Life has beat me up this year. I had exhausting, horrible fall outs with family. I met a guy and then lost the guy. I experienced some of the worst church hurt I've ever experienced. I was fired.
I buried my godfather. On my birthday.
And an uncle died in the street like a dog; another casualty of a drug overdose.
To say I've been desperate for healing, refocus, hope, and change is an understatement.
I tried through halfhearted prayers, meditation at the park, quiet journal-writing time, avoidance, and sleep to "get over" every blow 2015 landed. I have tried to claim even the smallest semblance of self-sufficiency and MAKE myself OK and found it to be an impossibility. I don't know why I fought my need for God. I don't have all the answers or a magic wand to wave over myself to make life hurt less, so why not come running to One who causes entire oceans to chill?
I experienced depression in a way that was most difficult because at least when I experienced it in years past, I had much more time alone to sit with it and try to figure it out. This year I've had to smile and move through life like everything was fine when it truly was not. I didn't know how to articulate what I felt to others besides feeling empty, hollow, searching.
In full transparency, since that is what Temple & Riot is all about, when I review this year I realize that my connection with God had slipped from its number 1 spot during those low moments. I was so focused on my circumstances and proving myself to a world that couldn't care less about lil' ol' me and my worth.
I can't tell you the exact moment when that connection became restored but I am in a place that is much different. I'm in a stronger position now. Not because of anything I've done but because I just realized that I was desperate for something beyond me. I didn't know how to grieve my godfather. I couldn't get over the church hurt. I didn't want to forgive the family members who treated me so terribly. My ego was not trying to heal from being fired (I told people that I "left" my job until about two months ago).
It had to be someone bigger than me who could take all of that confusion, all of those hurts and emotions and hand me peace, joy, courage, strength, and love instead. Had to be. Because I wasn't capable of reaching for those things on my own. Not in the emotional state I was in.
I don't always get it right. 2015 has given way to less than shining moments. Some days I want to wallow. Some days I break down in tears for the family I've lost. Some days I see another hashtagged name and want to cuss and riot. Some days I can barely lift my head off of the pillow without being overcome with anxiety, wanting to prove my worth. Some days - for the hell others have put me through - I think forgiveness should be struck from the English language. But then God's grace comes to mind. His strength and courage overwhelm me. His love consumes me. His forgiveness convicts me and I have to run to Him, become better, and keep rising to the level He's created me for. I come running to Him daily because my life needs Him and sometimes it is just as simple as that.