Sunday, February 15, 2009

To Write Love...

This has been a crazy week with a whole new challenge for me...the challenge? I felt loved and cared for. I felt good. Someone asked me how I was and I replied with "Fantastic" and I meant it. It was a little upsetting for me because I was very uncomfortable...VERY UNCOMFORTABLE. I didn't know what to do. I felt so exposed because I didn't have my usual creepily comforting cloud of doubts. I wasn't surrounded by and filled with doubts about Christ's love for me or my friends' love for me. No doubts. Just love. I felt so mushy and girlie and it freaked me out. I wanted to crush it because I felt so vulnerable and exposed and outside my comfort zone...but at the same time, I didn't know how to crush it...I didn't know if I could...I tried to invent doubts for a bit, but they were completely useless...I have been far too assured of God's love in my life to doubt it...weird. It was especially weird as I thought about what's been going on in my life. I have a lot of friends going through some really hard times...REALLY HARD TIMES. I have been praying for them for months. I have cried for them, prayed for them, listened to them...and for the past who knows how many months, as I lay awake unable to sleep, I prayed for them. But...last week, I started to sleep again...I slept for hours upon hours at a time and woke up rested. I worried for a while that it was because I was forgetting them...but I know I haven't. I still pray for them everyday, whenever they come to mind, I lift them up...thus, I was not feel connected to their sorrow...but at the same time...I'm so filled with love for them...and hope for them...and faith that they will be healed and God won't leave them. I talked to a friend on the phone on the phone yesterday and he asked how I was doing with (he said he didn't want to say "high" because this is how life is supposed to be and not just something to ride out...that last part was in my words, I think). That was insanely comforting. I'd been expecting to crash any day now. I recall saying the most unnerving thing about knowing that I'm loved is that I figured it couldn't be sustained. I've been trying not to fight the love and instead spread it all over the place.

Thus, the title. "To Write Love..." I talked to a girl recently about her struggles with cutting and suicide. I've felt frustrated over the past few weeks that I'm so separated from her by distance. When horrible things happen, I can't get ahold of her...I message her on facebook, but it'll be weeks by the time she reads it, and I can't call or write or visit. It's frustrating because I just wanted to have a way to tell her how much I love her and how proud I am of her. I don't see her suicide attempt as a sign of hopelessness. Maybe I'm a fool, but I all I see is hope for her healing. Statistically, people are more likely to commit suicide after they've been prescribed anti-depressants. Because in the grips of depression, they may have been able to plan or express a desire for it all to end, but they don't have the energy to do anything. They are at a point of giving up...a point of hopelessness...of hoping to just whither away...but after someone has begun receiving help in the form of counseling and meds, the depression lifts some...and that lift gives them the energy to act...and that energy to act sometimes (often) results in suicide attempt. In the case of this girl, I know she fought to get counseling...she argued with people saying she needed it, that it should happen...plenty of things have gone wrong, and she's felt unsupported, but she continues to fight...she told me a month and a half ago how badly she was fighting to get better...The way I see it, healing is a difficult process. To really heal, to strike at the root of the cause -- the lies that feed this pain -- is a huge struggle (One God fights with us, but a struggle nonetheless). Sometimes, when someone is fighting to heal/to recover, they take a few steps forward only to take one back. Sometimes in the midst of overcoming the lies and finding healing freedom, they fall into old habits -- they stumble...but that doesn't make it hopeless. You can't fall unless you try. When toddlers learn to walk, they fall, but that doesn't mean they're doomed to crawl...So, she attempted suicide. That only tell me that it's an active fight...and a hard one...did she give in to a moment of doubting that progress could be made and try to bail? Yeah. But she's stumbling forward. She wants to work at it, and she's scared and nervous and doesn't know if she can turn to God in all of it...but that's okay...there's still hope. I know God loves her and wants her and will heal her...I lift her up...I lift up her hurt, and I know God hears...I know He cares. I just pray that she knows. I was thinking today about the ministry To Write Love On Her Arms...I was thinking about the story of that ministry about writing words of love and encouragement on the arms of a she would see her value in that place of pain. I have often just wanted so badly to be with this girl, holding her in my arms so she could feel that love and she could feel that reality...physical reality is hard to fight...I remember fighting a lot of hugs because I can pretend the words "I love you" mean nothing but when someone holds you despite you fighting can't deny that...I know God's holding her...I just want her to know. I was thinking today about how I'd love to write love on her...I decided "on her arms" wouldn't suffice...I don't think that's where she cuts even...and I know that's not how she tried to end it all...and I want her to see love when she looks at those objects and places of pain...and I want to write love all over her and all over them...but not really write...because in our culture the word "love" has been so watered down. And I don't want her to be able to pretend like she's loved any less than she is. I just want to explode love all over a zit splurting out puss...that sounds gross but it's all I can think of right now...It makes me think of this one saying of Mother Teresa's (I can't find it right now) something about being a tiny pencil in the hand of a writing God who is writing a love letter to the world. That's where my mind and prayers took me tonight. I want to be a tiny pencil like that...I want God to use me to write love all over the world, all over people's lives. I was cruising the internet for more resources relating to all that this girl is going through...other perspectives, words of encouragement...and I found at least 3 ministries that just struck me...I looked at their websites and saw the love that I know...the love of God for those who are hurting, forgotten, lonely, sick, etc. I cried...I cried some of the happiest tears of my life and I pray that God would use those ministries to continue to write love all over the internet and all over people's lives. I pray that He'll use me, even if it's not in a way I had ever imagined...and I pray that all people might know His love...for real...I was reading a novena from the Missionaries of Charity. Day One is about "Knowing the Living Jesus". The first thought of the day is, "Do you really know the living Jesus -- not form books but from being with Him in your heart?" That's what I want. I want it to be in their hearts...I pray that the things I do and the words I write and the words I speak are vehicles of His love...cause words and actions are pointless by themselves. Books are pointless by themselves. But if they can be vehicles to bring Christ's love into someone's heart? Well, that's the point, right? Yes. I say yes.

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