I threw a massive tantrum this week. Yes, a tantrum, this 30-year old. Let me tell you what my adult-sized tantrum looked like. I played hooky from school, slept two days away (I’m not kidding, it was full on hypersomia), binge-ate all kinds of junk food, fast food, sodas, chocolates, you name it I ate it. Also I binge-watched Netflix series and refused to talk to God. Yep, I basically folded my arms, did an about turn with a “hmpf!” and said to God, “I don’t want to talk to you!” I’m not proud of any of it.
I was stuffing my emotions down with food and pushing my inner voice and God’s whispers away by inundating myself with a constant barrage of noise, so that I didn’t have to deal with when it’s quiet just before I fall asleep and I hear God’s whisper: Sam, talk to me. And for a whole week, I said: “Nope.”
Whose loss? My loss.
Because I wallowed in a pit, isolated myself and then I finally broke. That’s when I decided to call my mentor up to say that I was in a really bad place. After a week of not allowing myself to cry, I was a crying mess on the phone. She so kindly gave me three hours of her time and loved me enough to say the things that I needed to hear, in between jumbled sentences and sobs.
“These cycles of low moods are recurring because there is a way to handle difficulties that God wants you to learn, and it’s going to take time and many remedial lessons until you get it.”
“You need to open up, get over yourself and learn to ask for help.”
“You’re seeing things with a darker lens now because you’re not replacing your thoughts with the truth of God, so it’s dangerous because your emotions will carry you away.”
“You need to start talking to God again, and learn again to trust in Him.”
She’s really spot on.
I’m having a hard time getting a lid on my emotions after a recent trigger event catapulted me back to some really dark places in my head and heart where I know I’ve left issues not dealt with. I’m beginning to realise that a pattern with me when I hit hard times is to quickly medicate the pain away, bury all pieces that are difficult and shameful and ugly, and just move on.
I broke the silence with God last night. It didn’t magically make all the pain go away. I still feel heavy-hearted and literally, like physically tight-chested. The problems I’m dealing with are still there. My emotional mess still exists. As hard as I wish for instant maturity to descend upon me that I may snap out of my wallowing, I’m still journeying. But as I took some time out today to read in a cafe, something happened that I know for sure is God’s doing.
The two words jumped out from the page and into my immediate attention. In context of the paragraph I was reading, they’re really just part of an anecdote to make the author’s point. But a vivid flashback hit me when I read the words “operating table” as God brought to remembrance a vision He gave me in September 2013, where I was a worship leader at a women’s retreat. It was a picture of the Father in a workshop, chipping away at a piece of wood. He was sculpting something. In that vision I was a little girl, peeking in from the door and asking what He was doing. “I’m working on you,” he smiled and said. Little did I know how each chip would hurt, but was absolutely necessary. And here, almost three years later, I’m still trying to wriggle out of the uncomfortable position I find myself in as God works on me – healing hurts, mending wounds, stitching up tears, fixing broken parts, taking away, putting together, repairing, renewing, re-fashioning.
I’m not better, but today I remember when He gave me Romans 5:3-5 to hold on to back in 2013. Just like He gave me 2 Corinthians 4:17 this year to hold on to.
…we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
Romans 5:3-5 (NIV)