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Posts Tagged ‘desperation’

the Great Sadness.

an excerpt from The Shack, by Paul Young.

“The Great Sadness had draped itself around Mack’s shoulders like some invisible but almost tangible heavy quilt. The weight of its presence dulled his eyes and stooped his shoulders. Even his efforts to shake it off were exhausting, as if his arms were sewn into its bleak folds of despair and he had somehow become part of it. He ate, worked, loved, dreamed and played in this garment of heaviness, weighed down as if he were wearing a leaden bathrobe—trudging daily through the murky despondency that sucked the color out of everything. At times he could feel The Great Sadness slowly tightening around his chest and heart like the crushing coils of a constrictor, squeezing liquid from his eyes until he thought there no longer remained a reservoir.”

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Categories: Life Tags: , ,

unemployed thoughts.

February 12, 2011 2 comments

tomorrow marks 6 weeks I have been here in New Orleans. So much has happened, mostly inside of my head, but one thing has not: a job. I would estimate I’ve filled out close to 50 applications by now, and it’s been a difficult and frustrating road. there is so much that is done online these days that any advantage I would gain in a person to person meeting is never given a chance to develop. that’s the frustrating part. the difficult part is that I never know when I am rejected from a job (except Dick’s Sporting Goods, they rejected me within 12 hours…) and so I don’t know whether to wait, or keep looking, getting ever more desperate. for example, this past week I had my first interview at a hotel downtown. during the interview, I realized how much I would hate this job, and how the money may not even be enough to sustain me here. the interviewer even implied I was overqualified for the job. it was quite an odd tactic. nevertheless, if they offer it to me (I should know by mid-week), should I take it? cause it’s not looking promising anywhere else.

and now high school basketball season is over. so my supplemental income, which was my only income, is now gone. the funny thing is, I’m not worried about the money, about affording rent, etc. I need a purpose, something to do, a reason to get out of bed. because for the past 6 weeks, there have been few days with such things. and it’s spun my world on its head. fears I never knew existed have come to light.

and so I pray.

tonight, while I was praying (while I was watching tv on the Internet, believe it or not) to fend off the demons of fear and anxiety, God gave me a word. preserve. even if I never fall in love, never find a career I love, never have a family, lose my loved ones, you know what? He will preserve me. I pray I do fall in love, have a family, and get to do life with those I love back in Kentucky, but this word He gave me is true either way. He will preserve me. thank God.

He will preserve me.

Categories: Life Tags: , , ,

Forgiven.

Some days I listen to Air1 at work, and today I heard this song by Sanctus Real for the first time. I’ve heard it twice today actually. And it was like God wrote this song for me to sing. This is where I am right now. It’s fairly new, and I wanted to share it with whoever stumbles across this. It’s called “Forgiven”:

Well the past is playing with my head
And failure knocks me down again
I am reminded of the wrong that I have said and done
And that devil just won’t let me forget

In this life I know what I’ve been
But here in Your arms I know what I am
I’m forgiven I’m forgiven
I don’t have to carry the weight of who
I’ve been ’cause I’m forgiven

And my mistakes are running through my mind
And I relive my days in the middle of the night
And I struggle with my pain
And wrestle with my pride

Sometimes I feel alone and I cry
When I don’t fit in and I don’t feel like I belong anywhere
When I don’t measure up to much in this life
Oh, I’m a treasure in the arms of Christ ‘Cause ….

In this life I know what I’ve been
But here in Your arms I know what I am
I’m forgiven I’m forgiven
I don’t have to carry the weight of who
I’ve been ’cause I’m forgiven

Praise my Jesus for never letting me go, ’cause I sure as heck have deserved it time and again by earthly standards.

I couldn’t keep it from spilling.

I know trying to write all this down is going to come up so short in comparison to the emotions that are welling up in me at this moment. There’s this book called The Shack by William Paul Young, and it’s been pretty popular and talked about among my church body here in Lexington. I picked it up a few weeks ago, and I believe God orchestrated it for me to read it at this period in my life. I’ve been having a rough go, and made a choice this past weekend, and now this…

I don’t want to talk about the theology of the book, because I think God uses everything for good, no matter how wrong or right it is, but I will say putting words into God’s mouth doesn’t sit well with me. That being said, from the get-go, this book stirred in me. I’m not going to get into the plot, but talk about parts that resonated to the core of my soul.

The main character Mack, is tied down by what he calls “The Great Sadness,” and it’s the most fitting description I have found of the depression I have gone through: “…The Great Sadness had draped itself around Mack’s shoulders like some invisible but almost tangible heavy quilt. The weight of its presence dulled his eyes and stooped his shoulders. Even his efforts to shake it off were exhausting, as if his arms were sewn into its bleak folds of despair and he had somehow become part of it. He ate, worked, loved, dreamed and played in this garment of heaviness, weighed down as if he were wearing a leaden bathrobe—trudging daily through the murky despondency that sucked the color out of everything. At times he could feel The Great Sadness slowly tightening around his chest and heart like the crushing coils of a constrictor, squeezing liquid from his eyes until he thought there no longer remained a reservoir. Other times he would dream that his feet were stuck in cloying mud…”

Going along with this has been my struggle in my close relationships to be content and satisfied. To feel an equal, and to feel loved. I had come to a point where the hurt was so great, and so I was done being transparent and open and just put on a face in order to be there for my friends and reciprocate what I was not feeling, but so desperately desired.

See, I feel like I deserve things and because of this, I feel the need to control things. And this is why “’…experiencing true relationship is so difficult for you,’ Jesus [in The Shack] added. ‘Once you have a hierarchy you need rules to protect and administer it, and then you need law and the enforcement of the rules, and you end up with some kind of chain of command or a system or order that destroys relationship rather than promotes it. You rarely see or experience relationship apart from power. Hierarchy imposes laws and rules and you end up missing the wonder of relationship that we intended for you.’”

I have ruined my relationships. The evil in this world and the independence I feel like I have the right to assert ruins my chance at real relationship. This realization did not overwhelm me with grief as I expected it to, but served as a lifting of a burden, a freeing feeling.

Near the end of the novel, Sarayu, the character the represents the Holy Spirit, says this: “’…Mack, if you and I are friends, there is an expectancy that exists within our relationship. When we see each other or are apart, there is expectancy of being together, of laughing and talking. That expectancy has no concrete definition; it is alive and dynamic and everything that emerges from our being together is a unique gift shared by no one else. But what happens if I change that ‘expectancy’ to an ‘expectation’—spoken or unspoken? Suddenly, law has entered into our relationship. You are now expected to perform in a way that meets my expectations. Our living friendship rapidly deteriorates into a dead thing with rules and requirements. It is no longer about you and me, but about what friends are supposed to do, or the responsibilities of a good friend.’”

This is what I have done. I have expectations: an unprompted hug, being confided in, hearing “I love you” not out of obligation, an effort to spend time together, or even just my expectation of attention. I cannot do this and have relationships survive, and I am sorry that I have done it.

This day started early—6:30 AM—and when I finally turned the last page of this novel, it took time to pacify the intensity I felt. It is unfortunate I was sitting here at work in front of a computer and not outside where I may have just run for the sheer thrill of exhaustion. I do not know how this is going to change my life once my shift ends and what I am beginning to process collides with real life and my quickly-changing future. But I do know my first order of business is to remove expectations, and to live with expectancy. Even today as I have walked to and from class and work, I have been able to marvel at my God and well up with nothing other than complete trust.

I could not have arrived at this point without the events the preceded it in their precise order: the healing I experienced at camp this summer, the turmoil and changing of mine and my best friend’s relationship, the struggles my mother is experiencing, and the removal of myself from those I love so dearly. I praise my Almighty Creator for giving me such a small bit of clarity and I pray I never act as though it never happened.