The Wilderness

I’m here, in the wilderness, with just enough water for one more day. This could be the most difficult season of my life. And I have been here for far, far too long.

Have you ever felt repressed? Depressed? Maybe you know the agony of a pounding heart, sleepless nights, the pain in your chest radiating all throughout your chest cavity and stomach like some invisible coat of armor, only the armor is attacking you like hundreds of wasps underneath your skin. I know this can’t be good for long-term health.

I can’t recall exactly when it began. But after almost 2 years, I know its not my storm. Sometimes, we are in the storm, being thrashed about in darkness, jolted by bolts of lightning, cold with driven rain. Sometimes it is our storm, a catastrophe of our own making or the natural parts of a tough decision finally caught up with us. But then there are times when the storm belongs to someone else, and we are caught up in it. Perhaps someone pushed their pain onto you, vomited all over you and walked away. Maybe you were the scapegoat for something – after all someone had to take the blame and X wasn’t going to own that, so on it passed to you. Sometimes, it looks like our storm because it takes a lot of wisdom for someone to actually listen in for the Real Deal. If you’ve ever found someone with the time and ability to press in, waiting and watching for the Real Deal to surface, then you know what I mean. Most of us haven’t.

I saw this storm coming, rued the day those dark clouds would pass overhead. I knew what we needed, but my voice went unheeded. Here they came, billowing freaks of nature spun up on some distant shore – someone else’s shore, and I wasn’t the first one in that path.

I’ve found one of the hardest things to do is knowing when to speak your peace – gracefully, deliberately with complete honesty. In recent years, I’ve held my tongue rather than say something I might regret. I wish I was gifted with clarity of communication. Sometimes I am. Sometimes I’m not. I’ve grown in love. Its hard – love. Sometimes it means taking that storm standing up, not running, not sitting, not whipping up some aweful devastation to send back the way it came. Sometimes it means speaking up if you’re not the kind that typically does. Either way, people don’t want you to change. Of course, everyone would like us to change and see things they way they see them. This deliberation is a natural part of being human. But few people want to take what comes with you being truthfully, honestly, compassionately you.

I’m facing the equivalent of career suicide. Prepared to walk away from something its taken almost 12 years to build. Loss of respect, a hard-won reputation, awards. In many ways, those things are easier to walk away from than the pain and sacrifice I endured to get here.

I find myself in great need to listen. I’ve made mistakes, plenty of them on the way. Certainly, if I was smarter / more of a leader / a better listener / fill in the blanks this wouldn’t be happening. I’ve cried out to YHWH so many times. For YEARS. I’ve been utterly stuck and drained.

I made a decision some time ago. A decision I thought I might regret.





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