Tuesday, October 17, 2017

prayer of the weary

all I want is to be with you always
to be wrapped in your embrace
night and day
I want to be surrounded by
your safety, your presence
a greater comfort to me than
any weapon or wall
with you there is peace
there is ease, there is joy
but too often I open my eyes
and you are nowhere to be seen
why must this cruel world separate
me from your unwavering gaze
you are so permanent
yet I am swept away
succumbing readily to the
perpetual motion of life's uncertainty
and I am always uncertain
how little is my faith

please be with me
draw me back into peace
help me see the tempestuous reality
of existence surrounding
and drowning out the truth
you softly speak
let rest pervade my being
and make me new
so I may better love others
sharing all you have given me

Friday, October 13, 2017

thoughts from the night

sometimes I feel so lonely
and it doesn't make sense
I mean, I have friends
awesome family
support and love in my life
and yet
there is still that emptiness
the feeling of missing
a black hole sucking
the energy and joy out of me
it leaves this ache
not a sharp pain
but a dull longing
and I am left
confused, frustrated
there is no understanding why
this plagues me
and I know I'm not alone
I know you feel it too
I know it plagues
everybody
but we try to silence this fear
stifle out loneliness
and pretend everything is ok
pretend we are
happy
when truly we feel empty
wanting more, wanting
something different
what do we need
what are we all mutely seeking
what is this pervasive
pain humming underneath
this task of living
how do we find relief

I have tried to numb
tried to fill this hole
with drugs, relationships
experiences, addictions
yet they all get sucked in
and I am just as empty
just as lonely as before
there seems to be
no solution, no defeat
of this dark foe
it appears hopeless at times

I do not know the answers
nor can I name
this universal longing
but I can place my hand
in yours, wrap my arms
around you in embrace
nod along in understanding
it may not heal the pain
or fill the void inside
but you give me hope
and I give you mine
together our love
can burn away this cold
and give us a chance to
survive

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

I Choose Love

I am now 25 years old. I have been 25 for two weeks. Twenty-five! Surprise to people on facebook who had no idea! I like to keep some mystery.

At this point in my life, birthdays have become much less exciting. Nothing new happens after 21, except I guess I have the option of renting a car now. (Oh the thrill!) But something about turning 25 seems different. Like, aren't I supposed to have all my shit together now? Isn't my age indicative that I'm a real adult? Seriously, there's always been a part of me that thought I'd have it all figured out by now. Boy was I wrong!

So since nothing new happens, other than the lame car rental thing, and since I definitely don't have my act together, I decided I am going to have a quarter-life crisis. I know 50 year-olds buy sports cars and boob jobs for their mid-life crises, but I want no part in either of those. Besides, those purchases are so small, so temporary. They may cost a lot, but they don't change anything in the long run, no really. I wanted to do something big. Something permanent. Something that will actually affect my life and the lives of those around me.
Drumroll please.

I have decided to love myself once and for all.

No more excuses. No more second-guessing. I am spending this year loving this creation that God has given me. After 25 years of a very tempestuous relationship with my body, my brain, my personality, I have decided to reconcile with me and learn to accept and love who I am, faults and all. Well, actually, Yahweh decided this for me and I'm just answering the call. Let me explain...

Loving, accepting, and caring for yourself may seem a very obvious and easy thing to do for some, maybe many, but for me it is the hardest thing I've ever faced. Even the brutality of med school has been less of a challenge, and there are few things more difficult that I'm aware of. I have half-heartedly made attempts at self-love and acceptance, but only because I knew it was something I needed to do, not wanted to do. And I always believed deep down that I'd fail. Plus, my behaviours of self-destruction and tyranny have always been an oddly comforting form of control. It's hard not to think that without them, I will be even more imperfect and unlovable than I already perceive myself.

Not to go into too much detail, but I have always bullied myself, always questioned why I was the unappealing way I was and why I couldn't be different, better. I don't know if it was being the outcast nerd growing up, or the chubby unattractive kid, or the perfectionist who believed she would only be loved if she was the best at everything. But many destructive behaviours developed, supposedly to make me more perfect, or at least appear to be.

When I was 18 and finally knew God and understood love for the first time, it changed many things. My relationship with my parents mended. My newfound faith in Yahweh gave me purpose and helped me see the beauty in this world. But I still couldn't see my beauty or understand the point of loving me. I tried. I truly did. I knew it was what Abba wanted and what everyone who loved me did, but I could never succeed.

Going through the motions of loving yourself doesn't do anything unless you believe it. A change in actions is no substitute for a change in heart.

When I was 23, I knew for the first time that I was good. It took a bad break-up and almost falling apart to finally realise this truth, but it was worth it. Imagine believing all of the help you gave others was merely a repayment to make amends for your existence in the world. It sounds dramatic, but it was what I always thought to be true. Not that I didn't enjoy helping others, I did and do! But I used to think that in helping it didn't make me good so much as make up for who I am.

So now that I actually believe I am a good and beautiful creation, how can I keep living this antagonistic existence?

This is the question that has plagued me the past year. The opposition of my belief versus my actions has created an abundance of friction in my life and strained my relationship with Yahweh. For so long I have just attempted to love myself to appease my Creator. Now, I know Yahweh is calling me to truly and fully accept myself as a beautifully and wonderfully made creation and love myself as He has loved me. For God exists within me as the Holy Spirit and I am of God.

Love is the most complex, multifaceted, multidimensional force in this existence. As stated in 1 John 4:7-8, "love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love." It makes sense then that love is so difficult to comprehend, because love is God and as the Bible says, God is to great for our understanding. To truly love is to worship and honour God for to love is to be one with God, Yahweh, the I AM. Love is expressed in many forms: for people, for family, for a lover, for the Earth, for animals, for ourselves. Loving is simply the act of perceiving Yahweh within any part of creation and looking past the flesh, the Self, sin.

As for myself, I will forgive my perceived shortcomings and accept my faults. I will open my eyes to Yahweh within me and care for this creation with which I have been entrusted. I am beautiful. I am powerful. I am made perfect by my creator. I love myself. And I am loved.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

the impermanence of defeat

there is no right
there is no wrong
there is only life
the choice to pursue existence
to fill each moment with
soul's purpose

heart wages war
the only battlefield 
worthy of the blood
the tears
shed in endless clashes
for freedom
meaning
understanding
love

each day I am
weighted with the task
of choosing
whether tired rested angry peaceful worried
happy excited or filled with dread
will I embrace this day's beauty?
will I open myself
to all the treasures this world offers me?

and sometimes I say no
it all seems
far too much
and I believe I am
drowning
under the weight
of living

but always I remember
only fear is heavy
there is no salvation
in retreat

so I get out of bed
(so bravely)
defy my demons
to face the new day

it may only be a moment
before I tumble
back in daunting defeat
but cowardice comes only
in quitting
and each time I rise
again there is 
victory

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Why I am a Wet Blanket (or, dammit I care too much)

Ugh... I want to care. I hate that I don't care. It would be soooo much easier to care, and yet I simply can't. I live in Chicago and the Cubs just won the World Series. I should be out celebrating with everyone. Out among the people singing and dancing, the fireworks, the party, but instead I find myself feeling more isolated and concerned than ever.

Maybe it's because I live in a city where cracks of sound tearing the sky are more often gun shots than firework explosions.

Maybe it's because I live in a city where screams are typically heard from the mouths of families who have lost loved ones in violence. Screams of celebration are rare.

Maybe it's because I live in a city where, according to Chicago police, there have been 605 murders, 3,003 shootings and 3,633 shooting victims so far this year, but you will hear much more about the Cubs than all of that.

And I know the argument, sports bring people together! This is good for a hurting city!

Well, what about the rest of the country? What about the world?

We Americans currently live in a country where income inequality has been progressively increasing, where segregation is currently on the rise, where homelessness still affects over half a million people, where Native Americans are refused their rights, where women are refused equal pay, where healthcare and social security are failing to provide.

And we have it good!

Much of the world doesn't even have access to clean water, let alone adequate food and housing. Millions of people, mostly children, are enslaved in human trafficking each year. Many countries don't allow women any rights. There are places like Syria where war has torn the country apart, Nigeria where the Boko Haram still has over 200 of their young women, Venezuela where economic crisis and corrupt leadership has devastated the country, or even Europe which is struggling to deal with a huge influx of refugees.

It seems as if people have grown accustomed to the state of our world, that tragedy is something we accept and dismiss effortlessly. I am constantly amazed at how little people know of the local and global state of affairs. I'm talking well-educated doctors and medical students here! If it doesn't affect people personally, they see no need to engage with or even learn about what's going on.

If people spent the same amount of time volunteering as they did watching sports, how much better would our communities be? If people donated as much money as they spent towards team gear and games, how much more would our underserved be cared for? If people showed as much compassion towards others as they showed passion about a team, how much better would the world be?

I don't hate the Cubs and I don't hate sports. I just wish people were more conscientious of where they put their time and energy. I can only dream of a day where we are truly unified rejoicing in love and peace, not just the fleeting feelings of one World Series.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Confessions

Truly it is what I've always longed to ask, what every action and deed had underlying as motivation. I've always longed to know I am beautiful, that there is something in me worthwhile, to be loved. In perfectionism I sought to prove this by writing my own vitality into existence, but it merely left me empty. And then I sought the opposite extreme, destroying my life, myself piece by piece just to see if someone would save me. I wanted to know if there was even a small piece of me that was worthwhile to somebody, anybody.

And then God showed me his love and I knew there was something for which it was worth living. Love is the answer to the "why" of life, of my salvation, and it became my everything. It still is my everything, as it should be. But it alone fails to answer the question I've secretly always been asking. 
Am I lovely? Is there anything delightful in me?

I have been too afraid to ask my Lord for fear of the lies Satan promised would come of the asking. I have begged the answer from other humans and either pushed them to annoyance or rejected the answer they gave me. Because it is not enough, it will never be enough, until I hear and accept the truth from the one who made me.

Yahweh, please hear me. I beg you to answer these questions of my heart. Am I lovely? Do you delight in me? Please show me my beauty, show me the truth of who you created in me. Please heal me.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

To My Beloved

And I realize now that every longing leads me back to you.
This loneliness the whisper of your spirit returning me to your arms.
So I journey through each day
slipping past the fingers of transient lovers
eyes fixed on the sun stars moon
each falling leaf a gift dropped
from your outstretched hand
reaching out, calling forth my heart.
It has always been, always will be
Yours.