17 January 2012

thoughts from :: sunday night.

okay people, it's about to get real. sentences have been forming in my head for days. erratic thoughts have lodged themselves somewhere and the only way to get them out is to write them down. and I have written them down. in every place but this terribly public one. but I started this thing to write more honestly and share more honestly. I started it to prove to myself that I could be real in someplace other than the most hidden part of my heart. so here it is. mom, don't freak out.

growing up is hard. growing up when your family is falling apart is hard. growing up when you feel really freaking alone is hard. God is good. but life is hard. being broken and longing for Home in the capital H sense is hard. when I put #19 on the list I wanted to understand what it's like to rejoice - truly live a worshipful life - in the midst of all that is hard. I wanted to understand how joy could remain when happiness faltered. I wanted to understand how God is faithful when everything and everyone else is not. although it was a goal for 25, I sort of thought it would take a long time. I sort of thought I would end the year with the words "work in progress" beside it. and yet here I am.

and I never expected it to happen quite like this. for it to take marriages ending and lives ending and things to change so quickly. I never expected everything to get so turned inside out and upside down all at once. and yet here I am.

here I am driving home with tears overflowing to the point that I wonder if I am a danger to my fellow evening travelers. and here I am feeling like the jigsaw puzzles I used to put together when I was young. everything seemed so pretty and neat and together until my little brother came over and threw everything asunder with his chubby toddler hands. but it's not his fault this time. it's no one's fault this time. I am a mess and I am in a million tiny pieces.

but here's the crazy thing. the sort of amazing thing.

I may, in fact, be having a complete and utter emotional breakdown. but I am not actually feeling as melodramatically despondent as it may sound. my heart aches, yes. I am completely broken, yes. but more than that - so much more than that - I am whole. or rather, I am hopeful that I will be soon be whole. I am not happy but I am joyful. and in lots of ways that doesn't make sense, but in one really big way, it makes perfect sense.

because I am learning that the joy of the Lord is a gosh-darn real thing. it's not about happiness and fun and laughter all the time. I was never promised that life. but I was promised that when I walk through fire I will not be alone. the fire's there for sure. but I have someone bringing me through it. bringing me through it in one piece. better, even.

and I am learning that if I can praise God in the midst of the innumerable blessings I experience every single minute, I better be able to praise him in the crappy times too. and what's even crazier is that I cannot believe how happy I am in this realization. how blessed am I that I have been counted worthy enough to praise him in the midst of my brokenness?

and I am learning that it's not about seeing the world through rose-colored glasses - although I would never say no to a pair of those. it's about seeing the world as it is and still knowing that it will be better. seeing the world as it really is and knowing that it will be otherwise. and it's only because of that persistent joy of the Lord that has been sticking on me like honey lately. it's only because of that faith as tiny as a pin-prick that things begin change and perspective shifts from illusion to reality. because it's not about how much faith I have. it's about who I have faith in. thank goodness for that. because most of the time my faith is way smaller than a mustard seed.

and here's one other thing about the joy of the Lord. it's there because I am also learning how to pray without ceasing. and when I say without ceasing, I mean without ceasing. I am praying even when I don't know I'm praying. because here's the thing: what other choice do I have? nothing else works. not talking about it until I'm blue in the face. not ignoring it. nothing else. not one thing.

and so now I am home with tears still coming. but they are full of a million tiny pieces of me mixed with loads of hope. and loads of grace I don't deserve. and I made it home without seriously injuring anyone. so there is joy in that too, I suppose.


talkaboutadream said...

Oh Ms. Horton. I wish I could snuggle you right now. Life is hard - and unfortunately you (me) (so many others) are born into brokenness and hurt under no volition of their own.
I am truly sorry for the emotional, spiritual weight that this has placed on you. I hope you know that there are SO many people that love you Ms. Horton.
If you ever want a phone date hit me up.
Drive safe.

Becca Dressler said...

Carrie, Your words are soul-shuttering powerful. I absolutely love the hope in your words and your overflowing joy and love for our Father. We will talk soon...I wish I could see you though. My faith has been challenged lately too, and it sounds like we would be the best of friends to cry in each others' arms right now.

Thank you again for sharing.