It’s been a heck of an effort trying to piece together this article. I’ve written four other pieces just to avoid this one. The others are good, don’t get me wrong but I’ve been really trying to scribe this out. I came up with a quote, wrote about the memoir I have in the works. I also wrote about my 30 day fast from coffee and then came up with another quote.
This is part one about marching through mayhem. There’s more to my story than just this. “Before it gets better the darkness gets bigger…” Sometimes it hurts worse before it heals.
When we’re younger there are several crucial stages of development, split up into the nineteen years that makes up adolescence. It’s important to reach and complete these stages successfully in order for us to be properly prepared for the years ahead. However, no one is raised perfectly. Aren’t we all a little cracked?
When our original structures get reformed, the pillars we grew up with, the ones we leaned on, are no longer useful so we have to rebuild. First, old structures need to be torn down. Before reconstruction comes demolition. This paradigm shift can be a frightening, unsteady process. Hence the term ‘midlife crisis.’ All that was known before crumbles, and it seems as though we are left with no more than rubble. Although, I’m nowhere near middle-aged which is the typical time structures we’ve built begin to collapse, I felt like crisis kick in.
Living In Jericho
Last year I was having a rough go at life, specifically, in terms of romance, everyone I knew was putting a ring on it. Maybe not everyone, but it certainly felt that way. Every time I would log on to any social media outlet, there was another fiancé. I always saw myself marrying young. My self-respect is too high for something casual and I’m much to complex to just be someone’s girlfriend. Of course I respect the process but in total I’m marriage minded. I want a marriage the way God intended. Now in my twenties, I realize the value of that covenant deeper than ever before, so that is what I pray for. Unfortunately, this longing became a haunting for me last year. The relationships I had contained little to no substance. It was pointless and exhausting. Still, I felt like I was in a race to the alter. Why? Good question. I don’t even know. I just ended up believing whatever I saw others my age doing and worrying about why it wasn’t happening for me.
I’ve heard countless times that life often doesn’t go as planned but until last year, I don’t think I ever faced the concrete reality. Even though I know God’s timing is not always our timing, I still believed on some level that the blueprints I drew up for my life were solid and God would bless them. They were good plans with Christ in mind. Use my gift of words to publish a book, make money and bless others. Marry young since it’s what I’ve always had in my heart and serving God with my spouse would be twice as fun. These goals of mine were not dreamt up overnight. They are the cries of my heart. I have sacrificed, I have suffered, and I have prayed for them. Years of preparation, knowing full well the promises of scripture and the greatness God prepared before me. Last year felt like the perfect mark in my timeline for those things to come to pass. So why were the dates I went on dreadful and every pitch I sent to a publisher rejected? I honestly don’t know. What I do know is that I felt the weight of failure increasing brick by brick. I was haunted by the pages of my unpublished manuscript and feeling like I was locked out of the church where my own wedding was supposed to be. I felt like I would die alone outside in the cold unless I busted a window, shouted in objection, and ran up to the alter with my left hand ready for a ring. I felt like I had to make my life happen. I was constantly anxious, desperately trying to live out the arrogance of the poem “Invictus.”
I felt like I was needlessly marching around and around the city that I was supposed to be conquering. I knew the character of God. I knew I was a conquerer through Christ and I know what it’s like to have victory. So why was all the effort I put in getting me nowhere? The new foundation I was trying to build was fractured and I was crumbling under the pressures of life. God had to be aware that. God knows me and He still loves me. He sees me, He loves me, He’s with me. The blood beating through my bluebird heart pumped solely for that reason. However, knowing that did not make my legs any less tired. Humidity continued to smother and sweat was constant. The more I marched the heavier I felt. It was like the obliteration that happens to my quads after a leg workout. My muscles burned. My veins pumped battery acid and I knew I could not continue marching much longer.