Friday, February 17, 2012

Sore Backs & Other Pilgrimage Symptoms

My back is sore and I might blame my posture just because I don’t have many other theories on what’s wrong.  For a minute or two I remember to sit up straight, but my friends say my version of straight isn’t really. 

I’ve been thinking about friendships, and how people love me even though I’m not perfect and even though I keep (quite unjustly) expecting them to get fed up and abandon me.  I write these long emails that I don’t edit and then I can’t help but criticize simple grammar mistakes other writers or speakers make.  I love editing, but I almost never edit my blogs, preferring for whatever readers there are to receive a gushing of my mind or imagination.  It’s those things on my blog, rarely my heart, and a good thing, because my heart doesn’t make sense to me so much of the time.  But the emails are feelings, and I kind of want people to take my feelings seriously even though I don’t – or at least, I do sometimes, but somehow I know which ones are important and which ones are very temporary and friends have little ways of knowing that and sometimes they’re right and I’m wrong, knowing that even if I don’t want to, I should get over certain feelings sooner rather than later. 

I’m glad for friends who don’t let me get away with things, who know my faults and remind me of them.  Sometimes I feel torn down when they don’t balance the list with things I’m good at.  I am incredibly bad at balancing my comments to people, myself.  But what an incredible testimony of their love for me, that they’re my friends even though they could recite the list. 

Or maybe I could blame something else for the knots in my back, muscles not meant to be hard, tightened against showing emotion – tightened against feeling it, maybe.  I have realized lately that I am terrible at relaxing.  I’m not very good at rejoicing, either.  And because those things come hard, real grieving doesn’t come easily either.  I’m always torn between bearing my own burdens (often meaning not dealing with them) and with troubling friends to help me.  I want to be honest.  And I want people to have a good opinion of me.  (A lot of times these things are at all out war in me…  The real me has a lot of sanctification left to experience, and enjoys a lot of grace from others exposed to her.) 

But I don’t want to be all about tearing myself down, and the past several months I’ve been strongly tempted to focus on all the “reasons” for things not to go well in my life, as though grace has no part to play.  The truth is God has worked in me, and done great things.  I’m begging Him to open my eyes to His work in my life, so that I can praise Him and walk further in those ways. 

He has led me to trust Him in ways I never imagined.  When I was at the end of myself, He put people in my way who needed to hear the comforting sound of truth, and He spoke it through me.  There have been moments where this personality trait of clearly seeing what needs to be done or said or the outstanding questions to be asked have been exactly what my friends needed.  God has given me so much time to pray, and often taken away my desire to do anything else.  Thanks has fallen simply from my spirit – not easily yet for deeply hard things, but for happy things and small gifts.  I have been able to ask for help and able to pursue those who need help yet won’t ask.  There are a whole slew of questions I’ve found recently about how to live the Christian life and how God works, but it’s a step forward, knowing what to search out. 

This day is an ok day to not chase answers.  I’ll sit back against a heating pad, and reach for my battery-operated massager, and pray in deep breaths the things that are on the surface of my heart. 

To God be all glory.

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