It's been ten months since I last posted, unless you count that ridiculous "announcement" from a couple weeks ago I put up in an attempt to quench a friend's request for a post. (It didn't work.) I haven't had much to say. Rather, I've had thousands of thoughts tumbling through my head, few of them fit to post in a place as public as this.
The truth is, I have little energy for the playful, mocking tone of many of my older posts, and the somberer thoughts aren't of a kind to put into a blog post, generally. Or else, I simply don't feel like standing up on a platform to declare what I have to say, choosing instead to relate it to closer circles of friends. I have lost much of the vigor of youth, and I have not yet acquired the wisdom of age. What could I possibly have to say to the world?
Oh, I haven't been through anything terrible. This past year has not been without its trials, certainly, and ones unique from years prior; what else can one expect from life? But I have passed through nothing externally to account for this heaviness of spirit I have felt. It seems a combination of chemical and spiritual processes have stretched and kneaded me beyond what my physical circumstances alone could have done. So though I have suffered no specific tragedy in my life, my soul weighs heavy with similar burdens and griefs as though it has, a combination of just, godly griefs with what I suspect is some element of depression latching on to the former and perverting them into selfish pangs of despair and self-pity which must be carefully cast out with the help of the Spirit.
With these griefs comes a strong urge for privacy, which largely accounts for my silence here. I hesitate to post even this.
There's also the fact that many of my previous posts horrify me slightly and I've tried to keep as far away from them as possible. You've no idea how many times I've considered deleting the whole blog. But I leave it, if only as testament to how far I've come (or at least, how far I hope I've come). And quite possibly, I shall feel the same way about this post before long. I will ever grow and my writing ever improve; it's about time I learn to move on.
A lot has happened since I last posted (really posted), which I don't care to detail at present, and based on my history probably never will. (But if you're wondering, yes, I was accepted into the camp for which I wrote the essay. I learned a lot from that experience, mostly in bearing up under the grief for the darkness of the world.) Life keeps me busy these days--and yet I hardly seem to get anything done.
I wrote the above nearly six weeks ago. How quickly our lives can be turned upside-down. And yet if our gaze remains fixed upward we are none the worse for it.
It's been said (by an individual whose name I cannot recall, apologies to the individual for lack of reference) that our lives can only be understood backwards, though they must be lived forwards. How true this is. As I underwent the above, the sensation of having passed through greater trials than I really had, I suspected that some circumstance loomed in my future for which my season of growth had prepared me.
That circumstance has now come to pass. I will not detail it here, but it is funny, in a nonhumorous way, because it has answered my longings and prayers to experience a sort of difficulty different than the usual physical ailments I face. I've come to bear up under a good deal of bodily afflictions with little thought, but I've often wondered how I would withstand other trials.
A bit over a year ago (just one? how many years seem to have come and gone since!) after a long period of tears and turmoil I wrote:
...I have come recently to recognize the meaning of this present darkness: that, rather than hindering me from serving as I'm called in the future, my current afflictions are preparing me for the future by instilling the character traits I will need later in life--patience, endurance, empathy, perseverance, faith, trust.
And again, just a few weeks ago:
I suffer from a form of juvenile arthritis, and I feel my disease is preparing me for service--and yes, for suffering for His name--in ways little else could. The daily pain, the medical procedures--what I once thought hindered me from pursuing a happy future I now realize has been preparing me all along for whatever lies ahead. And the days that lie before me may not be happy, but they will be joyful. I have learned to exult in tribulation, and this can only produce hope.
How true these words have proven, that my health has pressed with a dull steadiness upon my soul for all these years, and this constant pressure has readied me for what I am now up against. And I can face this trial even with eagerness, knowing that this still is preparing me for something greater to come. My only regret is that this circumstance involves my family--even more forcibly than it does me. They are forced to leave behind so much for which they have labored, so many visions for the future. It hurts. This is why we are admonished to store our treasures where thief does not steal, nor moth destroy. Our possessions in this world are no more than sand sifting through our fingers.
And we are to build not on the sand that is swept away in the storm, but on the Rock that remains for all eternity.