This versus That

Tension.

It seems to be the theme of my life right now.

Tension between celebration and sorrow. As we left Arizona I felt the tension ripping in my spirit. How amazing to celebrate. Celebrations of life and resurrection, celebrations of family and history, celebrations of yesterday and today, celebrations of past, present, and future. I have so much that I’m thankful for and amazed at. It’s wonderful.

Yet everything is colored with tinges of sadness. As much as we try to focus on the moment and the gift of the time together, the sadness is like an unwelcome party guest, hovering in the corner. The reality of life. The reality of why we are gathered. It’s terrible.

It’s wonderful and terrible. Love and Sorrow meeting.

See, from his head, his hands, his feet,
sorrow and love flow mingled down.
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
or thorns compose so rich a crown.

 

Tension between good and best. I feel like I’ve managed this tension for so long. Settling for good or risking it all for best. Good seems just good enough. It’s not as risky and it feels safe. This thing or that can be changed or forgotten. Maybe my preference can be lost. I know how to live in the prison cell I once was in. Maybe the cage isn’t as bad as I thought it was.

What if best never comes? What if best is an illusion and a withholding? What if… what if… what if…? Waiting for best is excruciating. Best might mean it never happens. Best might mean absence. Best might mean silence. Best might mean “never” instead of “not now.” But because best is truly best, I have to trust One.

why are you so far from me?
in my arms is where you ought to be.
how long will you make me wait?
i don’t know how much more i can take.
i missed you. but i haven’t met you.
oh but i want to. how i do.

dear whoever you might be
i’m still waiting patiently.

Tension between being content and not being content. Those feelings of knowing what you were created for but being called to a place that doesn’t make sense. My role is to be excellent no matter where I am situated. But still – there is that tension when it doesn’t fit. It’s like wearing the wrong size clothing. You can pull, tug, strap in, slouch, and unbutton, but there is no getting around that you’re in the wrong size.

When I was in Nashville, I was signed to a modeling agency. I was booked to model some clothes for a daytime talk show. The segment was on when clothes don’t fit properly – i.e. when to buy longs, petite, etc. We were getting fitted right before the segment and they had clothes that were actually one or two sizes too small because it made more of an impact that the clothes didn’t fit. I could hardly get the jacket on because of how short and tiny it was. I remember feeling so uncomfortable but knowing my job was to go on camera, smile, and pose.

It’s felt a little bit like that in my life right now. I’m frustrated because the garments I’m wearing are too small and I can’t tell anyone. I have to get in front of a camera flashing a smile and pretending like all is right in my world.

Sometimes I feel admonished by Paul when he says, “I have learned to be content, no matter the circumstance.” I haven’t learned that. I feel like I should be better, I should be tougher, I should be able to handle it, I should be able to put my priorities in order.

I should. I should. I should.

And the weights of the what if’s and I should’s overwhelm me. They disorient me and send me spinning to the point where even when I stop myself the world is slanted and I can’t quite catch my step.

I just want to be SO angry. I want to kick and scream. I want to blame someone. I want to say I don’t see You. I want an answer and a direction and a reason and a solution. I want to be mad about ALL of it. I just want to be so mad. Because getting angry makes me feel less crazy. Angry feels like there is problem that can be fixed. Controlled. Something that makes the spinning stop. Something that makes sense of senseless. Something to hold on to.

But I’m not angry. I’m sad and confused and hurt and lost and defeated, but I’m not angry. I do see Him. I feel Him. I know He’s there. Which sometimes makes it harder. I have to wrestle with the tension of a loving Papa and a fallen world. That, I think, is the root of all of my other tension.

 

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