Sunday, October 16, 2011
I Sing Because I'm Free
I need to set some things straight. I have no idea what I am doing. Like really. No idea. Not even a clue. Or a hint of a clue for that matter. I have been trying to flaunt some sense of self assuredness that bread a stylized and youthful train of knowledge to the world and hoping that no one calls me out on the fact that I am talking out of both sides of my mouth. Well since no one will call me out, I'm going to do it. I don't have any answers, much less all of the answers that I wish I had. Instead I am a growing inventory of questions, most of which start with why, what if, and how come. This world is swiftly growing more and more confusing and I certainly am not able to keep up. I still haven't decided whether it's actually becoming more confusing or if it's just that when you grow up your pretty little rose colored glasses loose their hugh bit by bit, but like I said, I don't have any answers. However, just because I don't have them does not mean that I am going to ever stop searching for them.
My favorite story bar none, Christian or otherwise is the story of queen Esther. Not only is she beautiful, she is so terribly self assured in every life changing action she takes it makes me want to strive to be someone like her. Even if I turn out to only have a glimmer of that kind of power of preciseness, I will count my life as something worth talking about. In one of the many movie portrayals of this story, one of my favorite quotes and possibly one of my life's mantras is born. "Maybe we are not meant to ask questions of our trials. Instead, maybe our trials are to answer questions of us." I don't have any answers, but maybe that is because I am not the one that is supposed to be asking the questions. Instead, perhaps I should be living my life the way I know I am destined to live it, and allow my circumstances to ask the questions in this life of me. At that moment I should be able to allow this life I have been given to answer these questions for me. If I am truly on the right path, my life should be able to speak for me. The light in my heart that I so hope that I shine should be able to pinpoint that I have been spoken for, and that the questions of this world are so petty and time wasted. That I am a soul that is engineered for a higher purpose, and unfortunately I have completely lost sight of that.
In honor of setting things straight, I feel that I need to be extremely transparent right now. Honestly as much as I want to say that it's for your benefit, I know deep down in the hidden shadows of my heart that I'm really the one that needs to see these things in black and white. That I am the one that has disconnected my mind from my heart in search of self-preservation but in actuality have only cause further demise to myself. But my mind needs to remind my heart of a few things. So here goes. I know that I am not the best example of the faith that I so strongly proclaim on these pages. I know that I am not the best witness for the Christ that I love so much. I know that I need to get back into church and really ignite that fire for the Lord that hasn't quite gone dim, but honestly maybe isn't in the right spot in the list of priorities. And if this weren't bad enough, I know that this is the very reason that my heart is breaking. My mind knows all of this. But since I severed the umbilical cord connecting mind and heart a long time ago, I have been unwilling and too headstrong to admit this. My mind knows that the bible says to "above all things, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." but my heart as jumped out of my chest and into the hands of anyone who even looks like they would want to just say hi to me. And of course when they turn out to not be the person God has made for me and is a poor caretaker of the most precious thing I own, of the very essence of who I am, I am the one that is left in shambles, not them. And the worst part is that I cannot blame them for the tears that soak my pillow. Because I know that I know better. My head also know that "I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans for a hope and a future." Yet my heart lusts after what I see right now. Being the impatient little girl I so often allow myself to resort back to, I eat all the cookies in the cookie jar even though mom told me not to because it would spoil the wonderful and healthy meal she has prepared for me. And while the cookies tasted amazing at the time, and they were all I could think about until there were consumed, in time they began to turn on me. They made me sick, and in the end it takes me more time to recover from that than it would have to have just waited on the healthy meal that was planned for me. I have refused to wait for the feast that God has for me. Instead I find myself doubled over in the corner reeling from the pain of eating the cookies of life that were there right that instant. I need to learn how to wait for the substance that God has for me, not the ever-fleeting sugar that the world tells me I should have.
My life hasn't ever been easy, but then again whose has? We have all seen things before we should have; we have all grown up too fast. We are all defined by the scares life has left with us. We are even farther defined by whether we see these scares as ugly flaws, or as the flaws that make us the beautiful creatures that we so long to be. I have fought so hard for life. And life hasn't really ever fought hard back for me. I have loved life, but life has never really loved me back. It's like the women that look at themselves in the mirror to try and find some satisfaction there, but they are met by a reflection that will never love them back, no matter how many hours they stand in front of it. I have loved the wrong things. I have put my hope on that something less that the hymns I grew up with so fervently warn against. I have trusted the sweetest frame and have not leaned on Jesus' name. I have put everything thing on the sinking sand that never yields anything prosperous. Yet I know that the solid rock is where I so desperately need to be.
Speaking of hymns, my life has been guided by the lyrics that fill any generic hymnal that can be found in any church worldwide. Songs are the language of my heart, and lyrics are the translation of my thoughts. For years I have identified with the concise way that lyrics decode the feelings of my spirit, and often use them to convey what I can't seem to fashion together on my own. One of these hymns has shaped my life in more ways than I ever thought one could. It has been my strength in times of need, and my encouragement to keep going in lighter times. It's the song that my mom sings to me when I need to know I am never alone, and the same song I sing when I have just received the happiest news possible. When I was going through a very very rough time with my health in high school and beyond I remember writing this down in one of the hospitals I was being cycled through. " I may not always "sing because I'm happy" because I know this life won't always bring me the happiness that I think I require. But this I know. I know that I will always "sing because I am free." Because no matter what tries to hold me captive, I have been offered freedom, and by this freedom I will live."
I found this scribbled in one of my old notebooks yesterday and just started to cry. It immediately took me back to that time in my life where I had no idea if things would ever improve. A light at the end of the tunnel wasn't even a hope of mine, yet I had the strength to write these words. It's as if a sixteen-year-old version of myself knew that one day and older but not wiser version of myself would need this. Well I did. I do. I am tearing myself away from the idea that I know anything about this life that I live, much less have any control over it. Instead I am going to place my life and more importantly my heart into the most capable hands there is, and live my life through him. No matter what tries to hold me captive, I have been offered freedom, and by this freedom I will live. I sing, now and forever more, because I am FREE