I’ve been sitting here trying to get the words out. Trying to figure out how to tell you in no uncertain words that I am sick and explain all the things swirling in my mind. In my life. I would like to write it in a way that sounds pretty and lovely and nice. But these lives we have, raw in their vulnerability, aren’t always pretty and lovely and nice. Sometimes they are much the opposite. Sometimes they are ugly and gritty and bloody. Sometimes they are just too human. Go figure. Humans full of humanity. Full of imperfection. Full of everything we try to imagine and pretend away. We put on masks of every color and every shade. Masks that paint a better picture of who we are, who we want to be, who we want the world to see us as. Masks that color away the real lives. The real us. The real story.
I hate how ugly vulnerability has become. I hate that it shames me. Brings me fear. I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. But I am even more so sick and tired of letting these masks wear me. I am tired of giving into them. I am tired of letting them paint pictures. Pictures that are so very distorted. Pictures that have no real essence of me.
Here is my truth: I am sick. Much sicker than I want to be. Much sicker than I should be. My stomach is looped and scarred and inflamed, and I don’t know when it will stop being that way. It hurts. Often. Then there’s the autoimmune symptoms. Fatigue, achy joints, sore muscles, night sweats, fevers, restless nights. Last October I had to quit my job. At the time it was OK, because, while it wasn’t ideal, I still had the ability of using school loans to pay for life. But this time around, I had to quite summer school, so there is no money available. I had to move out with my roommates and move in with a friend, because I just can’t make rent. I may be able to go back to school in the fall, but as of right now, I don’t know. I still haven’t even finished the spring semester, as I was in the hospital during the last 2 weeks of school, and ended with incompletes. On top of all this, while I was in the hospital back in the beginning of May I discovered that my insurance had been cancelled. I am working to figure out why, but for the time being I am technically uninsured and apparently have been since last winter. That adds up to a lot of medical debt.
I should let that be it. But of course it is not. Because the enemy hates us too much to ever just let anything be enough. And so since April, I have been struggling with anxiety, fear, and depression. What was anger at God turned into confusion which turned into sadness which turned into a very, very lost girl. And I have had all sorts of insecurity. Feelings that I will be lost and alone forever. Feelings that I am officially a burden for anyone and everyone I love. Feelings that I am too much, and not worth the extra mile. Feelings that I am officially a burden for anyone and everyone I love. Feelings that I will be like this for the rest of my life. Feelings that this is the best it will ever be. Feelings that I’ll always be grasping and groping the air without naything to ever hold on to. Insecurity can come in a million different masks, but its all the same lie in the long run: There isn’t enough. Not enough you, not enough money, not enough stability, not enough beauty. Insecurity says there just won’t ever be enough.
So, to sum it up: Sick, no job, no school, no insurance, confused, afraid, sad, human.
There you have it. This is me. Right now. As I sit in bed in the most comfortable T-shirt I own. This is me as vulnerable as I can be. This is me sans mask. Letting my heart bleed fear, honesty, and truth for the sake of you and also for the sake of me. I want no more of this mask. I want to live free. I want to live open and vulnerable. If I am going to bleed, then let me bleed. I am tired of trying to cover it up. Trying to be the girl without the diseased body. Trying to be the girl without the diseased heart. This is my story. And I am going to own it.
My name is Bethany and I am neck deep in humanity. Ugly, gritty, bloody humanity. It’s not what I expected. It’s not what I wanted. It’s not what I hoped for.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for. The conviction of things not seen.
Hebrews 11:1, ESV
Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.
Hebrews 11:1, NLT
I am not sure what I hoped for. I think if I was honest, I hoped for an easy life. I hoped for comfort. I hoped for stability and security of the tangible kind. I hoped for health and happiness. I hoped for everything superficial. There’s that humanity rearing up again. But this time I will not reach for a mask. No more masks. Instead I reach for faith. Faith for the things hoped for of the intangible kind. Faith in His promises. Promises that reach farther than money or insurance or health ever will. Promises that keep me. Promises that go with me. My Presence shall go with you and I will give you rest. Promises that stay with me. Promises that dwell. Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion, for Lo, I come and I will dwell in the midst of you. Promises that go before me. I will go before you and make the crooked places straight. Promises that awaken me. Wake up sleeper. Rise from death and Christ shall give you light. Promises that fill me. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled. Promises that change me. Promises that bring me to the one my heart loves most. Promises that satisfy.
The fear of the Lord tendeth to life; and he that hath it shall abide satisfied.
Exodus 33:14| Zechariah 2:10| Isaiah 45:2| Ephesians 5:14| Matthew 5:6| Proverbs 19:23