Saturday, January 11, 2014

Brittle Years

I first posted this 9 Januarys ago...

"The house of the wicked will be destroyed, But the tent of the upright will flourish. There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death."   ... Proverbs 14:11,12


The 1980's were my brittle years. I hate brittle years, don't you?

I spent half that decade bathing in hurt feelings. And later, wrapping my coat around me and driving away to every
pity party to which I was invited.

Then coming home and huddling in a dark room, staring at a lighted doorway, yet stubbornly thinking I was right to remain upon the couch in my darkness. That I couldn't help it. Just a helpless, misunderstood Christian woman.

But always watching that lighted doorway.

Knowing my ways would not fit within its frame. My ways--which seemed right--would have to be left behind in the dark room.

Brittle years. Falling apart when anything went wrong. Getting older, but not getting better. Knowing in my heart what was wrong, but telling my heart to keep silent because I just wasn't ready to let go of self, even though self was the boulder dragging me under the blackness.

But a year came, finally, when I got sick of my ways. And I began to listen. I listened to others who'd sat in darkened rooms, too, but had chosen to leave them, even though it meant leaving self behind. It was hard, but they made it. All over their faces you could see that they'd made it to that lighted doorway.

And you could see they were never going back to what they'd left behind. In losing self, they'd found a better thing: Freedom.

But it's never enough to just listen and nod your head up and down. I had to match those words with steps. Words from the Bible, words from human experience--it wasn't enough to just listen--I had to get up and walk. The couch was no longer an option. I had to choose the doorway over what I wanted, what I thought, what I felt. I saw self as the enemy it was.

And I saw 'I Can't Help It' as the disease it really is.

Step by step by step...Forward moving on Humility Street. There's a checkpoint there where they check your bags for pride and know-it-allness. Those things set off alarms in the scanner, so you have to leave them behind. If you refuse, you have to turn back.

For me, there is no turning back. There are people dancing further down on Humility Street--I see them celebrating. I even see the confetti fluttering down from the windows of buildings lining the street. Dancing or dark rooms?...hmmm... I choose dancing.

And it is a choice.

"Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be completely lighted, as when the light of a lamp shines on you.”...

"And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires."    ... Galations 5:24


Oh, these new retro-style kitchens made my heart all giddy...!

Didn't quite believe me when I said it's been cold around these parts? Go here.



Terra said...

Beautiful post and upbeat ending to it.

Pam B said...

Terra's right...this is beautiful. Thank God for the lighted doorways. No matter how painful, the darkness provides the contrast that makes those passages shine all the brighter, so that we might find our way. Debra, bless you for being willing to share your journey with us. May we all choose to dance down Humility Street.

Anonymous said...

Good post Debra. Love the Niagara Falls link. So amazing the Falls could freeze. Did you notice the man in one photo, didn't even have on gloves? Stay warm! Joyce