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.