Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Amid Fluctuation

The funeral was held last Friday. The name of the church where it was to be held sounded familiar, but I couldn't quite place it until that morning. I'd been there once before-- last spring, when I was matron of honor for a friend's wedding. During the entire funeral service, I sat struck by the juxtaposition of memory and present reality: wedding boquets and funeral sprays, flower decked altar and flag draped casket, formal wedding attire and the uniforms of the military funeral honors team from Fort Leonard Wood. The same walls, same windows, same pews and aisles, doors and carpeting. Joy and sorrow are not so different as we think.

Even without Justin's death and funeral, I'd been slipping steadily, finding myself edging into the place every spring takes me, a place of heightened emotional sensitivity, where even the smallest sorrows press heavily on my heart, and joys are so intensified as to be overwhelming in their lovliness. I spend every spring in a perpetual mixture of simultaneous grief and rapture, a sort of incolsolable elation. You'd think it would be old hat by now, that I'd expect it, have become used to it, would be adept in the handling of it, able to casually brush it aside at whim. I've found, however, that if I try to avoid it or ignore it, the result is usually rising irritation building into agitation and anger.

All fun isn't swallowed up in moods here at Possum Box Lane, though. Last Saturday Scott and I went through his students' entries for an upcoming language arts fair. We sat in the living room floor, sorting and reading aloud to each other, and I laughed until tears ran down my face. When it comes to being made grateful for the distance you've traveled in your life, there is nothing quite so effective as love-sick adolescent poetry. "Oh, the poor thing!" I would find myself gasping out between paroxysms of helpless laughter--and meaning it completely.

Abba God, I am a wreck. But I'm not the wreck I used to be. Oh no! You and I together have reached whole new levels of wreck-ed-ness! Just think what we might accomplish in the future, Lord! Seriously, I've no clue what You're doing with the whole mood disorder business in any of our lives, but I'm trusting there's a purpose, that it's Your purpose, and that it's going to be good. Ultimitely, I have to; the alternative isn't really an option. Not and keep breathing, anyway. If You do get the impulse to let some of us in on it all, though, I doubt we'd be terribly adverse to listening. Or maybe we would. Yes, actually, I think we would, knowing the way You work. So strike that. Just slide a nice, soft, black velvet hood over my head and walk me to my fate in blessed ignorance. I like ignorance. Today I am most sincerely and contentedly grateful for it. Amen.

In chosen bliss,


Bruce said...

Spring is traditionally the time my mood disorder hits me worst. From the end of February to the end of May, I wait with baited breath for the big crash to come. Fortunately last year I missed it, and I'm hoping to miss it this year too. I'll be praying for you.

Joyella said...

Cindy, your posts are always choc full of wonderful little nuggets of wisdom and truth. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and sorrows and joys with us.

Randy said...

That is a very interesting juxtaposition.

Sounds like the spirituality I live in too. I wish I could fight off the darkness for you. I don't understand it. Don't need to I guess...you have my prayers.

Actually, I do have what I call emotional hijacks where I am whisked away for hours or a day or two...but it isn't like what you struggle with ...I don't think? Anyway, I am grasping to support you as a friend when I don't need to.

Bless you CindyLuWho.

Cindy said...

Thanks, guys.

Bruce--You named the time period exactly. Thanks for your prayers; just knowing they're there is reassuring.

Joyella--You are an encourager supreme! Merci.

Randy--Yeah, better watch that grasping. I think you can get arrested for that. . . :) Seriously, thank you for your prayers and friendship, too.

As I read Randy's comment, I began wondering if the darkness is supposed to be fought off, or if I'm intended to walk THROUGH it. What's the verse? "Who is among you that fears the LORD, that obeys the voice of his servant, that walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God. Behold, all you who kindle a fire, who encircle yourselves with firebrands, walk in the light of your fire and among the brands you have set ablaze. This you will have from my hand; and you will lie down in torment." (Isaiah 50:10-11) And this one, which echos in my mind often: "I will go before you and make the rough places smooth; I will shatter the doors of bronze, and cut through their iron bars. And I will give you the treasures of darkness, and hidden wealth of secret places, in order that you may know that it is I, the LORD the God of Israel, who calls you by your name." (Isaiah 45:2-3)

I'm thinking there's a whole new blog entry in this one...

Anonymous said...

Oh, LuCindy -- it has been so dark lately . . . thank you for these verses that make me think of it in a new way . . .

love you!


Cindy said...

Beth--I'm glad my thrashings are of some benefit to someone. You are most welcome to them. :)

Fieldfleur said...

Hi Cindy,
Touching base ... can you believe that I just found your blog? I've been groggy in the whole bloggy experience. I heard the news about the Mansfield soldier. Sad. I pray for your steadiness.
Fieldfleur -- Teri