Apparently this is a strokes song: under the cover of darkness. This post isn’t about music though, and not about any bands either. It’s about faith. Not religion, faith. There are enough personal finance blogs out there that cover finance from a Christian perspective. There’s also enough blogs and websites out there that cover Christianity and all those sort of things. I’m not writing about those or that. Today I write about God, so if you’re not cool with Jesus you might want to skip this post… and if you are, hey cool, thanks for sticking around. 🙂 (I also cursed once in this article… so there’s that too)
I wrote a post a month or so ago in support of TWLOHA. I wrote about depression and about people hurting. Not people in faraway countries that are starving to death. I wrote about emotional pain in our country, in our cities, in our communities. The part I skipped in that post is my own hurt because despite (or is it because-of) having everything I could have ever wanted at such a young age. It’s not enough. I am hurting, too, because I feel utterly lost.
I have my company, my house, other side hustles, my dog, friends and family who love me and I am lost.
It’s hard to describe to you since my feelings aren’t purely the result of a chemical imbalance or some sort of life altering event but rather the culmination of many events and choices I have made on my own. Choices in relationships, friendships, work and life. Each and every one brought me here today. I’ve made a few wrong ones and a few right ones, in any case it landed me here. Lost.
I attended a service this past weekend where Pastor Mark Reid recounted his experience with Dengue fever and the resulting depression that can happen: When it’s dark you flick on the light switch. Easy right? But sometimes it’s dark and there is no light switch to flick. It’s just dark. There is just….wall and that’s about the point I’ve been stuck at for the past year. It isn’t because I feel gloomy for any sort of reason. I love life and I don’t want to kill myself. I am happy with my life but I lack joy. I wake up in the morning and I feel utterly lost, alone and purposeless and my mind keeps whirring at lightning speed. I long for peace. It’s akin to the light switch missing.
I started working in my last year of high school and since then my life has revolved around friends, working and attending school for many years. I obtained my university degree by going part-time for a very long time. I like being busy.
In that post I detailed how I went through school and what it felt like after. I had and have no fucking idea what to do with my life. I focused on this idea of moving away for a few months and selling my house for a while, over the past few months I’m realizing those aren’t solutions. Just band-aids. I’m still selling my house… and the rest will play out.
I’ve been squirming and twisting and turning and searching for what I’m supposed to be doing next for more than a year. It’s probably obvious I’ve been a little lost. I’ve written many a melancholy post about my feelings and in all of them I focused externally. Perhaps the feeling of loss I have been feeling for the past year isn’t a problem on the outside, of what I’m doing. It’s in my nature to be very driven and ambitious and be doing something or some project. I’m not worried about the continuation of that, things will come up and my mind will get busy again plotting and planning and working away.
Perhaps my problem is a problem on the inside and it isn’t a physical or chemical one that a doctor can fix.
I was in a very short relationship recently and when that ended it threw me for a loop. I had no idea what to do, I didn’t know what to do with my life before the relationship either but for some reason it sent me on this roller-coaster of feelings. It wasn’t the relationship or the break-up that caused me an intense feeling of grief, it was all the other shit that’s been building for years. The relationship directed my focus elsewhere for a short bit but even as I was sitting on the couch with that man before anything ended I realized I still have to deal with this. I keep coming up with distractions and it doesn’t work.
The problem seems to be, as I see it today that while I believe in a very real God and a very real Jesus, with a capital J, that I have never trusted Him. I have trusted Him in all things, money and life and silly little issues but I have never trusted him enough to give up going at it on my own and trust him in matters of the heart. I have lived my entire life firmly planted in the secular world doing secular things, with secular friends while believing in God. There isn’t anything wrong with either of those by the way. It just is and it isn’t that I haven’t doubted God… I have. I chose to believe in a very real God on my own. It is that I have vehemently refused to deal with the consequences of both these choices that lands me here today. Cognitive dissonance of sorts.
I cannot continue to believe in God and live out my entire life as a secular person with secular-everything in my life. I cannot continue to deny the things I believe by my choices and actions and still claim to believe because it’s tearing me apart on the inside. It’s time to choose, one way or the other and to deal with the consequences of that choice. Something I’ve avoided doing for 7 years.
In all my actions I have tried very hard to live a good life, to help and support others. These aren’t virtues I thought of on my own, they’re the things I believe are part of my faith. To love others as I love myself, as love is both an emotion and an affair of the will. (C.S. Lewis) It’s a choice that I make everyday. I try to love as best as I can in all my flawed ways. My friends and others recognize in me the characteristics that are not my own but that I try to extol and have all my life, unconditional love, loyalty, truth and charity. Those things are not mine, they were given to me to give away.
The sense of loss I have been feeling in my life, in my soul, seem to be related to the question of God. I have everything I need and most that I want, yet I lack purpose. I have all the friends and family that I need and yet I feel alone. I am happy with all that I have, I want for nothing and yet I lack joy. I have everything but no direction because I have never trusted God to lead my life in the right direction. I have never been willing to live life as a consequence of my faith.
I’m like sail boat with no rudder on an open sea. I’m looking for the lightswitch and I can’t freaking find it and I’m pretty sure God had something to do with it. Stale-mate you bastard.
PS: Image source