What happens when all that you’ve known is suddenly different?
When the desire and passion you lived with are no longer there? How scary to feel that you’ve possibly forever changed. And the worst is when you’re not sure why.
I’m battling thoughts that I don’t want to think and the feeling of having cut off every source of life around me, including God. I believe I’ve come to the hardest place of all. All of the digging and searching and clinging on for dear life have brought me into a place I would rather not be. It’s a place less covered, and though still not completely understood, my once unnamed feelings and pain and overwhelming desires lay out in the open and bare.
How frightening to feel and to see them all at once, trying to make sense of it all. Scared of what it means, scared to be wrong, and scared to be overcome by it’s intensity and change who I am. How can I say no to God when I know who He is, when I have encountered Him so deeply. What is happening within my soul that I can think of His name without any desire or feeling of hope? What have I thought that causes this intense sensation of disconnection? I fight back my resistance but it only grows in strength.
When I think, I think so deeply. It penetrates my heart and soul and I truly feel what it feels like to be one who doesn’t believe. Because in this moment, I feel I have become my thoughts. The scariest thing is choosing to surrender to the thoughts that torment me. Fighting back my thoughts is fighting a battle that will never end. The more I desperately push against them, the more they come, and with even greater force - a force greater than I. Distorted thinking, imagery, and even tastes overwhelmed me, occupying my time and energy.
And that’s the power of thoughts. They need to be expressed. Yes, we are to take them captive, but there’s a correct way to do so or we will be taken captive by them. Though forced back in one way, they will always find another way out. Masked by distorted and terribly frightening thoughts, yes, but they are there. And they mean something. That’s where the surrendering comes in. And this is the place I am today, learning how to reverse this cycle after running it for twenty-nine years, and understanding what such thoughts mean.
However frightening or painful, they ease with the surrender. The push and pull is calmed into an easy flow. I won’t be overcome and I won’t be destroyed. I’ve already tried and I’ve lost. So I take the risk and let down my walls, walls so high that I can’t even find myself. And the thoughts come rushing in and I try to keep my head above the many waters. I’m reminded here of Peter, who, like me, panicked in doubt and seemingly thought “what am I doing?” and tried to take the matter into his own hands. While it’s not noted that the storm worsened, his sinking certainly is. Only when he took his eyes off of the crashing waves, surrendered his need to control it himself, and entrusted his life to Jesus by letting it all go, did he start to stand firmly upon the waves.
And here I am, feeling relief as I write this, with the thoughts that had stolen my breath and crashed overhead now under my feet.
May you be encouraged in knowing that, at times, the true fight lies in the surrender.