It’s been nine months since I’ve published a post or written almost anything. I’ve deliberated scrapping this blog altogether—for what worth is it now? How do you show up this many days or weeks later, with little to offer, still?
Still. That pesky, five letter adverb and a word I’ve mostly associated with shame. I hear it in all tones and voices, remnants of people projecting their own insecurities onto me. The enemy loves to gobble that up, you know.
Still no answers?
Still talking about your diagnosis?
Still feeling depressed?
Still returning to that sin?
Still caring what people think?
Still not over it?
Still, still, still. Maybe it comes to haunt you, too.
The question isn’t always asked disapprovingly, of course. Sometimes people are genuinely curious, wanting an update, or checking to see if their prayers were answered. But prolonged pain also makes people uncomfortable. Few of us are naturally skilled at knowing what to do or say when someone’s life has been the same kind of hard. I’m not.
I’ve long internalized opinions and reactions and words, resulting in this ludicrous timeline I’ve charted for myself… and God. Definitely God. I want to calendar my healing. I want to quickly extract lessons from pain. I want metrics to prove I’ve grown. And then, I’ve thought, God will be pleased. He will see that I have “learned my lesson” and give me a break. He will get more glory because I’m not still wrestling.
I scrutinize my life and wrongly expect you’re doing the same. So I put off the catch ups, the texts linger unanswered, the pen never touches paper, and my prayers are delayed till I can’t bear this withdrawing a second more. When I’m alone with my thoughts (usually on my commute), I know I am afraid. I fear I will be unable to recover from what illness, abuse, or my own sin has broken in me. And I’m afraid for anyone to notice and wonder—she is still hurting?
For years and years, I’ve been hard at work, curating how I’m perceived. I hoped for a reputation considered otherworldly, driving me to more control. As these months have been significantly painful, I’ve found it impossible to keep that up. There’s little left to offer from the “old Erika.”
I thought God and those around me would be displeased. But gosh darn it, what if there is a different narrative—one without shame—that I can actually live from? This is why I’m finally writing from my months-long place of cocooning and darkness. I want to discover who God is, who I am, and how the heck we are to live in this world.
This is my reminder for tonight:
I’m still growing.
I’m still a daughter, sister, friend, and truth-teller.
I’m still waiting on him, praying (maybe barely) and he still hears.
I’m still a disciple of Jesus, not exempt from his promises or commands.
I’m still asking questions, curious, and willing to learn.
I’m still laughing and interpretive dancing at inopportune times.
I’m still here, with a voice and a purpose.
I’m still God’s.
How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?
Look on me and answer, Lord my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the Lord’s praise,
for he has been good to me.