Sunday, December 18, 2005


I don't even know where to start. My head is so full of thoughts, all swirling, all needing to be savoured, to be left to percolate. I want them to touch me deeply, but I'm afraid that with the fragile state they're in now, they'll be lost too soon. I always seem to be left with just a taste in my mouth. Never the whole meal, never enough to satisfy. I want to chew each thought slowly and let it fill me up. Of course, then there's the issue of what to write here. Who will see it? Do I want to be that raw, that open, for everyone to see?

Love? Something is stirring in me. I pray and I pray for it to go away. I'm afraid that nothing will ever come of it, and I don't want to feel that pain.

Disappointment. Or rather, a great fear of disappointment. I try so hard not to get my hopes up, for fear they will come crashing down. Again.

Hope. False or founded? I want to simultaneously squash it and do everything possible to keep it alive. It's not just about him - about everything. Particularily about finding the "me" I seem to have lost somewhere along the way this year.

Longing. To be me again. To not be overwhelmed. To slip my hand into his. To be so much more of the person God wants me to be. Longing that sometimes is barely noticeable, but sometimes comes to the surface and is so strong my chest aches.

Fear. "I fell funny. Funny-bad." This year has been hard. I haven't felt like myself. To look at me, one would say that everything is going well. Work friends, family, church - all good. I almost feel ungrateful when I say that something just feels wrong. I had to fight away tears at the play tonight when the actor read a monologue that could have been about me. Fear that all I hope for won't happen. Fear that I won't be "good enough" in what I do. Fear that my Jesus will stop having patience with ever-wandering me.

As the author of that monologue had finally been able to put his finger on what had been nagging at him, I came to see that for me it was the same thing. Even as I'm writing this, I see how much fear is at the root of what I'm feeling. It's not a knee knocking horror film type terror. It's not even a tangible worry that I can identify and deal with. Instead it seems to be a subtle change in character, a timidness about life. It's as if I'm afraid to really live, to put my heart out there. At a deep, nearly unrecognizable leve, I'm afraid to risk. I didn't used to be that way. It feels like this year I've become jaded. Lost something.

Fear is a funny thing. It seems to sneak up on you. It slowly coils around you and starts to restict your movement. I see now why the words "paralysing" and "fear" are used together. And I see how the paralysis can be so much more than physical.

As Chrsitmas apporaches, I find myself thinking about the angels that came to Mary, to Jospeh, and to the shepherds in vast multitues. The first thing on their lips was "Do not be afraid." Then I think to all the times in the Bible that phrase has been uttered.

"I am the God of your father Abraham. Do not be afraid, for I am with you... The Lord will say to those with fearful hearts, 'Be stong. Do not fear. Your God will come.'... Do not be afraid, for I am with you and I will rescue you... Don't be afraid, just believe... Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not be afraid...

As I sit and think about Christmas, I'm reminded that I have no reason to fear. My past is redeemed and my future is secure. As I muddle along in the present, I'll try to keep this in mind.
Do not be afraid.
Do not be afraid.
Love has found it's way to you.
Do not be afraid.

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