Sunday, June 5, 2011

Running Scared

Being here in the Philippines for these last few weeks has been refreshing, rewarding, relaxing. Having time to not do anything, especially with one's own family, is a hard-won luxury. Yet in spite all this free time we've been having, I don't feel that I've made huge bounds in my grief work. I'm still afraid much of the time. I'm willing to go on medication if that will really help, but I'm also hestitant to add another chemical to my already volatile body. I don't want to choose a medical answer if I really have a spiritual problem. I know most of the time things can't be separated that easily, we are bodies as well as spirits and sometimes our bodies need a little bit of help. And some form of medication may be the final solution, especially if I have PTSD which is highly possible. We'll see.

Too often I feel as if the soundtrack to my life is frightening, foreboding, dark. When that happens I just want the music to stop, or to start playing a Bach minuet or a Mozart piano concerto instead. And then my imagination kicks in with a random thought that ends at the gravesite of another family member. Or something worse. It only takes a few seconds for these vivid thoughts to play themselves out in my mind. It happens so quickly that by the time I realize what is happening and give my fear to God, I'm already viewing something terrible.

How do you trust God enough to let go of your fears, especially when something truly horrible has happened to you? Fear is a hard master. But when you keep your guard up and don't expect much, at least you have the option of being somewhat prepared for when the next bad thing happens. You're not surprised. You saw it coming. (So the argument goes in my head.) I know it's a ridiculous argument. Fear does not prepare for you for anything. The very nature of fear debilitates and disempowers. I know that.

So even though God and I are on speaking terms, I still find it hard to trust Him. After all, how can you trust someone as dangerous as God? He didn't hesitate to send himself to die for our sake. He gives freely, loves extravagantly. It cost him everything to offer us a relationship and the hope of heaven. I'm not like that. I love my own skin more than my neighbors'. I don't want to love everyone extravagantly, just my friends and family. And giving freely - forget it! What if my family needs that? Giving freely requires sacrifice, self-denial, risk. I give stintingly, and that's when I feel I can afford it.

There's a big part of me that just wants to be left alone to grow lazy and complacent. I don't fully trust someone who will love me enough to change me, love me enough to give me his eyesight, perspective, wisdom - his very life. That all comes at a cost, a very high, high cost. It demands of me more than I really want to give. And yet He still calls me, compels me beyond my fears to come and lay down my life in order to find it. To surrender my will for his. And to allow myself be worked into the fabric of his glorious future.


Anonymous said...

I think it's easier to know what we 'should' do than to actually do it...that requires grace.

I rest in the remembrance that God is long-suffering...He understands what we are going through...and He knows exactly how you feel Rebecca. Of course, He doesn't want you to feel that way forever and suffer forever, He wants to bind up your broken heart. I'm praying that somehow you will trust Him more and more.

Yes, 'tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
just from sin and self to cease; just from Jesus simply taking
life and rest, and joy and peace.

Love and are often thought are never alone.

Anonymous said...

Love you, Becca! Keep writing! Mom Guimary

Anonymous said...

We've been together these past weeks and so I can say that really, I think you don't recognize all the good, trusting, generous, helpful, caring things you do and actions that abundantly flow out of your life. I know there are negatives to focus on but I just want to say that there are a lot of bright, wonderful, wise, and helpful things that are shining out of you daily.

Rebecca said...

Hello both mom and mom G! I love you both, thanks for reading and supporting me, you guys are awesome!

Rebecca said...

@ Anita: yes, it's so difficult to truly put our faith into practice! I know so few Christians who really live out what they really believe. If we really believed in selfless giving, I don't think half of us would live the way we do. I have some wonderful role models and family members who I would say trust God completely, or as completely as possible in this life. Maybe in the next 20 years of so I'll be able to join their company! :)

Queenie said...

I just think we could fill several hours of talking if we ever got the opportunity to sit down over coffee together. PTSD. . .choices about how to treat emotional/spiritual/medical challenges. . .trusting God after and through trauma. . .wanting so badly to grow complacent and comfortable. . .where do I start to say "I can relate"? It would take a much longer letter than I have room to write here. The loss(es) you have sustained far outweigh any I've experienced, but I think I can at least safely say that I get it. And also that in my opinion you are NOT not trusting God.

Rebecca said...

@Queenie: I'd love to have coffee with you, wish you were closer (ps, please tell me if you guys ever come to visit Hawaii!)

I'm reminded of what the resurrected Jesus told Peter- that a day was coming where Peter would have to stretch out his hands and be taken to a place he does not want to go.
(signifying the death he would die...)

I think many of us on our journey with Jesus have stretched out our hands and been taken to a place we'd rather not be. We've died some rather unwilling, unwanted deaths. I hope that we will experience, at least a bit in this life, a foretaste of the coming resurrection.