Friday, November 26, 2010

Words Trapped Behind a Fearful Smile

As the night settles over the mountains of Colorado Springs, my Thanksgiving break draws to a close. I've had a wonderful week with my parents- and sisters-in-law, and Chris' and my friend Stephen.

I have a feeling of letdown. Vaguely, I dread returning to Norman, knowing that life wil resume, and with it, all the everyday insecurities I long to escape. When I'm here, I rest in the knowledge that I'm loved. Granted, it took until almost six months ago for me to feel entirely myself with my in-laws, comfortable enough to let loose while knowing they accept me just the way I am.

I must admit that it takes me a looong time to trust anyone fully. When I do, it's so freeing! It's like stepping from a greyish world into an entirely new reality, where I experience hope and confidence and joy to overflowing. It's like suddenly realizing the heart of God, realizing the holy pride he feels in his unique creation -- me.

In "normal life," though, I don't know who I can trust, no matter how many times they've "proved" themselves to me. My warped perspective on life is that everyone has a button that drives them away for good, and it's only a matter of stumbling over and pushing that button. The longer I spend with a person, the more likely I am to find that button and lose their love forever. That's why it's difficult for me to grow attached. The deeper and longer I love, the greater the risk of heartbreak -- a keener kind than I experienced in middle school break-ups. This is what I hold to every day I'm in Norman, going about my business at OU and elsewhere.

Now that I realize this, I long to give it over to God. I cannot live in bondage depending on who I'm with or where I'm located. It is not the responsibility of every person outside my family to show me exactly what I want to see as proof of their sincerity. They can't show me perfect love -- I have to realize this.

Not only that -- I have to realize that there is a greater love that fills my need, because it truly is a need. When we sinned against God, we were cut off from him and his glory, and brought a death sentence on ourselves. Our debt was too great to pay. God knew that. He sent down his son, the very image of himself, to live a human life, bearing our human temptations and pains, and at the end of it endure false accusations, betrayal and brutal murder at the hands of those who he loved perfectly. In that way, he paid the blood price that was too much for us to pay, and he paid it in full. Not only that, he rose again, thereby proving himself conquerer of sin and death -- the very things that kept us away from his great heart. He ascended into heaven. He has prepared a place for us with him. One day, he will come again, and reign in all beauty, goodness and majesty that we have barely tasted.

Hallelujah. May his grace rain down on me in this struggle.

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