in the midst of ashes, hope

Broken Bits and Pieces

I am so bloody tired of this feeling of being trapped and held by the past, unable to live the abundant life that was promised to each of us.

And I am frightened.  Scared to death of the endless looking back to see and remember.  When will I find in the midst of the ashes, hope.  And where is it?

All the broken bits of me are scattered and the wind gusting into my life today threatens to blow me away.

I don’t know what to do with the bits and pieces of memory – those things that hurt.  They cause me to doubt myself.  They are vicious. They are hurtful and dangerous, drumming.   They are clamoring.  They are ringing in my head  louder than my small wavering voice (only just) learning to speak.  Are they a lie from the pit or truth?  When I get like this, when my wounds are oozing as they do today, I cannot distinguish lies from truth.   It is what it is.  I am nobody.  Just another nobody with a story.  Who cares?  I cannot believe that this story would help anyone.  One word put on the page after another – risky only in its admission. Here, now, this, these words, they are nothing.

I am so tired of this place.  My family and its circling pain, all shattered fragments, falling apart more every day.  Who will hold the generations together?  They are slowly slipping away and soon they will be bits and pieces of nothing.

More importantly how do I learn?  When will I be transformed?  

Trust Him

The disciples appear to be sitting around, unsure of what to do, until Peter decides to go fishing (John 21) and the others go along.  Was it aimless activity.  They needed to  eat.  Not necessarily completely aimless but doing the thing in front of them. The disciples do not know what to do, so they do the necessary.  And the story suggests that they have put themselves in a place where Christ meets them.

“Here is the simple truth, attested to by the saints, that when we are uncertain what to do we should simply do our duty and God will guide.”

But that night they caught nothing doing what they perceived as the right thing.  It is suggested that they are being prepared to learn one of the central lessons of discipleship–apart from Jesus they can do nothing (15:5).

Jesus has taught this lesson before, for “never in the Gospels do the disciples catch a fish without Jesus’ help.”

I feel like those fishermen who struggled to believe—they were fishing in order to pass the time and in order to eat.  It has been a long, long time that I have sat with my story, lived it, tried to find something redeeming there in my story.  And my life.

I fear, like the disciples with their nets in the water, that

I. just. don’t. believe.

Yes, I am having trouble believing that you can catch fish here. With my life.  With this story.  It’s been “a long night of fishing and I have caught nothing.”

I need to hear His voice, and I don’t even know for sure that I know what it looks or sounds like any more.   Is it even him they wondered when he showed up?   When He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat”….

What are his promises for a moment like this?

Lay It Down

So I have to set down my anger and disappointment at myself for quitting my job so that now, in the middle of a recession, I have no possibilities.  I have to put my desire to work or “to do something” to support my family down.  I have to let go of my ego and pride and the very real delusion that a job will make me more esteemed person to others or bring me respect.   Lay it down.

I must believe that all of this, my story, is part of a purpose bigger than I am able to imagine or see.  Jesus is teaching me that apart from him I can do nothing.

Even I don’t see it.  It is almost easier to look backwards because that is so much clearer, ah beautiful hindsight.

No the future is confusing.  I think I want to go back to school then I am I’m totally frozen by insecurity, self-doubt, and fear — perhaps I’m not smart enough, diligent enough and more importantly have nothing original to say?  It has all been said, thought, written, done.   Lay it down.

I thought I was going to write my story, but there isn’t even a story.  It is just a story about an average nobody middle child who had a raging rather, became a workaholic while having three kids and a step daughter, who quit her paying job, got depressed, became an alcoholic, and now does what? Lay it down.

Tom says it is a spiritual attack when I start to feel like I have nothing to offer to the world, to my children, to my friends (what friends?), to him.  Lay it down.

Don’t tell me I’m a good mom, because I don’t care right now.   I don’t even know why I am here.

The future is blank.  It requires faith.  Big faith?  A small quavering timid faith is all I seem to have today, a brokenhearted faith.   Whatever it is, it’s immeasurable.

It simply is.  I have to lay it all down and believe what he promises, when he said …

“Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” – Luke 1:45

Lord I believe.  Help my unbelief.

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