Every time I've tried to post since last week, it's kinda fallen flat. Today I have to because I'm feeling something awful and this week I was instructed not to distract myself from terrible feelings or "deal with them later" but deal with them now. I just got a call from one of my closest friends. I'm friends with her and her significant other, and today his mother died. We all knew it was going to happen, he's been spending lots of time with his family in preparation, but no matter what we know or perceive death always feels like a sucker punch.
It's weird, too, how it's kind of secondhand grief. I've been fortunate in my life to not yet have anyone close to me personally die, but it's always been people close to those I'm close to, like a close friend's little brother in high school. I think it's a good person to be in the lives of those affected. I'm one step removed, so I can listen and pray for them without feeling completely destroyed.
But because I'm me, I always have this guilt. There is so much badly placed guilt in my life, lies from Satan to keep me from intimacy with God. It's good for me to declare that I know that is what the are, and that Satan has no power over me. But anyway, it's like I'm not allowed to be sad, or as sad as I think I would be if I allowed those feelings to be felt. It's weird how you can shove feelings down. What are feelings? Is it a brain click that we are some how able to unclick with the power of unhealthy coping mechanisms? I get an image of them coming up from my stomach, I guess like vomit, but then there's me, always forcing them back down.
I digress. I need to go home and pray about this. I need to get filled up so that when I speak to them next I can pour out the only thing I know is real and good for true comfort in this world, which is God's perfect, perfect, perfect love. This has been a theme in my mind, reading and meditations this week. God loves me. This isn't emphasized enough in the tradition I'm in. People seem so fixated on our sinfulness and wretchedness that we speed through the Good part of the Good News.
I know our wretchedness is deep, long and terrible, but I was born and have lived with extraordinarily low self-esteem my whole life. I need some comfort after facing the darkness inside of me. I read a bit of Brennan Manning's The Furious Longing of God, and I know people think he focuses too much on the Good and not on the dirtiness of our selves, but it was SO helpful to my soul. I know there is a required context and nuance to the verse below. But for now, it's going to rest on my heart, comfort me, and give me the strength to comfort people I love so, so deeply.
I am my beloved's,
And his desire is for me.
Song of Solomon 7:10