an odyssey: year 5, day 362.

the relentless furnace of reality has a way of igniting my wishful thinking, sending dreams and misplaced comfort up in smoke.

i know what I said because each moment is carved into my mind. I never tried to chisel them away because I needed the energy to survive, to exist.

i know what it’s like to be without Your presence. The cold and lonesome dark, the knife through my heart as the words “she’s gone” change my life forever.

yes I’m gone, far gone.

irretrievably lost unless You come and save me.

even though I cherished and loved all life long naturally, I was desperate to savour every interaction with anyone as if it were my last. I was desperate to see You, desperate to know there was something or someone who could help me.

always the child fearful of nothing but losing the loved ones she had, I lost my last breath when I heard you died. the thing that I feared most in life was an everyday and every night possibility that I tried desperately to see coming lest the surprise devastate me again. but for these matters, one could never be prepared.

so followed the six years of open heart surgery. so followed many surgical complications.

You had so much hope for me that I didn’t have for myself. I know Youre real, that You love me. I wouldn’t be coming back to life if it weren’t for Your skillful and loving hand.

“I’m not going anywhere,” they would tell me. And another shard of schrapnel would saw at my heart strings as I uncomfortably shifted, reminding me of the precise location it was lodged.

people to this day have always fallen into two categories. the ones that would inevitably leave over time and the ones that would leave despite our mutual passionate desire to stay with each other until the end.

death is so cruel. Jesus help me to not get swallowed by pain and fear of what has been known.

learning to live again post surgery is at times worse that the initial heart failure.

in my experience, as much as tragic things are tragic, what is intensely more difficult to swallow is the aftermath. I don’t know who that girl is in those photos from 6 years ago. she wears my face, but I dont know her. I’m dumbstruck. is it possible to be two totally different people in one lifetime?

ive struggled to remember much of anything accurately in the past six years. I remember her. I remember the summer following. almost everything apart from that is muddled together. almost. must be the anesthesia. time to rest.

[patient log status; completed.]

[archived.]

[impending log – 03/23/2017]

 

For the love of God, listen.

Alright. It’s high time and the pot’s boiling over. I’ve tried to keep a lid on it, heck I’ve even tried to change my identity, but enough is enough. I can’t tell you how many sleepless nights I’ve seen. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stayed up long enough to greet the sun. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve nearly become nocturnal because my insomnia has gone into overdrive for days, sometimes weeks.

You need to know. All of you do. Every single last one of you reading this.

God loves you. Yep. You. With the face. I probably haven’t met you before – doesn’t matter, you’re not off the hook. Probably you were just roaming the internet, probably you clicked this open because you were a facebook friend and thought I was stamping foot mad. No. Seriously, that’s what I’ve got to say. And I have had to say it for a long, way long time.

I love sleep. Really, I do. I think it’s a fantastic gift. One of the reasons I tried with every part of my being to be someone I wasn’t would be so that I don’t have to lie awake days on end thinking through every social situation I’ve had. There have been some night where I lie awake -very awake- only to rewind to the earliest I can remember and play my life all the way through. I used to resent being “forced” to stay awake only to think of just about everything and everyone at once. My attitude has since changed now that I understand why. Some people have stood out in my mind more starkly than others over the years, but regardless, the message stays the same across the board. Each person that I’ve met, individually, of themselves, matters. Like, really matters. Just ask God. I dare you.

A small illustration. This night is like many others I’ve had. Lying in bed, staring wide eyed at the ceiling, knowing that sleep is not going to come. Sometimes I try and play it naive, and it totally doesn’t even work. I’m not mad, but I’m not stupid. I could try every thing in the book, I know I’m being kept awake. See, there’s so few people that listen to God about what He thinks and says about them, and even fewer still that actually believe what He’s saying. So when I started realizing my draw to people when I was quite young (still in grade school) I asked God to show me how much He loves others. To help me see people as He saw them. I thought I was opening a tap, and a freaking colossal, rip- roaring waterfall flooded my kitchen sending me a drift.

Or at least that’s what it feels like today. Back then, God was an inviting stream. But He knows how much I love Him now, so when I am stuck awake and want to listen, it just all comes out. All of it. Craziness. Literally in the last hour, 20 different people have been stuck in my head, and I am burning with the desire to tell them how much God loves them, to the point of considering restraints. But why restrain that kind of Love?

Seriously. If you know that kind of love that is so beyond powerful it could break the strongest dams you have to offer, why are you trying?

Why.

And another thing. I was hit so hard today by a talk by Todd White. To paraphrase what I got out of things he touched on:

– You know when you’re about to go talk to someone, and you get all nervous about how they’re going to react to what you’re about to say to them? [I’m talking about telling others about the love Jesus has for them] Why are you nervous? It’s not about you. It’s God loving on them. You do not have enough love in yourself to satiate whatever thirst they have. You were meant to be a light – God is your conduit.

– You are just a *sower or a waterer. It is God who makes the plants grow. (1 Corinthian 3:6) Your duty is to love others, and be a light to them. That means that you don’t have to make every person you share the gospel with (via your testimony or some other means) say “the prayer”. You do have to credit Jesus for the gospel and you can’t cut him out of your testimony – or that’s not the gospel or your testimony and then that person won’t see Jesus.

– You can’t “love someone to Christ”. Continuously doing good works or being supportive or encouraging someone but never saying or daring to talk about the reason you are loving is because Christ loved you first makes all your works meaningless. If you have works without the person who embodies love as your reason (and the person you’re loving on cannot read your mind that you know and love Christ), you’re not sharing the gospel. You’re just a really nice person who likes to do a lot of nice things because you believe nice is the best policy. Take a deep breath, don’t be afraid. Saying you love Jesus and the reason you’re able to love is because He loved you first may elicit various reactions. But Love is always the best policy.

– Love is always the best policy. Real love. Love that died on a cross and took our place and pursues us day after day. And some of us while we’re trying to sleep. But trust me, sleep is worth missing out on.

– and for the love of God, do yourself a favour and listen to your Father. Because we could all use more loving.

* a possible article about sowing to come.