it myself because I can hear stories from other people who went and saw it. Or I can read about it on the Internet. I believe the Grand Canyon is amazing because other people have had soul-moments there and have written about it. It is far away for me. It remains far away because I feel no need to chase it down. I’ve never really minded taking it in second-hand.
I think that some truths about God are this way for me. I know He is here with me, but when I pray I am either bowing down or looking up. I never look in front of me like I am talking to someone. Never would I reach out next to me to hold His hand. Never would I look next to me to see His face. This truth has been talked about, written about and believed in my heart since I was a little girl, but what about actually looking in front of me and imagining Jesus? What about chasing down that truth?
Honestly, it would feel a little weird. Okay, a lot weird. It feels like if I “pray” by just talking to someone and acting like they are next to me, I am going back to the Arianna of preschool with imaginary friends. It feels childish. Even as I write that, I can hear Him whispering to my heart, “Child-like faith, Dear One.” This moment is followed by an “Oh crap” on my part, because it means something is about to change.
My friend Annie Downs wrote a new book called Remember God. Okay, before you freak out, I don’t know her, but I feel like I do because I read her books and feel like I know her completely. Besides, she calls me her friend all the time in the book, so I will take that as a, “Yes Arianna, we can be friends.” As I was reading chapter 4 last night, she told me about a prayer time in which God spoke these words to her heart: “When your life changes, you and I change too.” She explained that God never changes, but that her relationship with God changed whenever her life did. I felt her words on a deep level, because I have been struggling with this for a little over a week now.
My brain is overrun with questions and red-alert signals. My brain doesn’t like change, We’ve established that by now. Have you ever seen those heart VS brain comics? Here’s one of my favorites:
My heart and my brain are often at war, but I think my heart will win this one. I keep thinking, What if I am doing something against the rules, what if imagining Jesus with me and talking to me face-to-face is wrong, what if it looks stupid, what if angry Christians throw Bible verses at me in the comments telling me why I am so wrong to invite Jesus into my life in this way? But my heart keeps butting in with things like, But aren’t I supposed to live free in Christ? What about not being bound to the law anymore? What about Jesus dying so that we could talk to God? What about the veil that was torn?
“And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him.”-Hebrews 11:6
“So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.” -Galatians 5:1
“… And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”-Matthew 28:20
“And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”-Romans 5:5
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.” -John 14:16
It feels so weird to think of the Holy Spirit as a person and not some mystical being like a wisp from the movie Brave. But I want to be free from all the laws I try to create and keep about who God is. It shouldn’t be such a foreign concept to think about Jesus being with me right now, reading over my shoulder. I can feel Him loving to watch my fingers speed across the keys. He smiles as I pour my whole self into what I love. Oh wow. That felt good. *sigh* My heart was right. I definitely need this.
I am going to try it. I already know His voice. I hear Him speak to my heart all the time; but what if it is supposed to be more personal than that? What if I am supposed to believe He is with me? Not off in heaven somewhere.
It’s not that I haven’t had a relationship with Jesus up to this point, because I have. But I think now, because my life changed, He and I changed too, just like Annie Downs talked about. He is changing us, growing us. Just like any other relationship, I am learning new things about Him, letting Him get closer. Maybe I had to be lonely so I could find this part of Him. I’m smiling now, because I should’ve known. He loves me too much to waist anything. That’s just the way He is. That’s our God.