The Rabbit Hole & Faith

From a rather faithless, fearful dream I awoke, momentarily questioning whether this room was real. I heard a voice quietly beckon me. “Mom, Layla was mean to me…”

I motioned for her to climb in the bed with me. The light behind the grey curtains threw slivers of sunshine onto the far wall, her hair was messy and her tears fell onto red, flustered cheeks. “Come here, baby, what happened?”

… My early morning.

Eventually I thought it time to fully rise. My arms stretched tall above my head, back arched, breathe paused. “Good morning, baby”, came his voice. My handsome husband quietly covered the steps between us and soon sat at the edge of our bed to face me. Coffee on the night stand, “Happy birthday, my love.”

I began this day rousing from quite a disturbing dream and had to shake it off. I am emotionally attached to what comes to me as I slumber; a vivid dreamer since my time began, I often remember them with such clarity and depth that it feels often as if an entirely separate world dwells there. When I sleep, I venture into the depths of my waking reality and here I can cope, and strategize, and push the bounds held fast by consciousness.

Often I have to purposefully release my dreams, otherwise I tend to become enamored with them throughout my waking hours. A curse I’ve harnessed after 33 years of life, though one that still has the power to overtake me today.

My family waited downstairs for their mother. Daddy let the girls make pancakes, dyed them purple, while he scrambled eggs and baked the bacon. “Birthday to you!” Bellowed a tike of a Laney, smiling ear-to-ear at her disheveled, coffee-sipping Mama. I reached my arms down and pulled her to my face, breathed in her sweet smell, and felt myself too smile.

Present. In these moments, I am present. I am grateful. I am appreciative. I thank God with an escaping breathe because I did not deserve this life.

Shortly after breakfast he decided to take three girls to the park, “Yay, a’ride’a bikes!” Squealed Delaney.

“We can ride our bikes, right?” Asked Layla to John.

“Can we see our friends?” chimed in Jemma…

I sat there watching them. A typical day of balancing their interests with our patience and sanity. A beautiful disaster of laundry, redirecting bickering siblings, and marital harmony and communication. A brilliant display of imperfect individuals building memories as we all figure out life together.

They left shortly after and I had some time to just… be.

While checking birthday wishes I scrolled through the newsfeed. An interesting article shared by a trusted source herein began my fall down the rabbit hole.

I had to close my eyes to it, after about 45 minutes of digesting things I would have been better off not knowing…

I sat there alone, in my beautiful home in this beautiful neighborhood on this fraction of the earth, and I thought about how quickly my thoughts can change. How swift is the shift from gratitude for what is abundant all around us to the perceived threat that it all doesn’t really matter anyway because the world is ending and don’t you get it and oh my GOD you have to read this and what does it mean and I am not ready for this and what about my children and I don’t pray enough and what if God says He never knew me and is … this… the… end… I’ve… Heard… About… All… My… Life…

A hundred more doubts flood my brain. A hundred more fears. A thousand more questions. Prevails not the simple, beautiful moment I am in but the looming, severe anxiety hidden just below a veneer of assurance.

I am learning, as I face myself, naked and internally bleeding, that what holds me back from the Lord, from peace even in danger’s snare, from the blessed assurance I should cling to… Is that sin knows exactly what to direct me to, no matter where I am in my life, to the one thing that will strangle me, hold me down, and keep me from God.

For a very, very long time, it was Tim. It was how I felt about leaving Washington. It was how I’ve had these big struggles in my heart – it tethered me to the past, and stole me from the present, for many, many years. I have made a conscious effort the past year to really change my habit – to give it to God instead of dwell on it in my flesh – and each day it gets just a bit more clear that I can let that go, and so He is showing me how. Mindfulness and intention, and bringing everything I feel about Tim, even to this day, and not claiming hold of what is ashes in His hands.

It would seem a heavy weight was lifted, and in truth my heart recognizes a difference, and I am so grateful to God for this…

But the schemes of the enemy are … they intrigue me – because he knows what will grab me from the present, and when one fails, he waits with the next lie in his hands. He shoves it down my throat and I feel it in my chest. My heart races. My breath labors and it hurts to even try to get a cleansing yawn.

Begins the doubt. Begins the worry. Begins the very glaring truth that I am too easily swayed by fear, and thus must not trust when it matters most. When things are going well, where is my plea to God to save me?

One of the redeeming aspects of realizing this cycle in my life – how easily influenced and overtaken I am by fear (in whatever form it presents itself: regret, fear of the future, mistrust… etc.) – is that I can now come to God, lay it down, and wait in silence for what to do next.

John and I sat down this afternoon after Church livestream. After we were given a message about the Holy Spirit and it taking the lead in our lives, I immediately pulled him aside and showed him a series of videos I had found on YouTube. A strange humming in the sky – heard around the entire globe – what could this be and what’s going to happen and why don’t you get it and I told you so and do you believe it now and oh my GOD what about my kids and how much longer…

Anxiety. Fear. Lack of trust… NOT giving it to God, the Father, FIRST. Second. Third…

Right now, I recognize one of mans worst tendencies within myself, and so I will stop and give it to God. The worry. The mistrust. The fear…

My beautiful family waits to celebrate me today.

33 years ago I was born into this world. Could it be indeed true that He knew me before He knit me in my mother’s womb. . . He knew I would leave her body and by my feet first enter this world a tiny fraction of newborn health. Could it be He knew who I would become. Could it be He knew my struggles, knows my struggles…

Could it be that instead of fear, I trust. And instead of this world wherein my hope lies but yet place it on glory, and honor, and righteousness…

On He that is greater than the world, maker of my heart that seeks to praise Him yet falters still.

I am grateful to be here. To be someone whom recognizes where I can stop, and change, and commit to something much bigger than my fears. The almighty God built me.

The story of my life continues…

Please, I welcome your thoughts, perspective, and new ideas on anything I have written here!

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