Tired and worn: pondering disorientation

There is a song by Tenth Avenue North with the title Worn, some of the lyrics include these:

I’m Tired I’m worn
My heart is heavy
From the work it takes
To keep on breathing
I’ve made mistakes
I’ve let my hope fail
My soul feels crushed
By the weight of this world

And I know that you can give me rest
So I cry out with all that I have left

Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart
That’s frail and torn
I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
Cause I’m worn

I love this song because it is so real, it is real, it cries out from a tired worn place, and yet it cries out for hope! Essentially it say I know redemption will win, I want to see it, I know the struggle will end, I long to see it, but right now I am so tired and so worn that I can’t, so I am reaching up, I am reaching out. It is a hard place to be and a hard place to admit to being in. So often we are asked to tell good news stories, to cry out “Best of all is God is with us”, and to soldier on, stories of struggle are often only welcome once the struggle is over and the new life has come, the cry of see, I have overcome, by the grace of God I have prevailed are welcomed and applauded.

But, what if we are lost in the mists of confusion, the disorientation of the fog of being unable to see? As I write this I can see almost nothing through my window, the views that usually welcome me are hidden behind a lingering mist, I can make out a few edges, but they are uncertain and even eerie. For me at the moment life feels very much like that, I am walking with uncertainty, and it is easy to grasp at any glimmers of hope. I am however wary of doing so lest they prove to be insubstantial and don’t hold the hope that was promised. So I am trying to wait, waiting in the mists and the fog, and that is hard, but of course I am not alone.

I am not alone, I am thankful for the many people who have been praying for me, and are continuing to do so. Thankful for a friend who sent flowers and a colleague whose affirming note arrived this morning. I am grateful for the stories of those who have sat in the mists and fogs before me, it is not their stories of coming through that inspire me most, but their stories of being met by God in the depths, I think of the exhausted Elijah instructed by God to go to places of rest where he and others will find themselves cared for. I think of the words of Psalm 139, of the God who meets us in the depths.

This time of pandemic has been wearing for many of us, and I must admit that I didn’t take up baking sourdough bread, nor did I begin jogging, like many I have been cut of from friends and family for extended lengths of time, and hopes have risen and been dashed. There have been times of celebration, but I am sure I am not alone in finding it to be one long slog. Other changes have come into my personal and working life bringing their own challenges and fogs. So I guess I am being real, I am saying here I am tired and worn, looking for hope, looking for the way forward, looking for what I know is there, but cannot yet see. Right now I am not quite ready to receive assurances of the God who works all things together for good, even though I believe that to be true, I am at a point where tears are my food, a point of disorientation and questioning and I need to be able to say that, I need the gift of lament before I can begin to move on, for if I am unable to lament then the moving forward will be brittle and false. I need hope, but need it to spring from a place of reality, To quote another Tenth Avenue North song, Healing begins:

So you thought you had to keep this up
All the work that you do
So we think that you’re good
And you can’t believe it’s not enough
All the walls you built up
Are just glass on the outside

So let ’em fall down
There’s freedom waiting in the sound
When you let your walls fall to the ground
We’re here now

This is where the healing begins, oh
This is where the healing starts
When you come to where you’re broken within
The light meets the dark
The light meets the dark

It is so easy to keep on going, to keep stumbling through life, to hope that somehow we can fake it ’til me make it, but I think that is rarely true, we may be able to fake it ’til we break, but that doesn’t help anyone, and usually ends in disaster. It seems to me that it is better to be real with ourselves before God, to own the season we are in and to hold ourselves there until the Spirit stirs. I look up with hope now as a shaft of light breaks through the fog beyond my window. Hope will come and may lead me in an unexpected direction.

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About Sally C

How do I describe myself, I am not what I do, (I am a Methodist Minister), I am not who I am related to (I have 5 wonderful children, 2 lovely granddaughters and a grandson). I am a seeker truth, a partaker of life in all it's fullness and a follower, sometimes stumbling, sometimes celebrating of the Christian pathway. I seek wholeness, joy and a connectedness to all things through a deep reconciliation with the God whose love blows my socks off!
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