Tantrum

What a week.

I had been doing so well through January with my decision to love myself, and I took a couple of big, practical steps in doing so, things that took a fair degree of work and bravery, and it made such a big difference.  For a while there, I felt really happy, actively happy and hopeful about life.

I never notice when those moments sneak away.  Somehow I forget the things that make me joyful, and life just gets ordinary.  Then I forget the things that make life good, and I get scared and hopeless.  I can so quickly spiral away into blackness.

I skidded into the beginning of this week desperate for a break, after too much hard thinking and interaction with people all the previous week; I went too far and stopped doing all the basic things that take care of me and keep me on an even keel.  By yesterday I was angry and despondent at the same time, snarling at my friends in my head and wanting to punch things, wanting life to just be better, already, for my problems to just BE FIXED. It’s been long enough, and I’m sick of it all, dammit.

I spent the evening sniping at God.  Where the hell are you, and why aren’t you making it better?  You call this provision?  Then why do I feel so awful?  Why do I not have a job yet, why don’t you tell me what you want me to do about school, why is this life so damn pointless?

(Yes, actually, I do swear at God sometimes.  Shocked?  He isn’t.  He’s heard it all before.  Which is not to say it’s right or proper or good; just real.  This is an honest story, not a pretty one.)

Sniping doesn’t get much of an answer, because it doesn’t deserve one.  I got all the answer I needed yesterday before bed, a powerful internal reminder of what God’s love for me cost.  Jesus bled for my sake.  He suffered for my sake, every kind of pain.  Physical, emotional, and spiritual.  All of that, so that I could be part of God’s family — so that I could stand in the presence of God Almighty, snarling at him in my unhappiness.

I went to bed thinking about that, chastened.

Today I got up with a much quieter spirit.  I haven’t done much today, but I have started taking care of myself again, doing all the basic things that slid away for a while.  I did a little housework.  And I sat with my notebook and pen, writing prayers.  I apologized to God.  I hated myself for a while.  I thought about how little right I have to sit in his presence at all, but how I’m here anyway, by his choice and redeeming work.  When I throw tantrums now, I throw them in the presence of my Father, and he hears both what I say and what I don’t say, the pains and fears underneath my horrible words and accusations.  He hears and absorbs the words and the pain, and keeps loving me straight through.  Even when I’m kicking him and howling that he doesn’t really care about me.

I filled ten pages of my notebook, with sadness and remorse and quiet pondering, with a lot of deliberate thankfulness, with reminding myself how good life is, how good my God is, how well I’m taken care of in so many ways.  With the beginnings of hope and looking forward again.

I thought I needed answers, but I really needed love.  I had to remind myself to be hopeful, patient, and thankful, those things that enable me to sit with my Father and find peace.  I needed my Abba.  I needed my Daddy.

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