Sunday, March 06, 2011

Don’t you want to feel your skin on my skin?

I feel alone right now, and broken. I walked away from my Chattanooga life a week ago and already I feel like I have made a bad choice. I walked away from my life there, and for what? For faith and a vague promise of redemption?

God said: all things work together for good for them that love Him and are called according to his purpose. He said: worship in Spirit and in truth. But I feel lost. I’m letting go of things, and it’s almost as if I’m letting go of too many things and now I’m left alone, driftless. I have cast off, and now I am being cast off myself.

How can I go through life alone? I see my sister’s life, her challenges and the things she has given up, the compromises she has been forced to make, but at least she has a life partner that she can count on, children who receive her love willingly. What do I have? Only the language and not the kiss.

“The fear I've known, that I might reap the praise of strangers, and end up on my own.”

It’s this constant fear that somehow there’s something wrong with me, that I came out wrong. I have to be in some way twisted, if I’m forced to drive away everyone who ever loved me, to pursue some high-minded ideal that isn’t real the way people are real. I feel abandoned, even though I’m the one changing, shifting my life, my boundaries, my space. Conflict about my life choices, from people in my life whom I love, makes me question Christ’s plan for my life. How can I believe that God loves me if the people He brings into my life don’t treat me with love?

I guess it’s a matter of letting go of the people who don’t treat me with love and drawing close to my heart those who do. God brings people into my life who care about me, but sometimes it’s difficult to pay attention to those people, to let go of those whose approval I desperately crave, whose approval I will never get. I have to have faith in Christ, that He is bringing change into my life for a reason, even if I have to journey alone. I also have to have faith that the things that happened in the past happened for a reason.

Clearly, I had an intense experience of surrender at my sister’s church this morning. I’m trying desperately to hold my life with an open hand, to hold it open to God’s will, but I keep wanting to close my fists.

It just hurts so bad. Change is brutal. Painful. Like I’m shedding another layer of skin.

6 comments:

Douglas said...

Melissa,
I am sorry for the pain of solitude you are going through, in part for your holding on to your world view. Have you read Rainer Maria Rilke's "Letters to a Young Poet"? May I recommend it? The book is available free on line @ www.carrothers.com/rilke_main.htm
Please let me know what you think of Rilke!

The Capt'n

wfrenn said...

Melissa,
To avoid confusion, the above was from me, the Captain, not "Douglas," a friend. (He forgot to sign out when he used my computer.)

Melissa said...

I have read excerpts of Rilke's "Letters to a Young Poet"--he has a lot of great things to say. I haven't ever read the collection in its entirety, though. Does he have much to say about what things must be given up to become a poet?

Red Sonia said...

I am sorry for this struggle of one thing vs another. The huge sacrifice in choosing for or against kids, for or against the life of an artist, for or against letting your roots dig deeper into any soil.

On Sunday as I touched my mom's cold cheek, I was relieved to be with my sisters. When we parted at the airport I felt a heavy burden that now things were real and I couldn't rely on anyone else's words or tears or distractions. I wonder at your aloneness and what it means.

As a wanderer, what happens to the relationships you have built and what would you like to happen? I feel like you and I are together, your siblings are close, your friends believes in you, your writing community is behind you, etc. You move but seem to remain true to yourself and relating with others (though i know it takes more work and commitment on both ends!).

wfrenn said...

Yes, Rilke does. I hope you download the free online version I sent you in my last email on the subject. You will find solace and consolation in it.

The Capt'n

Melissa said...

Going back to this post, I want to thank you both again for your thoughtful comments. Sonia, it's encouraging to know that you'll continue to be together with me as I follow in this journey. I think that's what I cling to--that the relationships that matter will stay with me.

--M.