I laughed when I realized how many years it took to discover who I am.... by first zealously exploring who I am not

Monday, April 13, 2015

Hell in the Hallways

When I was a kid I was scared of the dark. In fact, I slept with a nightlight till I got married and then made my husband let me get in the bed before he turned the light off. I was 26 before I would even walk across a dark room. I was reading an article about being fearful and decided that I was no longer going to live scared of the dark. While I may not choose to go in a super dark place, I can turn the light out and walk through my house with no fear (except for stepping on a lego or a baseball). What scared me the most about the darkness was not being able to see what was around me. A room, that I lived in and knew everything about was suddenly filled with the boogey man when the lights went out. This past weekend I went on a women's retreat with my church and God gave me such a GREAT example of this in my life. At 3am I got up to go to the bathroom. As I was in there, suddenly, there was a loud bump on the door. I literally almost jumped off the toilet. I said hello? Kinda quietly because I didn't want to alarm the ladies in the room sleeping. I sat there listening and my mind began REALLY going into overdrive. This was the thought process:

Someone is hiding the closet to kill us when we are sleeping.
I need to hide. Where do you hide in a hotel bathroom?
Ok this is crazy.
Walk by closet but don't look cause you don't make eye contact with the boogey man.
Walk slowly, not making any sound.
Get to window and think they are in the curtains hiding
Don't look in the curtains because everyone knows it's when you look for the boogey man that they get you.
Debate whether to go back to bed

SUDDENLY A VOICE SPEAKS! It was one of my roommates who had gotten up to go to the bathroom and ran into the door. Ah, that makes so much more sense than the boogey man being in our room.  I am not at all dramatic. Not at all.

So what does all this mean? Well nothing really other than maybe we should have left a light on and I need to get a grip. Until I go to service the next morning and someone prays over me and says this statement: it's hell in the hallways.

Darkness. Darkness is simply the absence of light. Darkness is not even real. It's the ABSENCE of something. But when you are surrounded by it and see nothing, it is very convincing that it is real. For a very long time, I've been in a hallway with no doors and no windows. It's been dark. It's been hard. I've been bound and scared and unable to move. I've simply existed by standing in one place. I've coped by pulling the covers over my head and just praying that someone would turn the light on. I've tried the fake it till you make it until my faker said look it's not making and we need a break. Thursday morning on the way to leave for the weekend I told my husband- I just feel so purposeless. I feel so lost and I can't find myself. I am so bound with these feelings and don't know how to get free.

This weekend- I. Got. Free.

Hell is in the hallways. Waiting sucks. Not knowing sucks. Wondering what's next and not seeing a path S-U-C-K-S. BUT.......

I said BUT..... God. That person that created me, loves me, and knows ME. He knows where all the doors are. See, I don't have to know where the doors lead, I just need to know they are there. I don't have to see everything around me, I just need to know that the boogey man isn't there. And all the shades are up and the lights are on and there is an entire hallway of doors- I'm just waiting for mine to open.

Are you in the hallway? Are you hiding under the covers? Let me tell you something- there is a door there I PROMISE! You know how I know? 

Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good. Romans 8:26-28 MSG 

My favorite part of this is where it says if we don't know- IT DOESN'T MATTER!!!! He does it for us. Every sigh, every cry HE KNOWS! He knows all of it and has worked out the details of your life. Just hang on and don't give up. There is a door. He knows where it is and I promise it will open. Just wait.... SUDDENLY HIS VOICE WILL SPEAK! You will have the answers, you will see a path and the lights will shine brightly!