I should be better at seeing it coming but I am not. I still get caught off guard, knocked down, wondering what I should do.
It has happened a few times over the last couple of years and I do practice figuring out warning signs so I can be better prepared, less decimated the next time. But I have yet to feel prepared.
Counselor types have told me it sounds like “emotional flooding”. That sounds about right. Basically, I may have been working more than average and things start to pile up, throw some unusual circumstances in like a holiday (especially holidays) or a trip and all of a sudden one day I find myself crying and unable to think of anything but bed. Sometimes I have been driving and gotten lost. Sometimes I have gone mute, unable to will myself to speak to anyone. Every time there is the uncontrolled sobbing. And the sleep. And the mix of feelings from anger, to sadness to blame to guilt to hopelessness.
I spoke to my sister and she referred to the dangerous illusion that I might think I have things under control. That this is what happens when I realize I don’t. That didn’t seem accurate to me. I am well aware how little I control. I think I work hard at accepting my lack of control and then work just as hard at making the most of my response to the uncontrolled.
Isaiah 64:6 came to me…
All of us have become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
we all shrivel up like a leaf,
and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
This I could relate to. I feel like I am working hard at my responsibilities and making the best of my circumstances, caring for those around me as well as I can. And it suddenly dawns on me that all I am holding is filthy rags. It is not enough. It is never enough. My efforts to gather these filthy rags take a lot out of me and all of a sudden I am worn out and finally notice that I have used what precious little I had to procure these filthy rags. And so I break apart with the knowledge of my need.
There is nothing to do but curl up with my rags and wait for Jesus to find me. I despise how incapable I am to get up and function but I cannot deny the fact.
Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord;
2 Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive
to my cry for mercy.
3 If you, Lord, kept a record of sins,
Lord, who could stand?
4 But with you there is forgiveness,
so that we can, with reverence, serve you.
5 I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
6 I wait for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.
7 Israel, put your hope in the Lord,
for with the Lord is unfailing love
and with him is full redemption.
8 He himself will redeem Israel
from all their sins.
This pursuit of righteousness can never succeed apart from the Holy Spirit at work within me. My efforts will always turn out to be rags compared to what is needed–the King’s robes to wrap me and surround me as I approach all responsibility, all care for others, all efforts at anything as service to my Lord, empowered by my King.
But today is another day to be flooded, first by tears, then by His peace. When I run out, He fills up.
Entry filed under: updates.