I think I sprained my heart.

Okay, so not literally, but my insides feel very closely reminiscent of my poor sprained foot... Sometimes it hurts, and sometimes it doesn't, but there's always a low, nagging reminder that something's wrong... so I limp around, trying to be careful not to hurt myself again. You can't limp forever. Nor can you immobilize the offending member forever, or you'll atrophy. So what do I do? The three ingredients of healing: time, grace, and truth... which one am I lacking?

This emptiness that resounds within me, it echoes into my belly. I have no appetite in the morning, but as the day progresses, I get hollower and hollower... hungry at times, but never satisfied. Then? Then I overeat, but it still doesn't dampen the craving for more that curls coldly beneath my ribs. If I were at SOULS, they'd tell me to drink more water. So I will.

Was I happy before? I have been asking myself this question lately. I know that, once I found Jesus, I'm supposed to confess that my life before was all misery and emptiness and how unhappy I was, and now I'm so happy and fulfilled and overflowing that it's just the best thing ever and I don't know what I'd do if I hadn't met Jesus, except to crawl around on my belly being an unhappy heathen. Well, quite frankly... I can't say that. I want to cry when I think about this, but I don't think that I'm any happier now than I was before becoming a Christian. Why cry? I'm so disappointed! I mean, Jesus is supposed to make a difference, for crying out loud! So maybe I'm nicer. Maybe I eat healthier and drink more water. Maybe I know how to upsale now. But why am I still so lonely and unhappy?

Sure, there are bursts of happiness-- like fireworks in a dark sky. They are spectacular, but they don't last long. I'm looking for a bonfire, and all I can find is sparklers. Oooooh! Ahhhhh! And it's gone. I am plunged into darkness again. It never really left... But now I don't have to fake it as much.

As much. Is life about looking okay on the outside while you secretly struggle? Is that what Christianity is about?

Why am I even thinking about trying to help other people? If I have no hope to offer, then... what use can I be? I had hope, a week or two ago. I'm trying to remember what it was all about. Oh, right. I remember believing that God can change me, transform me, lift me up from the miry clay, so to speak. But it's SO SLOOOOOOOW! Great, so I don't manipulate people anymore. I'm still hurting!! I'm still empty inside! I'm still aching for something to fill this dark, roiling void within me!

And there is a voice whispering in my ear that says, "If you pray better, this will go away. If you read the Bible more consistently, this won't happen. You're hurting because you're not connected to God right. So do something. Fix it. 'Cause this is your fault."

And then my brain responds, "**** it. I don't care. If this is all I can expect, then Christianity can shove it."

And then my heart walks up and says, "(sniffle) It's okay, brain. This isn't all there is. Don't you remember how happy we were two weeks ago? I'm sure it will come again. It has to."

To which my brain responds, "Well, do we really have to endure such intense darkness in between happiness? This is exactly how it's been for the last 22 years! I was expecting something different, here."

My heart opens its mouth to respond, but then something unseen and mysterious leaps out of the darkness and runs my heart through with a sword, then dashes away unseen. My brain is left in shock to sort out this mess on its own... and becomes so overwhelmed that it shuts down and refuses to speak to me anymore.

I guess I'm just tired of hurting for no apparent reason. My life is still so unmanageable. My home, once my nourishment, has become my greatest stressor. The relational enjoyment I found so soothing now drains life from my bones. Is it me? Is it them? Is it a combination? What do I do? I'm so lonely, but my instinct is to withdraw, withdraw, withdraw. Preserve whatever strength you have left. Curl into the fetal position and weather the storm. Wait for the sun to come out. What do I do? I can't run away again. I won't leave.

God, I need you so desperately right now. I'm caught in a whirlpool that drags me down, down to the murky depths of I-know-not-what, I only know that the prospect fills me with terror. I don't want to let the darkness overcome me, yet I can't find my way to the light. I wander helplessly in a thin grey fog that obscures all traces of friendliness and warmth. God, where am I? Where are you? Don't let the adversary claim me as his. If I'm doing something wrong, then show me! But I don't know what to do, and I'm so very lonely. I can't see where to put my feet, and my hands are slipping. I'm hanging on to my life with just my fingertips, and I'm losing strength fast. Where do I turn? What do I do? What can stop this numbing pain from seeping into my very bones? I am so heavy, God. I am sinking. Lift me up, carry me away. I can't take this much longer. I don't want this to be my life. It's been too long, God, too long! 

I am living life over again, it seems. The same emotions, the same scenarios as my teen years... they come back to haunt me, almost. And yes, I recognize this sinking... I've gone through it a million times before. You think, by now, I'd know what to do.

I want a cigarette, but I know I don't really. I just want an anaesthetic for the pain... I want what used to come with it. Mom. Long talks. Friends. Laughter. C. All the things I used to run to that took the edge off... my drugs. My music. And now? Now I still have the same broken heart, but I have nothing to take away the pain. Must I undergo surgery awake?

No. Remember. Remember. Remember. God has not ordained this season of healing for your destruction. He's doing it to help you, not to torture you. Right.

God... help me. I could write it in my own blood on the wall. Help me. Please.
Save me from myself.
I don't know what to do.

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