Monday, August 27, 2012

storytime: thirsty

This is a tale that will explain everything, or nothing, as I attempt discretion in releasing details.  
Five years ago, I made some life choices that seemed right at the time, and only proved to destroy me.  To this day, I live with the repercussions of my actions.  And I feel the burn.
Dry conditions encourage brush fires.  But these fires can serve as a form of pruning to deep-rooted plants.  These plants-- they survive the drought, they survive the fire.  And come season of rain, they come back to life.

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied."

- Matthew 5:6

Four years ago, I was exceptionally unsatisfied.  And you could tell.  There was a combination of  significant life-shattering events, and an exasperation with the mediocrity in the church, the droning of empty worship, the droning in my own soul.  I was a fresh void, a vacuum, yearning for Truth/  Honesty.   Restlessness gnawed on my skin to feel something real, to experience something real, to own something real.

Indeed, my heart had become an empty room, and I wanted to make it a home.  I wanted God to make a home in my heart.  But first, I had to know the flat Truth about this Son of Man.  My eyes were wandering, albeit blurry.  Maybe I see God? Maybe I see my frustrations.  Maybe I see truth?  Maybe my spirit is weak?  Maybe I am hungry.  I thirst.  Yes, I was thirsty for deep waters.  I don't survive very long on the surface.  There had to be more to tradition, and I wanted to grab every preaching deacon by the shoulders and shake the secrets from them.  "Tell me!" I would have yelled like the Beloved to the Watchmen of the Night: "Have you seen my Lord, the One my heart loves?"

Soon, I began hearing new thoughts, ideas, and perceptions of God and His Kingdom, and I listened.  I listened for about two years.  I listened, and I soaked it up.  You could say that, it appeared as though I had come back to life.  I drank, I ate, I devoured.  I indulged because it was in arms reach, and my confusion/immaturity/pain left no room for distinguishing Truth, distinguishing righteousness.  I partook because it looked spiritually wholesome.  It looked like the deep waters I thirsted for.  But it was only happiness.  It was not joy.  It was not peace.  It was not righteousness.  I was unsatisfied.

Some things have the form, but not the power.  That causes decay.
Some things have the power, but not the form.  That causes destruction.

In those two years, the desperation clouded my judgment.  No longer was I searching for God Himself, I was searching for an experience. That was my problem.  A spiritual bulimia of excessive intake and public regurgitation in the name of God.  Eating my emotions, eating out of boredom.  Gluttony is a deadly sin.  I had consumed a tilted perspective of God and it was in my bloodstream, in my lungs; zealotry was on my breath, and my steps were careless.  I lost my appetite for discipline and wisdom and solitude.  It was drying my insides.

I don't need wine, I need water.  I thirst.

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for You, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?
My tears have been my food day and night...
Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God...

- Psalm 42

It's interesting, how easily humankind is deceived by the temporal happiness brought by experiences.  After the hype and the crash, we realize that happiness does not bring satisfaction.  Satisfaction brings happiness.  Scratch that- True Satisfaction, the one that comes from trusting God, brings joy.  The latter is what I hungered for, what I thirst for.  I didn't know how to attain it, and I had no one.  Two brush fires in two years.  A lot of bridges had been burned.

Metaphor aside.  I think about that timeframe, and my only response is, I'm sorry, God.  I've since felt His grace upon it, but what I can't shake is the remorse for the friendships I shattered along the way.  I risked some solid relationships for the sake of that spiritual voyage, and I regret it to this day, knowing I can't salvage anything on human strength.  As many apologies as I release, things are not the same.  I trust God to heal all brokenness- and that's just it- I'm trusting God.  Living with the consequences, and relishing in justice, mercy, grace.

I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.
Against You, and You only, have I sinned.
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean
Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.

- Psalm 51

Two years ago, 2010, things mellowed out.  I was so internally exhausted, in need of yet another cleanser.  Nourishment.  So I made a commitment to God; I told Him I'd give Him two years of my life, dedicated to the pursuit of His heart.  I asked yet again: Where is my Lord, the One my heart longs for?  And this time, I would not settle until I found water.  Only water.  Only the real river of life, not some bottled and sold jar of "holy water."  The true spring of Life.  For the past two years, I went back to the basic human need of hunger and thirst - for righteousness.  This would be my sustenance. In the time, I cherished solace and shalom, I dove into the Scriptures, I sang out my stress, I cried, I prayed, I soaked.

Those two years finished this spring.  I had a lot of thinking to do in those two years.  Lots of forgiving, lots of healing.  And as I mentioned, God doesn't owe me anything because I've given Him that time.  Nevertheless, He gives.  Freely.  I don't know what is in store for this next season; I'll understand it in retrospect.  But I do know one thing: I thirst for His righteousness, and He always satisfies.

What I love about God is that He is always present in my journey.  Do I always choose the right path?  No... but still, He never lets me walk the wrong path alone.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God...
God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at the break of day.

- Psalm 46 


currently reading: Persuasion, Jane Austen
currently listening: Performance Today, feat. Elizabeth Aoki (9 yrs old)
currently watching: Mirror, Mirror


  1. Hi,
    My name is Barbara and I live in Rio de Janeiro, read your texts a few months now, and I identify a lot with what you write, has blessed me so much and brought me closer to God's heart.
    Thanks for writing ...
    Tbm I thirst Him .. and this last pots spoke much to what God has led me on the journey.
    If you want, visit my blog and translate into Portuguese (laughs).

    Stay with Him

  2. Hey there sister..
    Thank you for your post.. As usual they are timely. Can we be in touch through email or facebook? I've been meaning to connect ever since we've been on each others blog but now more than ever heart won't rest.. Let me know.

    1. Absolutely! You can either email me or find me on FB with that.