About a year ago, I wrote the “poem” posted earlier. (I have poem in quotation marks, because poetry and I do not always get along, so my efforts aren’t really worth the name.) I believe that was the lowest point I have ever been in, the worst I have ever left, the loneliest I’ve ever been. I was so hollow that some days I wasn’t entirely sure if I was really there. I didn’t feel as if I was living, merely existing.
That was also the furthest from God I have ever been. And it was a choice I had made intentionally. I had drawn away from Him, not disbelieving, but not having faith. It was a horrid tug of war on my heart between my intuition and my reason. It was draining me slowly. I was pushing away the only thing with the power to bring me back. I was yearning for love that only He could give, but I turned my back to him. I ignored Him, and was so frustrated with the emptiness I felt.
I wrote the poem at the end of my year in Vegas (where I had moved for grad school). A few weeks after I wrote it, I moved back home to Washington. That place had turned me inside out and left me raw, and I needed to leave. I needed somewhere different. I needed a fresh start.
We often find ourselves in places we hate, both physically, mentally, and emotionally. We end up somewhere we hadn’t intended, but we don’t move on. We don’t make a change. We become complacent. We allow ourselves to wallow in our inability to move. The longer we stay, the worse we feel. Those feelings of frustration, confusion, hollowness become a part of us. They enter into our hearts and souls and take up space. They push out the good memories and the things we love, and we let them in our complacency. We welcome any feeling, because that is better than nothing.
I love to be by myself. Growing up in a large family of loud women has done this to me. I want my space, some peace and quiet. Some days, I need it. Too much interaction with people can be tiring, so I need to recharge and the silence gives me that. But some days, that silence is oppressive. The alone-ness is too much, and I want someone to come and take my hand, pulling me away from myself. Sometimes, I can pull myself out of it. On other days, I simply can’t be bothered.
By the end of my time in Vegas, I couldn’t be bothered and there wasn’t anyone around who really cared. I allowed myself to wallow for a time in that self-pity. I felt bad for myself, my situation. I cried in both sadness and anger, but mostly frustration. Even at that moment, I didn’t ask God for comfort. I didn’t let Him in.
But I made a change. I saw how destructive my behavior had become, how useless my actions were. I cannot imagine where I would be now, if I hadn’t left. I wouldn’t be working on my relationship with God, and I wouldn’t be in a place where I can actually say that I am content (not completely happy, but content nonetheless). I was able to pull myself out. I brought myself to place where I saw how desperately I needed God and am now in a place where I feel like I can seek Him without being mocked for it. I can have my beliefs, my faith, my relationship with Him without worrying about anyone else.
We need to take the initiative in making the changes in our life. We need to take those first steps. We need to ask for help. We need to admit that we need something different. If we do nothing, if we cannot take responsibility, then nothing will change and nothing will get better. And everything can always get better. The sadness does not have to live within you always. God will take it away and replace it with something else. But we need to make the first move. We need to dare to want something better. We need to want it.