Friday, August 28, 2009

Settled Within Myself

I'm feeling settled today.

Anticipating the things to come, but settled, at peace within myself.

I'm not really sure how to explain it.

I guess I could tell you that there have been times during this incredibly difficult last year and a half where I have been quite convinced that the character of God was something less than good, and that my life had become some sort of great conspiracy of suffering. For every moment that seemed beautiful, every decision that seemed healthy, there were always immediate set backs. The moments colored by pain. The decisions marked by a falling or stumbling backwards into the mire.

I went through a lot of anger, and, in some ways it took me a long time to admit that I was absolutely furious with this God I'd tried to serve in obedience. Where was he as my life was falling apart because of a decision I'd thought (and am still convinced) was one made in obedience to something he'd called me to? I had a certain sense of entitlement in the promises of scripture that blessing comes through obedience, and I was furious that instead of blessing I seemed to be encountering only destruction.

I've struggled often with frustration over the way I pass so many nights. Over an inability to sleep. Over the dreams that I so often have. I think something within me had always assumed that when I was healed from depression sleep would now be mine. One of the things that marked the night I was healed was that, for the first time in probably five years, I'd slept for six straight hours without waking, and without nightmares. The getting to sleep thing, and the not dreaming thing hasn't panned out for me.

But today, I feel settled within myself.

I don't quite know how to describe the little shifts in mindset, or how those little things seem enormous to me. I'm not sure that it could be understood without having lived in my skin through the last year and a half, and maybe, particularly, through the last two months or so.

There are things that are encouraging to me.

Last night I was hungry. After dinner, and grocery shopping. I'm almost never hungry. My roommate was shocked. I was craving carbs and protein. I came home from grocery shopping, cooked a chicken breast, used it to fill a pita, added some lettuce and cucumber and mayo and enjoyed a second meal for the evening. I know from past experience that I only crave carbs and protein like that when I am in the midst of some sort of major transition in life - something that is requiring far more energy than my day to day diet is supplying.

There are other little shifts.

But mostly, I feel settled.

I don't feel right now that life is a conspiracy in ways to make me suffer.

I don't feel the anger that has defined so much of my life this last while.

I'm feeling hopeful again, moving forward towards new things and desires.

There are things in my life that I'm excited about again.

I'm planning a trip.

I'm learning about forgiveness.

I'm pondering choices, and thankful for experiences that are more fully letting me understand, from a different side entirely, some of the things God occasionally asks me to walk in.

I'm feeling a certain degree of acceptance of the way my nights go past. I'm grateful for the ones that are more peaceful, I'm learning to sort out which bits of dreams and moments of prayer need to be paid attention to, and I've discovered that they're far less exhausting if I take advantage of the hours in which I seem able to sleep, before the dreams begin, and far less exhausting if I simply choose to be okay with them, and figure out ways to cope and supplement my need for rest. (In my case this has meant learning to be okay with letting some things that would normally drive me crazy, be left undone in favor of a restful evening or weekend.)

I'm feeling settled within myself. And it's a really great feeling to have.