I briefly had this incredibly strange feeling, as the type of knowing sadness when you’re just a few pages away from the end of a long, yet captivating book. The type of book that allows you to escape away from every thing, everyone, and every thought- save for the newly unspoken investment in these characters’ stories, which are now unfolding in all their twists and mystery. It’s that grey silence in your head when you turn over the last page, see blank space, and feel that you could almost miss those characters- only that they never truly existed.
I consider myself one of those characters, as I just reached the end of this 23-year long book- and then proceeded to burn it. I watched it be consumed and crumble into ashes with a remarkably cold indifference. Now around this fire, my perspective is that of a stranger- as is every person around me. No face is familiar. The past is no longer of any consequence or significance, and if one were to recount the details of that book to me, I wouldn’t believe them. Every principle, moral, courtesy, belief, and faith I thought myself to know or hold had grown legalistic or obligatory- so it had been replaced or disintegrated out of relevance entirely.
In attempting to take inventory of what is relevant anymore, the most prominent and undeniable lesson I learned in this past year (and being stubborn, in of course all of the hardest ways) is that the very thing- actually, the very one (God)- I ran from in anger, is the only one with whom my spirit reaches any closer to being home-/or at least not feeling so abysmally alone. The final sign was as clear as being written in the sky, for my stubborn self.
The prodigal son.
The 99 sheep.
One step away.
My first love.
My last hope.
While I’ve always known these truths in the recesses of my mind, I thought I’d try out mortality’s bind for myself anyways, out of the lack of ability to apply anything else in my essentially drunken, altered state.
Yet even confirming this, with increasing frequency, I’ve frustratingly enough found found my own spiritually apathetic stupor impeding myself from whole- heartedly participating in this most vital reconciliation. I’ve spent the year denying and running from God, in false hopes to regain some appropriately carnal desire or perspective on what I should be doing with my time, thought, and energy- as if I would find anything. Ha.
This past year has undoubtedly been the darkest, lowest, and most discouraging of my life thus far. While this is attributable to many things beside my walking away from all faith, all of these hardest lessons can ultimately be summarized by the one:
that Life is to know God and to be acquainted in His spirit.
I know now that there is no other true salve or satisfaction. No other identity, or company will ever perceive or embrace my soul. Yet I’ve also experienced first hand how oftentimes God will allow (or even orchestrate) the complete shattering of our life, hopes, and hiding places just to bring us to our absolute, desperate end- where we will seek Him alone. Now I only pray for the faith to believe that He will ever put this person back together, or more accurately- that He can still rewrite this completely new, most unfamiliarly unsettling character I am becoming.