not anymore

//

If you walked in the door you wouldn’t know us anymore.

We wouldn’t be the same, no more familiar faces, even our eyes shine differently now.

I used to find comfort in knowing you could walk back into your place in our lives, that you could catch up easily and not have really missed much.

It isn’t that way anymore.

You wouldn’t recognize me, or him, but maybe you would recognize him. Maybe, just maybe. He has the same sense of humor, the same playfulness.

This makes you feel even farther away, the you that was part of us wouldn’t even know us anymore. Not really. We have all changed so much.

I could not wake up on July 16, 2017 and have the known be untrue, have you actually there alive and present, sitting in the living room drinking coffee, just waiting until I woke up and wondering what we would do with a lazy Sunday.

I hate Sundays now, even more than I used to.

How can the truth be true?

I don’t believe in the personal Jesus anymore, I haven’t since late 2014. But I did cry out to a God I didn’t believe in while you were missing. You were gone. vanished. My compass blown to bits. My earth that I was standing on obliterated underneath my feet as I stared at it. Gone, just gone,. There was no preparation, no what will you tell them when, no goodbyes, no whys answered, nothing, nada, nothing, absolutely nothing. How could you do this to us? How? When the slide began, when the downward spiral caught your attention, why didn’t you ask for help? Why didn’t you tell me things had gotten out of control. Tell me, “I am in trouble. Please help me”. We were worth the whys. We were worth the embarrassment. We were worth you losing your job, if it came to that to solve the issues at hand. Why did you hide them? I was always asking how you were. You didn’t have to hide anything. I made it clear that everything was okay to talk about. Anything was open on the table. Nothing was silenced. You had an open invitation to tell me about anything horrible, why did you choose not to?

I talk to you as I swim. I hit the beach balls as hard as I can to let out some anger, and I ask you questions. I demand that you give me answers. The answers don’t come. I swim as hard as I can, against the water, I feel enveloped by the tears that surround me, that threaten to drown me as I gulp for air. The water touching all of me, just like the absence of you touches all of me. This living without you stuff is almost un-surviveable, almost un-doable. And yet somehow I am still alive.

I don’t know how to do this. I am 2 years out. What the actual fuck? You need to be here to teach the boys how to be men. I cannot teach them how to be men. I don’t know how. How am I supposed to do this without you? Like seriously, how?

Somehow, I am. I don’t know how I am, but I am. The days are passing, the months, the years even. How is this possible?

I thought I knew something about grief. I was terribly wrong. I knew nothing. Nothing. This is so far outside my knowing.

I am so mad at you.

As crazy as it sounds I don’t feel in my deepest parts that you ceased to exist on every level when you died. Am I just fooling myself, trying to self soothe, lying to myself, believing something only to bring me comfort? Possibly. But I don’t think so.

I don’t believe in the Christian heaven, so its not that. But there’s something. There is. And I don’t know what to do with that.

{zt}

no more sleeping giant

to whom does one go now?

screaming into the silent endlessness;

there was no answer.

to whom does one cling?

what are the new absolutes?

old truths now as rotting caverns;

even colors look different now.

am i finally awake now?

for decades a sleeping giant?

if I could find a solid place for my feet,

if only just large enough upon which to stand.

is there anything in the universe to help me?

I know where to go now

I know what to cling to

I’m no longer screaming

No more sleeping giant

I am fully awake

Fully alive

Eyes wide open

I know where I’m standing now

I know where to get the help I need

Love

Love is what was left

Love is what I’m calling home now

Love is what is real

//
::words to a silent god::

I get to be here

 ​                                     ::

I wrote the following in May 2013, three years and four months ago.
                                     

                                      ::

“This song (Stay by Big Daddy Weave) has been speaking to me for months now, as I am sure it has many people who take a listen. For me, it speaks to me on the level of feeling so far away from God for so long now. People call this sort of season all different things, the dark night of the soul, a grand canyon experience, a desert time, a wilderness experience etc. I don’t know much these days but I do know that as much as my feelings may want to tell me differently, God has not left my side, He has not stopped working on my behalf intervening in my life and in the lives of those around me. I have felt like a runaway, like a child lost and afraid, but I cannot deny the truth that reaches deeper than the emotions that come crashing down: God is here. He may not be showing up in certain ways I have wanted him to, or speaking in ways I would have preferred, but he is here nonetheless. I have felt so faithless. Thank God that He will and is coming to find this runaway and bringing me back home again. The darkness lies to us, our feelings lie to us. Grief lies to us, and even happiness lies to us. God is the way, the truth, and the life, nothing else can fill those sovereign places. I am no theologian, I am no strong Christian. I have been wounded deeply, words don’t explain or suffice, but I cannot live the rest of my life angry with God or defined by my past hurts and failures. I don’t know how to hear God again like I used to, I don’t know how to change myself or my heart, but thankfully God knows where to find me, how to speak to me, and how to change me. So, I’m still here, still reaching out, still crying out, still hoping, and still trusting on some small level. I believe, help my unbelief. I know that I know that I know that He will.”

(me, 2013)


                                        ::

To say I’m at a radically different place now is the understatement of the century. It is staggering to read words written in that place where I was standing at that particular time. I cringe at the words, my breath catches in my throat, I begin to feel twinges of that old record of desperate searching playing over and over again. Somehow I survived about 7 years there in that place. That season had been going on at full force since 2007, when our second child was stillborn and I had a watershed moment with the one I clung onto as god, the one I had devoted my life to, hook-line-and-sinker. It was time for all the faith, all the years, all the service, all the prayers, all the reasons piled upon reasons….It all came to an abrupt crescendo. It was do or die. Show up or sit down. Speak or hang up the phone. Put your money where your mouth is. It was time for reality to come down and be real. I’m not talking about people or money or circumstances. I’m talking about one on one, me and god. God and I in the ring. On the phone, hand in hand walking together, however you want to view it, but he and I together, the unseen becoming seen no matter all the loose threads, no matter the questions. If he would just be in it with me, be present with me even if nothing else changed but the aloneness.

Here’s the thing. The reality. The truth. The real deal. The way it all came down. The end of the story. The rest of the conversation. He didn’t show up. He didn’t ever find me. He never came. He didn’t rescue me. He never broke the silence. It’s not that he didn’t change my circumstances or give me a vision, it’s that nothing happened. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. He was absent. Silent. Because he was never there to begin with.

I showed up to my own life

I found me

I came running to myself

I came to my own rescue. 

I did for myself what I never thought possible, what I never understood was conceivable became conceivable.

All the soul-stripping shame,

The slow drip of constant not-measuring-up-ness,

Now I’m running into my own arms.

And into the arms of those who really love me, the real me,

The me I lost track of as a child,

The one buried alive underneath all the rubble of the shoulds and musts and have-tos.

Now I understand this moment is really and truly it. This is where I am alive, not some random point in the future or some distant far off land where I will live forever. But now. Here and now. This is the real life, the real deal. This is no dress rehearsal. I don’t get to do it again down the road, there are no do-overs, no eternal wonderland within which all can be made right. 

Now. 
Now is the time. 

I get to be here, get to be alive. At such a time as this, for real. 

Here’s a favorite song of mine for you today, it has been a favorite since I first heard it years ago even in the midst of trying to wait for a god to show up and save the day. Even then I knew deep down on some level. “The Riddle“, by Five For Fighting. 

There was a man back in ’95

Whose heart ran out of summers

But before he died, I asked him

Wait, what’s the sense in life?Come over me, come over me

He said Son, why you got to sing that tune?
Catch a Dylan song or some eclipse of the moon

Let an angel swing and make you swoon

Then you will see, you will see

Then he said

Here’s a riddle for you
Find the answer

There’s a reason for the world

You and I

Picked up my kid from school today
Did you learn anything causin’ the world today

You can’t live in a castle far away

Now talk to me, come talk to me

He said Dad, I’m big, but we’re smaller than small

In the scheme of things, well, we’re nothing at all

Still every mother’s child sings a lonely song

So play with me, come play with me

And, hey, dad
Here’s a riddle for you

Find the answer

There’s a reason for the world

You and I

I said Son, for all I’ve told you

When you get right down to the

Reason for the world

Who am I?

There are secrets that we still have left to find
There have been mysteries from the beginning of time

There are answers we’re not wise enough to see

He said You looking for a clue

I love you free

The batter swings and the summer flies

As I look into my angel’s eyes

A song plays on while the moon is high over me

Something comes over me

I guess we’re big, and I guess we’re small

If you think about it, man, you know we got it all

‘Cause we’re all we got on this bouncing ball

And I love you free

I love you freely

Here’s a riddle for you 

Find the answer

There’s a reason for the world

You and I

>>Youtube Video of The Riddle <<

{words to a silent god ©2016}