Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Wilderness and the Desert: Lent '09

Emilie Griffin on Lent:

"We begin this forty-day journey by remembering when Jesus went into the wilderness to be tempted of Satan. In fact, the Spirit drove him there. Now our task is to imitate Christ in His journey, to walk with him, to let the Spirit drive us into a desert place where Satan may confront us." Small Surrenders, Paraclete Press, 2008

I've been meaning to tell you about Lexington, and I promise I will, but once again, lovies, I'm feeling icky. Migraines for a few days, and that makes everything, but sleeping and dwelling in darkness hard. Pray for me, please.

One thing I will say about my life changing journey (I never thought I'd say that about a trip to Kentucky) I found myself doing what I do a lot of: telling stories. Most of the time I love to tell a good tale, but I found myself increasingly horrified by the things I was saying. It was a little surreal at some point, listening to myself, and I think I even said, "What a drama queen!" Or something like that, because the stories, which are totally true, sound so remarkably full of crazy that if I didn't know they happened I may not believe it myself.

One story I told--and do not even think I'm going to touch it again. Not right now. With a migraine!--was about an incident of abuse. It involved my baby, and I could not believe I'd allowed somebody to treat us so terribly. I was ashamed. I burst into tears, lovies. I had to leave the room, and tell myself that it was over. We survived. We got through it, and I'd talked to my baby on the phone that very day. He was okay, too. We got through it.

Back in the day, when I first returned to Michigan from my descent into the hell that was my life with the man I used to refer to as "demon lover." I do not call him that anymore, but I'm not sure what I want to call him. Baby steps. Okay? Anyway, when I first returned home I'd have periodical flashbacks. They were awful, and I never knew what would trigger them. Once I saw a hanger and was reduced to a weeping mess because in a moment I was reminded of having the hell beat out of me with one. Another time, and it wasn't when I first returned, it was about three years ago, I was watching 20/20 and had a complete meltdown as I listened to a woman tell her story of abuse. It was like I was plunged right back there, and I was powerless, once again. In full panic mode.

But most of the time, I'm okay.

Or so I thought, until I found myself crying in Lisa's kitchen and trying to talk myself into believing the safety net was beneath me and I wasn't in grave danger. My life with "you-know-who" was years ago. I left him in 1993. And since that time I've been diagnosed as bipolar, endured crippling depression, been chronically under employed, had a hospitalization in a mental institute, a suicide attempt, a brother who was murdered, another who died waaaay too soon, I had a spouse with a really bad addiction, I lost three babies, crap piled upon crap, and I really did try to be a good sport. I know how to grin and bear it. I just kept going, though admittedly, sometimes I went painfully slow, but I crawled on bloody knees toward Jesus and He always took care of me. But does that mean I don't have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, just the same? I have no idea. I read Lisa's newest book (it's not out yet, lovies. Nice work if you can get it, but you can't get it.), and it hurt! I really did see some similarities between me and her hermit, wounded protagonist, that kinda confirmed I'm not as well as I want you to think I am. Not as well as I myself want to think I am. Lord, have mercy.

So, when I got back home from Lexi, Jesus kept bringing to mind these really negative feelings I had about my stories. I mean stories from my life. We ain't talking my fiction here. And He, in that gentle way He has, asked me to let Him heal me. He said I needed healing.

I guess I stuffed things down so long that I forgot they were still there. And as I've been taking this walk with Jesus on the way to His cross, He's been gently reminding me that I am carrying a cross of my own, and He's been helping me bear it, but don't I want to stop for a bit to deal with my wounds?

Haven't I dealt with them enough??? I'd rather deal with His. His wounds are safer, and Lord! His wounds are dangerous, but they feel safer than mine. But He loves me. And isn't it just like Him to overthrow the tables, clear out the junk I've been telling myself, so that He can make me a house of prayer.

Of course, I've been avoiding Him ever since this little revelation, but He has a way of drawing me, despite myself. Do you know that when the Bible says the Spirit draws us to God, that word draws is more akin to drags us, kicking and screaming. I'm being drawn and my throat is sore, and heels battered. But I'm going. And I don't know what is going to happen. But I trust Him.

It's time to heal. At least a little more.

To the wilderness I go.

How 'bout you? Any healing taking place. Any desert places? Any confrontations with Satan you'd just as soon avoid?

love,
mair-francis

1 comment:

Rhonda Jeanne said...

Mair, i don't know anyone as willing to share their soul as you. God Bless you , sister. I love your guts!
Rhonda