Do I have to?
"Awaken my soul, come awake"
I continued to try to sleep as my mind kept singing, "Spirit of the living God come fall afresh on me. Come wake me from my sleep. Blow through the caverns of my soul, pour in me to overflow. To overflow."
"Spirit of the...."
"Alright, God I'm getting up."
Holy Spirit with a sense of humor? I think so.
I've struggled and thankfully walked through and out of bouts of depression, unexpected intense anxiety and a trauma that at times caused post traumatic stress. I don't say this to get pity(or to scare you from inviting me over to your house) but because I believe that these things are so common and yet so taboo to speak about. There are chemical and hormonal changes that our bodies go through because of pregnancy, lack of sleep, improper nutrition, and many other regular, everyday things that can cause our minds some sort of imbalance. There are also difficult life changes and stress that can overwhelm us causing us to be susceptible to mental imbalance, like a virus. These things should not be taboo, should not be shameful. They are all too common and treatable. Even the scarier imbalances are still a medical condition, an illness where the root of the issue needs to be searched out and taken care of, where there is hope. The problem may be simple or multifaceted but there is always hope.
It might sound odd out of context of a certain sermon but recently the phrase, "God doesn't negotiate with hopelessness;" has stuck in my mind. Knowing I cannot do that sermon justice in a few phrases I'll just tell you that the phrase was referencing Gideon. Pointing out that some of the negative, insecure things that Gideon was believing about himself were not true but that God did not even address that. He just spoke to Gideon as if he had already overcome, as if he was always the warrior of faith that God was calling him to be.
What I see is that in the Kingdom of God and within God is all Hope. Hope is the reality, not a chance with a large possibility of doomed failure. So God is working from a perspective that we cannot always grasp. Where Hope is tangible and Healing is not out of reach. And hopelessness is like a tiny, little thought terrorist, stealing our joy, wrecking our trust and ability to move forward. So God's not going to negotiate with it because hopelessness is just a lie wrapped up in pretty packaging that makes us identify with it, not question it. So he just speaks truth and it alters our reality and allows us to see more clearly. To wake up. Ha, like the Matrix or C.S. Lewis's The Silver Chair or that movie where you need bathtubs to help wake you out of dreams. Except we wake up to see our real enemy and a much better reality where hope is real and heavens resources are endless(no bathtub needed).
Not real. We're done now.
In one of my hardest moments I was driving down the highway from my in-laws in what felt like the middle of a nightmare. I was breaking at the seams and it felt as though my heart couldn't handle one more minute in my current reality. I have no idea what I prayed but I think I asked, "God where are you?", my voice and thoughts flooded with anger and confusion. I was clinging to the notion that God was Good because I could point directly back to places in my life where I knew he had come through but I felt myself slipping, grasping. Then all of a sudden I felt lifted out of the darkness and almost placed on the other side of it. I could sense there was another side, something I could apprehend past the pain and with that came peace. No answers yet, just peace.
So here are some awesome verses: