It's always the same, but it surprises me every time.
I live in the midwest. Michigan. It's a temperate climate with breathtaking season changes. I long to be a Southern California girl. I'm beginning to think a change in place could save my life.
There's always that first cold day. You go outside, maybe to take the kids to school, and the frigid air bites into you. You're shocked to see what in summer would have been dew, frozen all over the car. You have to warm the car up.
That day always surprises me. It's cold here for much of Spring, and it's getting down to the fifties now, early in September. I know every year that cold day will come, and many more will follow, but I'm taken aback every single time.
I know the dark day will come for me. I could be going along, wearing tiaras and enjoying the love of friends and family, and then something shifts on the inside. I try to ignore that unstable something. I listen for it, but I go on, never letting on that I heard it. I felt it move. It's begun.
I start to sleep more in the day time, while my wild mind prowls about in the night devouring information, books, emails, IM's, television, movies. But nothing fills.
And then another shift, but not just a shift. Something falls from a high shelf and shatters to floor in my soul. And I hear it. I feel the force of it crashing to my own grund zero, splittering whatever it is into a million little shards cutting into me.
I don't eat but the bare minimum. And a little something sweet. I lie in bed willing myself to deal with this. To just keep breathing. I don't go anywhere not trusting what I'll want to do. I have to live. I tell myself I will win. I'll still be here in the Spring comes, but it feels like a lie. It's September. The days don't get swallowed hole by night descending before I cook dinner yet. I shouldn't be like this now. It shouldn't have fallen so soon, but it falls earlier every year.
I don't want to be this way. I don't want this suffering every year like clockwork. And don't tell me that I have a demon, or that I don't have faith, or that I'm speaking something negative. I've done more than I will ever tell you about. This is my cross and it doesn't move no matter how many times I ask Jesus to take it from me.
It's like darkness closing all around and I can't see anything. And that darkness is thick and palpable and it feels like God isn't real, only there is this part of me that knows God. This part that knows God does not forsake me. He actually enters the darkness with me. Holds me in it. This is the God who once asked that a particularly bitter cup be removed, and then said never the less, not My will. Your will be done.
I try to take my cue from Him.
I don't know why I tell you this, except that this is my story. I've learned to know God is with me no matter how dark the night. Maybe someone needs to hear simply that. Maybe someone is feeling about the ground for another hand, and just keeps coming up with fists full of dirt.
I'm here with a bit of good news. I promise you that God's hand rest atop yours. No matter how dirty they've become.