Saturday, November 14, 2009

On Falling

I was laying awake last night, thinking, and this thought crossed my mind; "I'll always fall." I paused. That thought was one I would have assumed would be discouraging, but it wasn't. It was actually encouraging and comforting. You see, I don't make a habit of falling down. I have fairly good balance. I climb trees all the time but have never fallen out of one. Even when I do fall, I manage to catch myself in a way that I can stand up and jump right into whatever is going on. (Which looks really weird when there isn't anything going on. "Attack!! Oh, hi *sheepish grin*") I trip often enough, slip now and then, but I always catch myself and keep from falling. But in the metaphorical sense, in the spiritual sense, I'm not like this.

You see, I fall a lot. I mess up. I make stupid choices. I say the wrong thing. I wallow in self-pity. I harbor bitterness. I'm prideful and we all know what that comes before.

A lot of times it feels like as soon as I regain my footing, I'm falling again. I'm not used to falling, I feel like I should know how to keep my footing. But I'm finding that I'm only like that physically. It's nearly impossible to keep my footing in any other way.

There are so many people who have helped me up after each fall. Somehow I grew into the mindset that every time I fall after someone has helped me up, it's an insult to them. They just helped me, why'd I go and fall again? If I'm gonna just fall and make the standing up worthless, then why stand up at all?

I'll always fall. And that's okay, because every time I stand back up, I'm learning something new. There's a difference in the falls. I'll always fall, but that doesn't mean I have to mess up the same way twice.

And you know what? If I mess up the same way again, it won't really be messing up the same way. When I look back and I see points in my life where I thought I was doing exactly what had already happened, I can now see that it wasn't the same. It felt the same at the time, I thought it was the same, but it wasn't.

I'm not sure how to explain the difference. I think the biggest difference is that every time I stand up again, I learn something. And that knowledge can't ever quite be forgotten. It can be ignored. But even when it's ignored it's still there, and it changes actions and thoughts and feelings. It makes falling down different.

I read a book a little bit back. The main character was obsessed with labyrinths. She viewed them as spiritual journeys, walks. The thing about a labyrinth is that you enter in the same place that you come out from. You walk through, you reach the center, and then you walk back out. Was it pointless? You didn't go anywhere, you just went in a really winding circle. You came back to the same spot. But you didn't. The experience of walking through the labyrinth was something, and standing at the point you entered you look at the world with a little more insight. With the things you learned in walking through the labyrinth.

I view falling as kind of similar. You backtrack. You end up where you left. But you end up just a little stronger. You learned something, and even when you fall next that knowledge cannot be taken away from you. Every time you fall and then stand back up, you're taking another step. Saying, "I learned from this fall."

I'll always fall and, so long as I stand back up, I'll always learn.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

<3 = y

Love... it keeps coming back to that.

Last year I realized that nothing has any value without love. I began understanding some aspects of love, that there are people who love, who want to see me, and who will have my back in a fight and will fight for me when I can't fight.

This August I felt there was no way I could be loved. All my attributes I thought of as the "good" seemed gone to me, but most prevalent was what I'd done. The stains. I thought that there was no way any one who I'd betrayed by failing could forgive that and still love me, still want to be around me. I felt I had hurt God and several other friends deeply, and didn't think that they could love me. Care, possibly, but not love. One of those friends proved me dead wrong. She held me and showed me hope, showed me that though I deserved nothing, she'd still pour out love on me. I couldn't understand it, but I couldn't deny it. And I couldn't deny that if she could react like that, than God could too.

Over the months, that's faded and I've noticed another factor.

I accepted she loved me despite what I'd done, but now the question became, "despite what I'm not?"

I started asking myself questions, trying to figure out what could be lovable about me, how I could have endeared myself to my friend, how she could miss me as badly, or even more, than I missed her.

Finally I asked. How could she miss me? She reminded me I'd forgotten one factor; love. She said unless I can understand how much she loves me and how happy it makes her when I curl up next to her and talk to her, tell her what's on my mind, then I won't understand how she can miss me.

It slowly clicked. Once again, I can't understand how, but I can believe she loves me. That much I've learned to accept. I kept thinking of my cat, of how much I love when she curls up in my lap and sleeps, trusts me. . . (she's actually doing that as I type this up) Yes, I just compared myself to a pet. I don't mind being likened to a pet :P

This didn't sink in though, not in the way it needed to.

Today during communion I took it alone. First, I frantically read through 1 cor. 11, trying to see if I would be "condemning" myself to take communion the way I felt. I came to the conclusion that if I could admit my sins and believe Jesus did die and rise, that was enough. I didn't have to change my heart, only God can make any true change. So I took communion and prayed, I told God where my heart was, I repeated a few things over, and started singing some choruses. "I will walk on water, and You will catch me if I fall...If I could just see You, everything would be alright. If I could just see You, this darkness would turn to light." "I'm falling apart, I'm barely breathing, with a broken heart, that's still beating, and I'm hanging on, to what You say, You said everything will be alright" "I want to touch You, I want to see Your face"

After a while, they started playing the worship song "His love endures forever." As I sang that, bit by bit it began clicking.

God loves me. He doesn't care what I've done.
God loves me. He doesn't care how I come.
God loves me. He wants to hear my heart.
God loves me. I'd pleased Him by telling Him the truth, how my heart felt.
God loves me. I don't have to do anything.

I'd been thinking I couldn't come until I'd decided to let him change me, until I had faith, until my heart was in a different place.

How come I knew I could go to my friend in any mood, in any condition, and know she'd still love me, be happy I trusted her, but not know God was the same towards me... It dawned on me that a week ago someone had told me to pour my heart out to God every day, but I hadn't understood. I thought, 'I can't pray." But today it clicked that I don't have to offer Him faith, I don't have to offer Him instant change, I just have to talk to him, treat Him as I would a close friend.

His love endures forever... I can pour my heart out to Him in any condition, and He still smiles. (Even if it's a smile at how foolish my thinking is)

...Fyi, my subject is a weird equation of what's been running through my mind. "Love is the answer" which I changed to "Love = [the variable/question]" which got changed to " <3 = y "