September 21, 2007

Songs of time

A lot of times, it seems like I am living my life through song lyrics. Tonight, I decided to take a stroll down memory lane by listening to all of the music I listened to when I was still self-injuring, recovering from it, and even some of my modern music. By doing this, I realized how much music marked my life, and how much of a voice it gave me. Doing this also gave me a glimpse of something that I have been personally rejoicing lately-- healing... complete, beautiful, sing-at-the-top-of-your-lungs healing of everything in me.

In the past year or so, God has picked one thing after another to remove from me and cleanse out of my life. I have finally been freed of so many things-- self-hatred, grudges held against those who have hurt me in the past, my compulsiveness, my obsessiveness, my pretentiousness, my disordered eating, living under deception, the fear of not being good enough....

All of these things and more have disappeared from my life, and it never felt like a gradual thing. It was more like.... one morning, I woke up and I felt no resentment toward a certain person, and I felt no bitterness or pain when I thought of another. Another morning, I woke up and had no desire to control my food intake, nor did I care if other people saw me eating, nor did I care if other people looked at me and said "how'd she get to be THAT big??". And another morning, I woke up knowing that despite who I am, who God is never changes, so I will always be good enough to do His will. And still another morning, I woke up and realized that I didn't have to be afraid of holding a conversation with another person, because my mind worked coherently and I was lucid... no problems with my memory or with expressing myself verbally.

I was healed. I am healed.

And now, as I sit here listening to the music of my past, I realize that God brought me through every phase of my addiction in perfect order, so as not to leave out any experience that I would later rejoice in having because it gives an inexplicable portrait of who God has become in my life.

Even in the stage where I could not find words for my pain or emotions, God drew out my emotions with words in the form of lyrics or poetry. This was the phase where you just have to take every emotion as it is, and force yourself to feel it... and if you can't do that, to have to at least describe what it looks like to you. The line "Time doesn't always heal, it just breathes and swallows memories" describe perfectly the feeling of hopelessness, or the feeling of helplessness of the phase. Where you have the emotions, but no where to put them, so they sit with you, on you, in you, and you just sit and wait for release as time breathes and swallows memories, cradling you with its rise and fall of breath.

The next phase is the beginning of recovery, though it never really feels like it. It's the time where you find a healthy release of emotions. My release (the only true release) was found in God. I was a mess... it felt like I was metaphorically bleeding out all of my emotions that I had pent up or never recognized as valid. Completely, wholeheartedly bleeding myself dry of emotions. I would cry out to God, "You're all I want, You're all I need, You're everything, everything", and plead for Him to "usher me down". I would sit alone in a room, trying to stay perfectly still so as to restrain myself from self injuring, the lights out, music blaring, and my body shaking... feeling "the weight of loving all the things you hate", and praying that somewhere beyond the mess I was in, God was going to restore me into something He could use.

And He did restore me, but not until after I felt the dryness of the next phase. After all of my emotions had run up, and I knew that I was beyond the habit of literal self-harm, I had a deep feeling of inadequacy. This is not the sort that everyone should rightly feel in light of who God is, it is a lie... it is the feeling that something YOU have done will eternally and irreparably hinder God's use of you. So often, I'd find myself singing to God-- "Daddy, daddy do you miss me-- The way I crawled upon your knee? Those childish games of hide and seek seem a million miles away. Am I lost in some illusion, or am I what you thought I'd be? Now it seems I've found myself in need to be forgiven. Is there still room upon that knee?", and wanting more than anything the child-like relationship I had once shared with my Holy Father. Instead, I felt as though my sorrow's absence left my life with no meaning, and more than anything, with no feeling.

After two or three years of the third phase... the dry spell, if you will, God finally gave me the restoration I had so longed for. He provided me with a true Church family. He revealed to me multiple passions that I had so longed to see, and more than anything, He revived my heart and is continually romancing me and drawing me to love and want Him more. The only lyrics I can think of to describe this glorious phase even in the least bit are as follows:

"Free from the worry,
Free from the dark that lives in me.
Free to embark on the passion
You've favorably fashioned in me."
And now, as I stand here, completely incomplete, but completely assured in the fact that my sins have been cast as far as the east is from the west, I can find no words to express my gratitude and love for my rescuer, but I daily repeat the prayer, " More and more, I need You now. I owe You more each passing hour. The battle between grace and pride, I gave up not so long ago. So steal my heart and take the pain, wash my feet and cleanse my pride. Take the selfish, take the weak, and all the things I cannot hide. take the beauty, take my tears... the sin-soaked heart and make it Yours take my world all apart. take it now, take it now and serve the ones that I despise, speak the words I can't deny, watch the world I used to love fall to dust and thrown away."

1 comment:

Bob Carder said...

What a mighty tribute to God and what a brave article to write.

See, you are that writer I often speak of.

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