more than air.

March 08, 2017

more than air.

I've been sitting here for awhile now. my kids are playing together peacefully (miracle) and i feel like there's something in me that wants, needs, to come out. i'm sitting here, waiting. i'm in the dark. but i can feel light so close i can almost form the words. i can almost make sense of my heart beating just a little bit faster than usual. i can almost reach in and hold on to whatever is in that heart and put it into words.

i have felt this way a lot in the last two years.

waiting. just on the edge of light. maybe the light has been waiting for me. maybe it waits patiently for me to open the door. to jump over the barrier. flip the switch.

sitting in the dark, often behind a wall i built myself, i feel lost. but there is this moment when i can almost feel what being found will look and feel like.

about 6 months ago, i was behind a wall. i built it myself, brick by brick.

i was lost. i was so lost. i was spinning. i was hitting myself against the wall, over and over again. but then i began to think the darkness was light. my eyes adjusted. my soul adjusted. my life started adjusting....

but just like sitting and waiting for these words to form, in the in-between, i had a moment where i saw the wall as a wall. i saw the dark as dark. i saw my life as it was. i could see broken as broken. wrong as wrong. lost as lost.

and then... i was found. in the same moment. all of a sudden i could sense light, just on the other side. i could almost touch it. i could remember what it felt like to have that light in my heart, saturating my soul.

i hungered for it. i wanted it. i needed it. i no longer wanted the dark.

unbricking the wall was hard. some moments i just wanted to give up. it felt awkward to remove the mortar, to lift the brick and toss it aside. it was exhausting work. i cried a lot.

it reminded me of a time when i was newly married, pregnant, and we were really poor. my husbands aunt, knowing ty is really handy and that we needed the money, offered to pay him to remove and repour some concrete in her driveway. together, we removed a large section of concrete.... each little chunk took so much effort. he would use a jackhammer, and i would use a pick ax, and we chipped away at it, slowly. it was cold outside, and this was by far the most strenuous work i had ever done.

after we finished, i got into the car, and sobbed.
my hands were bloody. my back ached. my arms were shaking. i was cold and felt weak. physically, mentally, emotionally. i couldn't even feel any sense of accomplishment, i could only feel tears. i can't explain it, but even now, i feel that moment. i feel the weight of it. being painfully aware of our circumstances in every ounce of my heart and hands.

as i decided to break down the wall i had built last year, it felt much the same.
so much the same.
i expected to feel a sense of accomplishment at each brick removed. a breakthrough with each peek at light. i expected to see God every step of the way. i expected it to get easier, for sure. that i would get a system down, develop new, easier, painless tools to crush through it. i definitely expected it to take a few days. i expected to walk away scratch free. to live happily ever after.

that's not how being found works for me.
the moment of being lost and found is hard. exhausting. and there are scars left behind. there are ghosts of memory and painful moments between being awake and asleep. that middle time when you are on the verge of light, but still standing in the shadows. it hurts. it hurts in deep places we don't like to look at.

but the light.
when you step into it, the feeling is overwhelming.
it is everything. and for me, it seems that right as i'm about to give up, to collapse, is the moment of light saturating my soul. it is piercing. like leaving a movie theatre at 3 in the afternoon in the summer. (you know the feeling?!) it is the kind of found that takes a minute for your eyes to adjust to the light. it takes a minute for your heart to adjust to the love. it takes a little while to be comfortable there. to remember what life looks like and feels like and lives like in that light filled place.

our lives are a constant ebb and flow. i used to question that. i used to hate that.
i'm learning that ebb and flow, light and shadow, it's okay. it's just a part of life. it's a how God reaches us. it's how he pushes us. how He calls us to create art in our lives. in our relationships. in the people around us.

maybe you're not a wall builder. but i bet you have your own "thing". you have your own struggles. your own creator of shadow. your own demons to face. your own lost.

but you also have your own found.

if you're waiting in the dark but can almost feel light just out of reach... it's there.
if you're at that point of collapsing, or giving up, don't.
sink into God. i believe that light is there, waiting. waiting for us to find it. reach for it.
to want it more than air. to be willing to hurt for it, need it, work for it.
to fight through the awkward, the unknown, the shadows.
to spend more time on our knees in prayer.

for me, letting the word lost define where i was, allowed the word found to be there too. to recognize the truth of where i was, what i had built and done, opened my heart enough to let God lead me to be found. i stopped hiding. i stopped lying to myself. i stopped justifying, ignoring and covering my eyes.

in the moment i was lost and found.
and standing where i am today, even when the shadows call to me, i know i am found, loved, and safe in the light of my Savior. in His arms. engraved on His palms.

and so are you.


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