Without Feeling

I have no clue where my emotions wandered off to…

A long season of trauma has left me feeling really numb to everyone. So much so that personal offense and direct manipulation do not enrage me. I would like to associate it with the Jesus pacifism that some Christians have, but I know it is not that.

Part of it is the stifling of communicating frustration or even confronting white people. I could say not all white people, but I don’t feel the need to, be a smarter reader and assume with diligence. I have learned when confronting white people to be prepared to be unheard. Be prepared to argue that an offense happened and that offense can be minimized by whatever perspective they want to have on the situation. It is infuriating. As a black person, in conversation or arguments, I have to argue the validity of my feelings. My emotions are not even safe in conversations. It’s one of the minor ways people can try to steal your personhood. In a confrontation, you become overly passive to be heard. Rather than self-regulating, you moderate your tone, others expressions, setting, word choice…maybe that’s just me. I don’t know.

Part of it is apathy. Unrelenting apathy. I have done things. I have been in counseling, had painfully hard conversations, have pursuing friendships where I failed, have tried to make emotionally healthy steps. Nothing; Tosin is checked out. I am drained. I’m waiting for a vacation that hopefully restores a sense of feeling.

What I do know is that I’ve been hurt and let down this week. I am just waiting on the feelings to kick in.

Advertisements

Dear Mikey

Anyone who spent time with Mikey would assume death would be the furthest idea from him. Mikey was so full of life. It teemed out of him. It was as if, he was closer to the breath of God than many. His animated figure made everyone laugh. There are few photos of him that don’t make me laugh now.

O death, where is your sting?

Oh death, there is your sting.

I do not want to give much time to death. He has stolen so much already. Mikey, your life was is so precious. Death has taken life from you. Those hands God gave you were in rebellion towards you and took your own life from you. Death has taken life from those who love you and still remain. Six years removed from Atlanta, when I learned of your passing, my breath was stolen. Mikey, so many of my inhales and exhales were in eruptions of laughter. Mikey, you gave breath. Sweet image bearer, adopted son of God, oh how the siblings loved you. I think of your bride. I think of the disciples. Their fear to learn of Christ passing. John’s eyes on Christ’s disfigured body. He no longer looks like himself. Christ’s death boasts the resurrection. I think of your youth. God redeems. Mikey, your death in its grisly state is still riddled with redemption. Mikey, in the hands of a Creator, your death will still bring life. It is what my prayer is. It’s all I have to hope in.

So as early morning tears stain my pillow, I weep and rejoice. For though we have lost you, for now, we have not lost you forever. I look forward to Christ’s return. I look forward to the resurrection. I look forward to you rising. We will rise together.

Grave Friday

This is the first Easter season in three years where I have done nothing. Good Friday is perhaps my favorite day in the Liturgical Calendar. I am often akin to melancholic expressionism. So for all believers who have an unshakeable gloominess, Good Friday is for you. This particular Good Friday has been challenging. All of the personal events of my life in this past year have shifted my eyes from a Suffering Saviour to my personal suffering.

This particular Good Friday, my focus has been on the grave, not the grave of my Saviour, but my grave and my graveness. I have felt hollowed out for sixteen months. It is of my own doing. You cannot live sinfully and expect to feel alive. I have attempted to maintain appearances of wellness. Every night I crawl back into the grave and find it dug deeper than the night before, making it harder to leave for the next day.

After some time, it is now too deep. I crawled in for a night and awoke and could not exit again. So, I lie there, looking up to the sky hearing familiar noises knowing life is continually moving forward, as I lie in the grave. I don’t even know if people know I’m here. Time progresses, I give up hope that anyone will pass by and look down and see someone is in this massive pit.

Until He does. He has always been someone I was drawn to in life. He can save me and pull me out. On this Good Friday, He does something different. He crawls into the grave with me and nestles me. He knows me all too well, but today He takes my deadenness. He somehow lies beside me and over me. His hands are holding mine and washing a prodigal clean, writing in the sand, and healing the broken.

He does not belong in this grave. He tells me I don’t belong there either.

We don’t get up immediately. He tells me we will get up soon.

So, I wait but not alone. Never alone.

To those who read and weep for you are in personal graves of sinfulness or sorrow, depravity or depression, loneliness or feeling lesser. Join me in remembering a Saviour who joins us in the grave if but for three days. Who grabs us by the hand and pulls us out. Whose life gets transferred to us.

It is a Good Friday indeed.

The Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb
He crawls into the grave with us.

Ashes, Ashes, We all Fall Down

I enjoy ranking things. Friends, today topples the rank of worst Valentine’s Day of my life. I have spent literally every Valentine’s Day without a valentine and this one can, by golly, this one can bury itself in a massive pile of elephant shit, light itself on fire, and burn until the ash blows away into the wind back to the hell hole from which it came.

It was not my intention to be this bitter. My bitterness towards today is not correlated with my singleness. In fact, I made all the attempts to have a good Valentine’s Day and was met with frustration every step of the way. Some of it internal frustration; some of it external frustration. I should have known when I was crying by 9am this day would smack of all thing wretched. Still, I pressed on foolishly assuming that there would be something redemptive about today. NOPE. Everything in me desires to list off hyphenated four letter words creating conjugations of curses that make the sky roll back and swallow me whole because existing in this time in this body in this place raises a fury that was simmering but is now coming to a boil. I fear it’s potential of splashing over, burning those attempting to cool it. I know some already have been seared. The workday ended with me being both empty, but filled with anger; scared, that my general reset button was broken and I was going to completely lose it: my mind, my will, my spirit, my hope, my breath, my life, my me.

I left to go to yoga and while zooming down Emancipation decided Ash Wednesday service was where I would be found at 7pm. Here’s are my reflections from that time.

Ash Wednesday is a liturgical reflection centering on our mortality. We all are going to die. Death takes us all. Sometimes one by one, other times in shootings, and tornadoes. Every man both rich and poor, male or female, will taste death. However, as melancholic as Ash Wednesday is meant to be, I find the Christian perspective on death to be rather hopeful. Death is hideous and ugly. It’s a dastardly thief. As a child, I struggled with suicidal ideation. I plotted death a couple of times and once sat alone and behind a countertop with pills in hand staring and still. Death has always felt like a door. By the end of the hour of the liturgy, I sat through the last readings to write words that felt true of the space and season I have lost myself in…

Death does not scare me, for I know that it’s the only passage way into life. It s life that cause me the most unrest. We are all heading to death, why fear a door. I’d rather fear the journey. I am mortal searching and hoping for immortality. I am done being dust. I feel like dirt already. When will I be clean? What becomes of my dust when I am dust no more? Death reminds me of life. Life reminds me that I am broken and I need life. More that love, I need life today. 

It’s the end of the day. I have holed myself in my room hoping to keep myself at bay…hoping for redemption on this day…hoping for the ashes on my head to cover me up…hoping tomorrow I’ll have a bit more love to give, but much more to take…hoping for life on planet earth just to be okay…hope

Brokenness & Idolatry

When I get lost, I lose myself. It is not that I have wandered and need to return, I feel more like the prodigal son who has forgotten he was someone’s child and completely gone rebellious. I don’t know if this is for everyone, but when sin takes over my life, I just don’t feel like me anymore. Well, at the very least, I don’t feel like the me, I was intended to be or have been for a while.

I am lost. Last year, I spent time generating themes for my life. There were four and they were cyclical: chaos/erosion, creation, brokenness, restoration. Chaos or Erosion is external. It is the process of my life in some fashion being completely dissembled. It can be through displacement or job loss or broken relationships or switch churches. Sometimes, it is erosion simply because it’s a natural progression or wearing away. Creation is the process of something being generated out of disorder, finding my current job, developing a personal sense of authenticity, finally getting counseling. Brokenness is my least favorite. Brokenness is internal; it points at my sin and depravity and does the most damage. Brokenness has been the most haunting of my seasons. Broken is how I came to Christ. Broken is how he finds me time after time. Brokenness frustrates me. It preys on every wicked desire for self-sufficiency that I have. Brokenness points a hard finger to God demanding that He back off and let me do this myself. Extended periods of brokenness lead to numbness. I am numb, and it’s my fault. I don’t state this condemningly. I did this to myself. I’m in bad need of a spirit defibrillation. I know, I am made alive in Christ, but sometimes, it feels like I am barely hanging on. Restoration, God is a good God. He is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast compassion. Restoration is entirely the working of God. I wish, I could jumpstart it, but I know that He will come.

I am in between brokenness and restoration. It is in this limbo, I have felt God nudging at me. Reminding me of who I am, “You’re a worshipper”. It’s my primary identity. I was created for worship. My open hands moved towards an idol that I worshipped wholeheartedly. It’s only in repentance, I find restoration. It is my hope that it comes soon. Brokenness is completely unideal. I feel like if we as humans were more honest, it is not that our success that drives us. It is not our desires, but the brokenness that drives us to idolatry, but no idol can fix it. No job, no relationship, no item, no person can set our wayward heart set straight. My only hope. Our only hope is in someone completely external. Oh, Lord let it be you.

Before, my idolatrous season began, I wrote a song named Idolatry. As I look back on the lyrics, I had idolatry more right than wrong. May it not overtake me once again.

Idolatry, you pull me straight down to my knees

I worship you, hoping you’ll make me complete

Your siren sound, echo my unanswered prayers

Those hollow words, I’m helpless you leave me so scared

I’m paralyzed; you’re draining the life out of me

I cannot move, silently suffocating

Another drink, pour it up watch it go down

Your praise begins, prostrate I lay on the ground

I will return, for you are my stale daily bread

You’re killing me, but you also keep me well fed.

God,

I always need You, but I need you especially in this place, where I feel fragile and fragmented. Mind me of the work of Your blood. Help me to understand it, trust it, and live in it, not just for today, but especially for tomorrow and the days after.

In Christ,

Amen

December Blogtember

If you have followed my blog at all this year, thank you. I write from my heart and experience. However, I know I hyperfocus on the melancholy and complexity of simple things. It’s a flaw. This year has been difficult for me. The last time, I had a year this struggle-ridden a friend sent me a link to something called Blog-tember where I was given prompts on different topics.

It has been three years since my last Blog-tember and about five years since, I started this blog. I’ve decided for the month of December to post daily with prompts. I may post other things, but I want to do something light. Also, prompts generate creativity.

So, stay close and attentive, and enjoy Blogtember.

First Rain Since Harvey Left

It is the first rain since Harvey departed. In his wake, he left ruins that still remain unbuilt. As disastrous as the Houston landscape has been it was merely been a physical representation of the human heart. I have been gutted. Noahic flooding that seems like judgment, but actually is healing. Personally, I still don’t know what to make of a hurricane that felt like that of a Grecian epic. I don’t think it is mine to decipher. I am not the one who controls it.

God is the Author. He is quite the Author, but such an interesting Reader and Listener to the story as well. He placed Himself in it momentarily, but it has always been about Him. He is a mysterious Author. The best books are the one that leaves me wondering what the author was trying to tell me. He has left a Commentary who teaches, but even then, mystery. Divine and material mystery.

I have gone through the gamut of human emotions since Harvey.

Sorrow. Anger. Loneliness. Shame. Envy. Abandonment. Displacement. Fear.

Anger. Loneliness. Shame. Envy. Abandonment. Displacement. Fear.

Loneliness. Shame. Envy. Abandonment. Displacement. Fear.

Shame. Envy. Abandonment. Displacement. Fear.

Envy. Abandonment. Displacement. Fear.

Abandonment. Displacement. Fear.

Displacement. Fear.

Fear.

Those have been my most persistent friends in this season. They are terrible friends; they leech themselves onto me. As I turn to them, they turn on me. I don’t think they have all departed. I still think they linger, but in this moment, I have felt something I have not felt since the flood waters rose.

Hope.

It was by way of a woman I have always admired. How kind is God in the midst of ruins to sift through the rubble.

Good Father,

I am devastated, in both definitions of the word. I have looked inward for so long, that I have lost sight. Your truth is so simple. Your call is so clear. My cross is so much. Teach me to trust. Teach me to bear burdens better. Remind me that you are both the Builder and the Cornerstone. When I burrow into the complexities of the human ego, remind me of the simplicity of the Gospel.

The Good News is the hope for those who have fear.

The Good News is a refuge for those who are displaced.

The Good News is reclamation for those who feel abandoned.

The Good News is gratitude in a heart that envies what is not hers.

The Good News is penitence in the place of shame.

The Good News is the hope of companionship for those who are burdened with loneliness.

The Good News is understanding rather than anger.

The Good News is joy in the middle of sorrow.

I am not fully “telos-ed” by the Gospel today. I will not know if I will be tomorrow, but Mrs. Ellen, thank you for the reminder. I don’t know if you will ever read these words but bless you.

In Christ. By Way of the Spirit. Directed to the Father.

Amen

Hope.

Hope. Refuge.

Hope. Refuge. Reclamation.

Hope. Refuge. Reclamation. Gratitude.

Hope. Refuge. Reclamation. Gratitude. Forgiveness.

Hope. Refuge. Reclamation. Gratitude. Forgiveness. Penitence.

Hope. Refuge. Reclamation. Gratitude. Forgiveness. Penitence. Companionship.

Hope. Refuge. Reclamation. Gratitude. Forgiveness. Penitence. Companionship. Understanding.

Hope. Refuge. Reclamation. Gratitude. Forgiveness. Penitence. Companionship. Understanding. Joy