i spent a significant portion of the last week worrying about things i honestly have no control over.  and im only now realizing that i’ve been coaching my team at work, to not worry about the things in our profession that we have no control over.

i think we use the word worry, to cover a multitude of deeper questions that we ask ourselves, but rarely, if ever, get uttered out loud.

questions about why certain people get sick.  or where the next car payment is going to come from.  questions about why someone you love gets laid off, or why he left.  how you’ll pay off that credit card, or will she actually get well.

if you’re like me, those questions immediately force us to look inward, we start to question our own worth.  our own worthiness.  and we question the power, the will of the One we believe set the planet in orbit.

those questions haunt.  they keep us up at night.  they gnaw on our souls and pick apart our peace.  they destroy, bit by tiny bit, the fragile faith that lives inside of us.

when our focus fades from the One who set the stars in the sky, we lose sight of the beauty that is around us.  we lose sight of the awe, the amazing, the beautiful and breathtaking.  we lose the birdsong in the morning, the sun dappled canopy of trees and the crimson sunset in the evening.  when we lose our focus; the challenges we face, the loneliness, the loss, the heartache, become overwhelming.  we lose our sense of purpose, our sense of direction, and our reason for being.

when we lose our focus, when we lose sight of the Author of the story we’re living, our hearts grow calloused, and the ancient music flowing through our souls fades.  we begin to drown in the very things we were told we would be victorious over.  we struggle to breath.  we fight for the things that should come easily, and we grasp at the things we’ve been asked to surrender.

when we lose sight of the One who calls the stars by name, we lose our very selves.  we lose all of what matters in life.

we lose life.

admitting i need help, doesnt come easily.  im stubborn, and probably proud.

ive walked a lot of this past decade alone.  not that i didnt have friends and family, but i didnt let them in.  i never showed weakness.  i rarely let my emotions show.  and when given the chance, i choke.  i freeze.  the questions strangle the words.  and the questions tell me i am unworthy.  that their friendship is conditional, that if they knew the real me, they’d leave.  like my father left.  that i am not worthy of the love they so freely offer.  so i do what i ‘know’ is coming, and i cut off the relationship before it gets too deep.

and then i wonder, why the loneliness hurts so much.

‘Well, Sam!’  he said, ‘What about it?  I am leaving the Shire as soon as ever I can – in fact I have made up my mind now not to even wait a day at Crickhollow, if it can be helped.’

‘Very good, sir!’

‘You still mean to come with me?’

‘I do.’

‘It is going to be dangerous, Sam.  It is already dangerous.  Most likely, neither of us will come back.’

‘If you don’t come back sir, then i shan’t, that’s certain,’ said Sam. Don’t you leave him! they said to me. Leave him! I said. I never mean to.  I am going with him, if he climbs to the Moon, and if any of those Black Riders try to stop him, they’ll have Sam Gamgee to reckon with, I said.

i’m learning that if i ever want to walk free of this pain, it means becoming reacquainted with my heart.  it means allowing myself to feel again, even the things that hurt.  it means digging deep into the reasons i feel so unworthy, and bringing them to the light.

it means being real with myself, and with those who call me friend.

we were born for community.  for friendship.  for being there.  we were born to walk this life with others.  after adam was created, God created (eve) to complete the story.  as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.  a cord of three strands is not easily broken.

to hope we get through this life unscathed is a foolish hope.  but to hope that we see the beauty that surrounds us, that we hear the song that was written and sung by those who walked these paths before us, to hope that we hear the birds, see the sun dappled trees and the crimson tide of the sunset, to hope that we find beauty in unlikely places, and friends in unlikely people is a real hope.  it is a wise hope.  it is a hope birthed not in us, but in the Author writing this story.

we will be bruised, wounded, broken.  but it needn’t be the end of our story.  if we allow ourselves to refocus on the One who has never left our side, if we let go of the things we’ve grasped on to, and learn, again, to breath, we will get through it.

the roads we’re asked to walk may never be easy, they may even be dangerous.  but they can be beautiful, if we can find the beauty in the brokenness.  there is completion.  there is healing, if we’d only believe that this, we, our story, is far from over.

the Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.  He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners
Isaiah 61

mutemath – stall out

racing on a fault line
bracing for a landslide

conscious of everything getting harder

has the race goes underwater

i keep stalling out
i just cant keep up
there’s alarming doubt
am i good enough?

but You keep coming around
to convince me
its still far from over
we are still far
we are still far
we are still far
from over